Speech‐Language Pathology is a health care profession focused on evaluation and treatment of children and adults with speech, language, cognition, and swallowing disorders. Speech‐Language Pathologist are professionals who are specially qualified to work with people who have speech, language, hearing and/or swallowing disorders. Thus, their work in real life encompasses wider aspects of human communication.
What exactly does a Speech‐Language Pathologist do?
SLPs work with adults and children who have speech, language, and/or 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
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 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 are the various kinds of speech and language disorders?
- Developmental speech and language delays and disorders
- Articualtion 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
- Fluency disorders (stuttering)
- Voice disorders (hoarseness, loss of voice after prolonged use)
- Speech disorders (slurred speech, difficulty pronouncing sounds) following an injury to the brain (e.g., strokes, tumors, head and neck cancers, post surgery, degenerative conditions)
- Language disorders (Dysphasia), difficulty understanding, speaking, reading, or writing
- Swallowing disorders (Dysphagia), difficulty with swallowing due to a stroke or surgery
- Cognitive disorders (memory problems, difficulty problem solving as part of day to day activities)