Speech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, cognitive (thinking), communication, voice, swallowing, fluency, and other related disorders. They work with people
- with the inability to make speech sounds or cannot make them clearly
- with voice quality problems, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice
- with swallowing difficulties
- with problems understanding and producing language
- with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering
- who seek to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent
- with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem solving disorders
- with hearing loss who use hearing aids or cochlear implants in order to develop auditory skills and improve communication
Most speech-language pathologists provide direct clinical services (care) to people with communication or swallowing disorders. In speech and language clinics, they may independently develop and carry out treatment programs.
In speech and language clinics, they may independently develop and carry out treatment programs. They may work with physicians, social workers, psychologists, and other therapists. Speech-language pathologists in schools develop individual or group programs, counsel parents, and may assist teachers with classroom activities.
Go to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for current information about a career as a speech-language pathologist.