Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are professionals educated in the study of human communication including speech and language, cognitive function and also are trained to evaluate and treat swallowing disorders in children and adults. By evaluating the speech, language, cognitive, communication, and swallowing skills of the patient, the speech-language pathologist determines what communication or swallowing problems exist and the best way to treat them.
SLPs are trained to help improve, adapt or restore functions that have been impaired or lost as a result of illness, injury or congenital abnormality involving goals set by the therapist, patient and family that an individual can reach in a reasonable period of time. Speech therapy services also help maintain, develop or improve skills which have not (but normally would have) developed or which are at risk of being lost as a result of illness, injury, loss of a body part, or congenital abnormality. Examples include therapy for a child who is not speaking at the expected age or an adult with difficulty speaking after a stroke.
Speech therapy covers a wide range of services for all ages, from birth to old age, and is provided in schools, hospitals, home care, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. SLPs work with individuals who have physical or cognitive disorders resulting in difficulty communicating. Communication includes speech (articulation, voice, linguistics) and language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, both receptive and expressive language, including reading and writing). SLPs treat acquired reading and writing impairments in adults and children who have previously learned how to read and write and are diagnosed with neurologic impairments. SLPs also provide services for individuals with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
Community Sports and Therapy offers many different areas of specialty
within the speech therapy field including, but not limited to: