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Speech and Language

What is a Speech and Language Pathologist?

The practice of Speech and Language Pathology includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Providing prevention, screening, consultation, assessment and diagnosis, treatment, intervention, management, counseling, and follow-up services for disorders of:
    • speech (i.e., phonation, articulation, fluency, resonance, and voice);
    • language (i.e., phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic/social aspects of communication) including comprehension and expression in oral, written, graphic, and manual modalities; language processing; preliteracy and language-based literacy skills, including phonological awareness;
    • swallowing or other upper aerodigestive functions such as infant feeding and aeromechanical events (evaluation of esophageal function is for the purpose of referral to medical professionals);
    • cognitive aspects of communication (e.g., attention, memory, problem solving, executive functions);
    • sensory awareness related to communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions.
  • Establishing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) techniques and strategies including developing, selecting, and prescribing of such systems and devices.
  • Providing services to individuals with hearing loss and their families/caregivers.  
  • Selecting, fitting, and establishing effective use of prosthetic/adaptive devices for communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodynamics functions. This does not include sensory devices used by individuals with hearing loss or other auditory perceptual deficits.
  • Collaborating in the assessment of central auditory processing disorders and providing intervention where there is evidence of speech, language, and/or other cognitive-communication disorders.
  • Educating and counseling individuals, families, co-workers, educators, and other persons in the community regarding acceptance, adaptation, and decisions about communication and swallowing.
  • Collaborating with and providing referrals and information to audiologists, educators and health professionals as individual needs dictate.
  • Addressing behaviors and environments that affect communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions.
  • Providing services to modify or enhance communication performance.
  • Recognizing the need to provide and appropriately accommodate diagnostic and treatment services to individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and adjust treatment and assessment services accordingly
  • Advocating for individuals through community awareness, education, and training programs to promote and facilitate access to full participation in communication, including the elimination of societal barriers.
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