What does a Speech-Language Pathologist Do?
- Speech Therapy - We assist clients in producing intelligible and functional speech. Speech therapy addresses problems such as functional articulation, voice disorders, stuttering, dysarthria, apraxia, accent reduction, etc.
- Language Therapy - We assist clients in developing or re-establishing language. This therapy addresses problems such as language delay, phonological disorders, developmental language disorders, acquired aphasia, etc.
- Augmentative Communication Therapy - We assist clients in developing the use of alternate means of communication. This approach is appropriate when speech is severely impaired and cannot be used as the primary means of communication. Therapy involves getting input from the clients, families, the treatment team and significant others to identify communication needs, designing an alternative communication mode, and then training the family and individual to use it.
- Dysphagia Therapy - We assist clients in developing or re-establishing feeding and swallowing skills.
- Cognitive-Communication Therapy - We assist clients in developing or re-establishing cognitive abilities that are necessary for effective thinking and communication. This therapy is particularly appropriate for clients who have sustained traumatic brain injury.
- Therapy for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing - We assist clients in learning to discriminate the sounds of language and the environment. We help them learn to say the sounds of language and to produce words and sentences to communicate. We help them use their hearing aids or cochlear implants effectively and develop lip reading skills. We also help them to develop oral, written and sign language knowledge and skills. Cued Speech may be used to facilitate the reception of spoken language and to develop spoken language comprehension.
What Does an Audiologist Do?
- Diagnosis of Hearing Loss - We test hearing to determine if a hearing loss exists, the extent of the loss and the nature (site-of-lesion) of the loss. We serve as a valuable resource to physicians regarding the effectiveness of medical intervention for hearing loss. We work with our clients to determine the extent that hearing loss interferes with communication and with each client's lifestyle.
- Aural Rehabilitation - We fit and dispense hearing aids and assistive listening devices when these are the option of choice for treating the communication problems that often accompany loss of hearing. We provide auditory training and speech-reading therapy programs for people with hearing losses. We work with families of children with hearing loss to make sure these children have the best possible access to spoken communication.
- Auditory Processing - Some people with normal hearing have great difficulty understanding spoken language. They may have poor attention, difficulty hearing speech in background noise, poor auditory memory, inability to understand fast or complex speech signals, difficulty with auditory sequencing (which leads to difficulty following verbal instructions), poor phonemic processing (which leads to reading and learning difficulties), etc. Audiologists are involved in the diagnosis and remediation of Auditory Processing Disorders.
Where do Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Work?
- nursing homes
- private practice
- social agencies
- group homes