speech-pathology-header What Does a Speech Language Pathologist Do?

Most Speech Language Pathologists go above and beyond the call of duty; they work with children, teens and adults to assist with any speech or communication problems they may have. In the pediatric field, speech pathologists assist with communication disorders such as the ones we’ve listed below:

Speech

Under this umbrella, SLP’s work on articulation/phonology, apraxia, fluency, voice and resonance. Articulation and Phonology focus on the sound system. Articulation deals with the actual placement of the tongue in one’s mouth, while phonology has to do with the rules to produce particular sounds. Apraxia is a disorder also focused on sound production, however, it is based more on the difficulty one has ‘planning’ for the sounds. Often times people, especially children, have unpredictable sound errors. Fluency relates to the ‘melody of speech, often associated with stuttering. Voice is used in reference to the quality of one’s voice. Signs of voice disorder can include; raspiness, hoarseness, or no voice at all. Lastly, resonance is the way in which air travels when using speech sounds. Depending on the type of sound one makes, air travels through the nose or mouth.

Language

Under Language, SLP’s focus on receptiveness, expressiveness and the social aspect of communication. Receptiveness is how one understands the words and language around them. Being receptive affects the way we learn vocabulary, categorize information, etc. Expressiveness is how one uses words and language; how one’s wants, needs, thoughts and ideas are communicated. The social aspect of language is how language is used to communicate with people around us successfully. By predicting other’s nonverbal communication, one can decipher how to adjust their behavior to fit the expectations and needs of those surrounding them.

Feeding/Swallowing

In addition to verbal communication, SLP’s are also trained to work with children and adults who struggle with eating foods. Whether their difficulties are caused by motor problems, chewing or sensory issues. Some children and adults even have issues with swallowing food and drink; this is where SLP’s come in. This type of therapy can be given to infants all the way up to the elderly.

Cognitive Language

Cognitive language has more to do with one’s way of thinking than actual speech. SLP’s are also qualified to treat “thinking” or Executive Functioning Skills. These are complex skills connected to memory, problem-solving, attention, emotional control, language processing and organization of thought.

As you can see, there are a number of possibilities when embarking on a career in Speech Language Pathology. Feel free to browse our site to find the best resources to get your start in Speech Language Pathology.