What does a Speech Pathologist do?

Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders. They work with people of all ages, helping those who have difficulty communicating due to learning or intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, dementia or hearing loss, as well as other problems that can affect speech and language. People who experience difficulties swallowing food and drink safely can also be helped by a speech pathologist.

Common speech disorders include:

  • Articulation - such as saying words incorrectly or producing sounds that listeners can't understand
  • Fluency disorders - such as stuttering ("c-c-cat") or prolonged sounds or syllables ("sssssnake")
  • Resonance - such as problems with the pitch, volume or quality of your voice
  • Cognitive - such as difficulties with communication skills that involve memory, attention span, perception, self-regulation and problem solving
  • Expressive - such as difficulty with putting words together or an inability to use language in a socially appropriate way

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