Speech pathologists work with people who have difficulty speaking or swallowing. They are known as speech-language pathologists or simply SLPs. SLPs use a variety of techniques to help these individuals, including exercises that strengthen muscles through repetition and assistive devices or software.
SLPs work in a number of settings, including hospitals, homes and schools. Some SLPs provide services to a specific individual or family, while others work with groups of individuals in a school setting. Speech pathologists can specialize their skills depending on the population they serve and the setting in which they work.
Speech pathologists are professionals who help people to communicate more effectively. The field of speech-language pathology has a wide variety of career opportunities for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in the field. Speech pathologists promote clear communication, provide treatment for disorders of speech, language and swallowing, and help individuals of all ages with disabilities that affect their ability to communicate.
While there is no national certification for speech-language pathologists, certification is required in most states before an individual can practice as a speech-language pathologist. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) accredits schools that offer graduate programs in speech-language pathology and audiology. Speech-language pathologists must complete a graduate program to earn a master’s or doctoral degree.
Studies show that students who complete an intensive practicum during their graduate program are more likely to find employment after graduation than those who do not complete a practicum. Many school districts provide internships for students during their final year of study, but some students may want to look for placements outside of school settings, such as health care facilities, hospitals or private practices.
A degree in speech pathology helps students understand how communication disorders arise and how to treat them. It is often obtained by people who want to work with children or adults who have a speech problem, like stuttering or a lisp. The person might work in an educational environment or in a medical setting. A speech pathologist can help someone learn to speak or write more clearly or even teach them how to use alternative methods of communication when they have difficulty speaking. It takes time and practice for someone to learn these skills.
A speech pathologist, also known as a speech therapist, facilitates communication in people who have difficulty speaking or understanding spoken language. Among the issues they typically address are stuttering, apraxia (inability to correctly form words), and other speech impediments related to physical disabilities, neurological disorders, and developmental disorders.
Speech therapists must complete a bachelor’s degree program in speech-language pathology or audiology and complete an internship in order to be eligible for state licensure as a speech therapist or therapist. A master’s degree is required for licensure as a speech language pathologist. While they hold similar credentials, the two professions differ slightly in the types of people they work with and in the services that they offer. Those who practice both professions generally choose one field focus after completing their education.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association defines a speech pathologist as “a professional who helps people who have problems with the way they speak, communicate, or swallow.” This professional can be an audiologist, or one who specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing loss; or a speech-language pathologist, or one who specializes in diagnosing and treating speech and language disorders.
Speech-language pathologists work with individuals of all ages who have speech and language impairments. They diagnose and treat clients for such disorders as dysarthria (impaired ability to articulate words), dysphonia (impaired ability to articulate sounds), stuttering, foreign accent syndrome, apraxia (impaired ability to organize motor movements), agnosia (impaired ability to recognize objects), aphasia (impaired ability to understand or express language), articulation disorders, voice disorders, communication disorders, and cognitive communication disorders.