Who or what is a Speech Pathologist

A Speech Pathologist has been trained to assess and treat people who have communication difficulties. Although many people assume this is mainly about how we pronounce words, communication is actually considerably more than this and can be quite complicated.

Communication includes:

  • How we pronounce words (articulation).
  • Understanding the words, sentences and stories we hear.
  • How we put words and sentences together so that they are grammatically correct, so that people can understand us.
  • Body language and the style and manner in which we speak (e.g. tone of voice).
  • Sign language and gestures.
  • Social skills, such as turn-taking, topic maintenance and eye contact.
  • Literacy (reading and writing) – these skills are ‘language on paper’.
  • Reasoning and problem solving – using our knowledge of context to put together information about what is happening in our world and why.

Communication is important for learning, it allows us to connect socially with people around us, and helps us remember, plan and organise ourselves.

Speech Pathologists complete a degree at university that encompasses all aspects of communication including speech, understanding and use of language, reading, writing, signs, symbols and gestures. Speech Pathologists can also work with people who have fluency difficulties (stuttering), voice disorders, eating and/or swallowing difficulties. Speech Pathologists are also known to work with people of all age groups – from infants (e.g. feeding and communication) through to the elderly (e.g. stroke rehabilitation). Speech Pathologists generally develop particular areas of interest and experience, depending on their area of work.

Learning Keys Speech Pathologists share a special interest in working with children and adolescents who have communication and/or learning difficulties.

Back to Speech Pathology services.

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