What Does a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Do?

What Does a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Do?
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), commonly referred to as speech therapists, provide evaluation and remediation services for the following disorders or delays: articulation (pronunciation of words), fluency (stuttering), voice, receptive language (comprehension), expressive language, pragmatic language (social skills), oral motor skills and swallowing.

SLPs can be found working in a variety of settings including: public and private schools, hospitals, private practice, colleges and universities, rehabilitation centers, group homes, skilled nursing facilities, in-home visits, state and local health departments, state and federal government agencies, and corporate environments. SLPs have a general knowledge of all areas of speech-language pathology; however, most therapists tend to specialize in specific disorders or populations that they serve most frequently. For example, an SLP working in an elementary school would most likely specialize in articulation, language, fluency, voice and pragmatic skills related to the needs of elementary school students. Whereas an SLP working in an acute care hospital setting would likely specialize in oral motor, swallowing, speech, language and voice disorders related to the needs of hospital patients who have acquired neurogenic disorders.

Speech-Language Pathology is an extremely broad field which enables therapists to find their niche and specialize in an area they feel passionately about. The wide range of settings in which SLPs may work provides the opportunity for varied work experiences over the course of their career.

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