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What is a speech pathologist?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018

What is a Speech Pathologist?

Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using voice.

They work with people who have difficulty communicating because of developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disability, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, dementia and hearing loss, as well as other problems that can affect speech and language.

People who experience difficulties swallowing food and drink safely can also be helped by a speech pathologist.

You should refer any child:

  • If you or other people are having difficulty understanding your child

  • If people think your child is younger than they are because of the way they speak

  • If your child is being teased or showing frustration because of the way they talk

  • If your child is using fewer words than other children their age

  • If your child stutters

  • If your child’s interactions or play seems unusual or inappropriate

  • If your child is struggling with reading or writing

  • Who has a diagnosis that could affect his/her speech or language such as hearing loss, auditory processing disorder, autism, Asperger's Syndrome, developmental delay, etc.


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