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Speech / Language Pathologist

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What is a speech/language pathologist?

Speech/language pathologists specialize in evaluating and treating people with communication problems that result from disability, surgery, or developmental disorders. This includes both receptive (understanding speech) and expressive (speaking) communication problems. They also evaluate and treat people with swallowing disorders due to stroke, brain injury, or other nervous system impairments.

Speech/language pathologists often direct care related to the following:

  • speech, language, and swallowing disorders
  • speech fluency and stuttering disorders
  • voice disorders
  • augmentative communication devices
  • written language disorders
  • cognitive (thinking, memory, and learning) disorders

Speech/language pathologists may practice in a variety of settings, including the following:

  • hospitals
  • inpatient rehabilitation centers
  • outpatient rehabilitation centers
  • nursing homes
  • home health settings
  • schools
  • private practice

Most speech/language pathologists hold a Master's degree and have national certification through the American Speech and Hearing Association (CCC-SLP).