A speech-language pathologist is a healthcare provider who specializes in evaluating and treating people of all ages with problems speaking, communicating or swallowing. Speech-language pathologists help people increase or maintain speech or swallowing skills or adapt to permanent disability in these areas. Speech language pathologists work in many settings, including schools, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, home care, and long-term care facilities.
A speech-language pathologist typically:
Reviews and evaluates a patient’s medical history and its impact on speech and language and daily functioning
Assesses and documents speech, communication and swallowing problems in children and adults
Educates patients and families about swallowing and communication disorders, how to cope with and address them, and behavior patterns that impede communication and treatment
Uses techniques, exercises and other interventions to help patients make sounds and improve swallowing, voice, and written and oral language skills
Teaches alternative communication methods, such as sign language, physical exercises, and other treatment techniques
Works closely with a patient’s entire medical team as well as with parents, teachers, special educators, and other school professionals
A speech-language pathologist may also be known as a SLP or a speech therapist.
There are 102087 specialists practicing Speech-Language Pathology in the United States with an overall average rating of 4.4 stars. There are 178 hospitals in the United States with affiliated Speech-Language Pathology specialists, including Boston Children's Hospital, Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center and University Of Vermont Medical Center.