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What Exactly Is A Speech Pathologist?

If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulties communicating, the trained skills of a speech pathologist may be beneficial..

Speech pathologists also help people who have difficulty swallowing food or drink to improve their eating safety.

This article looks at the vital job that speech pathologists conduct as part of a professional rehabilitation team. You will discover what diseases they address and when you should consult an SLP.

Speech Pathologists Work

A speech pathologist near you is a trained medical practitioner who works with individuals who have difficulties speaking or swallowing due to injury or illness. They work with adults and children to prevent, assess, and treat language, swallowing, and communication issues. These problems might be the outcome of an injury or a long-term disability.

Speech pathologists assist people in communicating, which may include:

  • Communicative expression: The capacity to communicate both vocally and non-verbally.
  • Receptive communication: The capacity to comprehend both verbal and nonverbal communication.

If you are experiencing difficulty creating words to speak, your speech therapist may be able to assist you. An SLP may be able to help you if you are experiencing problems comprehending language or speech.

To guarantee that you can hear and interpret language correctly, some speech therapists collaborate with audiologists (healthcare experts who treat hearing and balance disorders). Others collaborate with otolaryngologists, often known as ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors, to help patients securely swallow food and drink and to treat patients with oral motor function. 1

Where Do They Work?

Speech pathologists operate in a wide range of contexts. This might include:

  • Schools
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Personal practices

Speech pathologists can also serve as lecturers at colleges and universities and conduct research.

What SLPS Handle?

Speech pathologists deal with people of all ages and with a wide range of medical issues. They may deal with young children who have difficulty speaking appropriately, or they may assist elderly persons with cognitive-communication (communication that is affected by memory, attention, organization, and problem-solving, which are examples of executive functioning).


Speech pathologists may treat the following conditions:

  • Stammering or stuttering
  • Difficulty speaking following a stroke or other neurological injury
  • Difficulties interpreting language following injury
  • Difficulties swallowing food or liquids
  • Flexibility (the correct formation of words and sounds)
  • Transgender people’s speech and vocal skills have been modified.

A speech-language pathologist can also help you if you are learning a new language and want to change your accent. They can assist you in learning a new language by assisting you in accurately forming words and sounds.

When Should You See A Speech Pathologist?

In some cases, you may require the services of a speech pathologist. Parents, for example, frequently discover minor speech difficulties in their children and seek the services of an SLP. These limitations may include:

  • Inability to communicate
  • An inability to produce the accurate letter and word sounds
  • Stuttering
  • Difficulty reading and comprehending age-appropriate literature

Adults may benefit from working with a speech pathologist for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Stuttering
  • Difficulties swallowing food or liquids
  • Slurred, inaccurate, or difficult-to-understand speech caused by facial muscular weakness (may occur with a variety of illnesses, including myasthenia gravis, Bell’s palsy, and botulism)
  • Difficulties creating or comprehending language, often known as aphasia
  • Acquired apraxia, or difficulties accurately pronouncing words, inconsistent speech, or grasping for words as a result of brain injury

If you are hospitalized, a speech pathologist may visit your room and work with you at your bedside. They can assist you with speech and language challenges, swallowing and food issues, and can collaborate with other members of a rehab team to ensure that you can return home safely and appropriately.



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