What is a speech language pathologist?

May 15, 2007 by Martin Forest

What is a speech language pathologist?

A speech language pathologist is the human communication disorder specialist who studies, examines, assesses and treats voice, speech, language and oropharyngeal problems.
They work with preschool and school age children, teenagers, adults, as well as with older people. The speech language pathologist deals in two speciality fields: language and speech.

Language

It’s the ability to put one’s ideas into words following specific rules.
Some related problems are:

  • Dysphasia and delayed speech (delayed language acquisition in children);
  • Dyslexia (reading and writing difficulties);
  • Aphasia (speech disorder in adults, for example following a stroke);
  • Associated language disorders (autism, intellectual disability, attention disorders, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc.).

Speech

It’s the motor realization of language, i.e. using body organs to produce the sounds necessary to understand a concept. When one of these organs does not function properly, there is a speech disorder. (for example, paralysis of a muscle used in the speech mechanism).