What does a Speech Language Pathologist do?

Updated: Jul 6


What does a Speech Language Pathologist do?

SLP's work with adults and children who have cognitive, speech, language, and/or voice and swallowing problems. They focus on:

  • Improving communication

  • Teaching compensatory strategies for effective communication

  • Rehabilitating swallow function

  • Restoring vocal quality, pitch and projection

  • Fostering cognitive skills (memory, reasoning, etc.) for daily tasks

Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)

Communication and the related disorders can lead to a change in one’s life style; loss of independence, frustration, adverse reactions from others and many times, difficulty with relationships. So, Speech Pathologist's during the course or “journey” of therapy, need to look at all possible contributing factors and incorporate a wide range of intervention plans to help these individuals overcome and cope with their communication and/or swallowing disorders.


WHAT DO THE TERMS SPEECH, LANGUAGE, AND COMMUNICATION MEAN?


  • Speech is a large part of language, that we use on a “everyday” basis. It is the physical production of speech sounds, and these sounds are joined together based on the rules of the language to form words and eventually sentences.

  • Language, on the other hand, is much more than speech it is the way we combine words to convey a meaningful message.

  • Communication is an everyday experience and it includes not only words, but also nonverbal messages, written words, facial expressions and gestures.

WHAT DO SLP's WORK ON IN THERAPY?


In Children

  • Developmental speech and language delays and disorders

  • Articulation problems in children

  • Childhood Stuttering

  • Voice problems due to misuse

  • Acquired speech and language problems following injury to the brain

  • Communication disorders associated with developmental conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism spectrum disorders or hearing loss

In Adults

  • Dysfluency disorders  known as stuttering

  • Voice disorders due to paralyzed vocal cords, vocal nodules, dysphonia due to vocal abuse or Laryngeal Penetration Reflux

  • Speech disorders  difficulty pronouncing sounds often referred to Dysarthria or Acquired Apraxia of speech following a stroke, injury to the brain (TBI), tumors, head and neck cancers, post surgery or due to degenerative neurological disorders

  • Language disorders  due to a stroke or traumatic brain injury.  Typically referred to Aphasia  where the individual has difficulty understanding, speaking, reading, or writing

  • Swallowing disorders (Dysphagia), difficulty with swallowing due to a stroke, TBI or a result of surgery

  • Cognitive disorders Challenges with memory, attention, orientation, executive functioning, problem solving and reasoning

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