Speech and Language Pathology
What is Speech and Language Pathology?
A speech-language pathologist (SLP), also commonly known as a speech therapist, works with people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. They will work together with the other professionals within the rehabilitation and school setting to address your speech and language problems. Working with a speech therapist can help a person to improve their overall quality of life through better communication and cognition.
Speech therapists evaluate and treat disorders of:
- Speech sound production
- Language (expression and comprehension)
What does a typical session look like?
Initially, your Speech Therapist will evaluate your speech, language, and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. This testing may occur over several sessions. Based on the results of this assessment, individual treatment goals are created. You will work to achieve these goals during individual and/or group therapy sessions.
The activities you complete in session will depend upon:
- Your goals
- The type and severity of your problem
- Your age
- Your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses
- Evidence-based guidelines
During speech sessions you may learn to use a communication board/device to improve your ability to communicate basic wants and needs. You may learn strategies to improve orientation and memory or complete tasks designed to improve your attention and problem solving skills. You may also work on activities to improve the strength of your voice or ability to swallow food safely. Technology, such as tablets, computers and even video games, may be incorporated into session as they can be excellent tools which can increase motivation and your ability to learn new skills.
What kind of training does a Speech and Language Pathologist have?
Speech Language Pathologists must earn a master’s or doctoral degree in speech and language pathology. Graduate level training includes coursework and supervised clinical practice. All speech therapists must pass a national exam and then hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Speech Language Pathologists are licensed to practice by the state.