A speech pathologist is an allied health professional who helps people with communication and swallowing difficulties. Their scope of practice includes assessment and intervention related to disorders of expressive and receptive language, speech, voice, swallowing and fluency.
Speech pathologists work with clients to discover their strengths and weaknesses and construct an individualised care plan to help them establish better communication skills. They often work in conjunction with other health professionals including occupational therapists and psychologists in order to provide wholistic treatment for the client.
Speech pathologists provide services to clients in a range of different settings including: private clinics, childcare or school settings, hospitals or within a clients home. Speech pathologists treat a broad range of people including babies, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.
What do speech pathologists do?
Speech pathologists assess clients in order to identify their communication or swallowing disorder and determine the appropriate method of treatment. For children, sessions often involve interactive play as well as speech and/or language activities using games, worksheets and incorporating technology such as iPads. For adults, sessions may involve conversation and problem-solving activities or strengthening exercises for oral muscles depending on the type of communication impairment.
Do I (or someone I care for) need a speech pathologist?
You or your child might need a speech pathologist if you have difficulty communicating or swallowing. Indicators of this include:
- Problems comprehending what others are saying
- Struggling to articulate words, phrases and sentences
- Problems pronouncing specific sounds
- Impaired literacy skills
- Issues with social skills and interacting with others
- Difficulty swallowing food or drink
If you think you or your child may need a speech pathologist, please do not hesitate to contact Harrison Speech Pathology.