Who are Speech-Language Pathologists?
Speech-language pathologists (SLP) will evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. We treat these disorders in individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, private practices, nursing homes, universities, as well as online through telepractice. SLPs often work with Audiologists treating the Deaf and hard of hearing population for enhancing communication.
Additionally, we can instruct future professionals in college and universities, manage agencies, clinics, organizations, or private practices, engage in research to enhance knowledge about human communication processes, supervise and direct public school or clinical programs, develop new methods and equipment to evaluate problems, establish more effective treatments, and investigate behavioral patterns associated with communication disorders.
What is Their Education?
Speech-language pathologists are required to earn a Masters Degree in speech-language and hearing sciences from an accredited academic program. They must pass a national examination and be awarded Certificate of Clinical Competence from The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) in order to practice. ASHA has a Professional Code of Ethics and a Standards of Professional Practice that ensures the delivery of quality care and protects the consumer.
How can a Speech-Language Pathologist Help You?
A SLP will help those who are having difficulty in any area of communication including voice, language, speech, cognition, and accent modification, as well as swallowing function. We assist individuals with severe communication disorders with the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems, including speech-generating devices (SGDs). We will perform an evaluation and design a treatment program specific to the individual’s area of need. During the course of therapy, the SLP will provide ongoing treatment, and may run further diagnostic tests if indicated. We help individuals and their family, understand the disorders to achieve more effective communication in educational, social, and vocational settings and to promote functional independence.