What does a Speech Pathologist do? The better question is what don't they do.
I'll try not to be too exhaustive here, but it will help you understand why there is a shortage of SLPs.
WHAT SLPs DO?
A common misconception is that Speech Pathologists only teach children how to say sounds correctly.
While this is true, it is only one of the many things we do do.
The role of a Speech Language Pathologist is to: Evaluate, Diagnose, and Treat communication disorders for children and adults with:
And that’s just the beginning! We can also serve individuals with:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ASD)
- Apraxia of Speech
- Cochlear Implants
- Learning Disorders/Learning Disabilities
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder (or PDD)
- Speech Muscle Weakness (also known as Dysarthria)
- Sensory Integration Disorder
Furthermore, we help both young and old who have or have had:
- Voice Disorders
- A laryngectomy
- Feeding Disorders
- Accent Reduction/Modification needs
- Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate
- Swallowing Disorders (also known as Dysphagia)
- Syndromes like Down, Asperger, and Craniofacial
- Neurological Disorders such as Cerebral Palsy
- Alternative and Augmentative Communication (or AAC)
- Diseases like Alzheimers, Dementia, Parkinsons etc.