Speech-language pathologists, also called SLPs, are experts in communication.
SLPs work with people of all ages, ranging from babies to adults. SLPs are able to treat many types of communication and swallowing problems like:
Speech sounds—how we say sounds and put sounds together into words like articulation or phonological disorders, apraxia of speech and dysarthria.
Voice—how our voices sound. We may sound hoarse, lose our voices easily, talk too loudly or through our noses, or be unable to make sounds.
Fluency— how well our speech flows. Someone who stutters may repeat sounds, like t-t-t-table, use “um” or “uh,” or pause a lot when talking. Many young children will go through a time when they stutter, but most outgrow it.
Cognitive-communication—how well our minds work. Problems may involve attention, memory, organization, problem solving, and other thinking skills.
Language—how well we understand what we read and hear and how we use words to tell others what we are thinking. In adults this problem may be called aphasia.
Literacy—how well we read and write. People with speech and language disorders may also have trouble reading, spelling, and writing.
Social communication—how well we follow rules, like taking turns, how to talk to different people, or how close to stand to someone when talking. This is also called pragmatics.
Feeding and swallowing—how well we chew and swallow food and liquid. Dysphagia is swallowing disorder that may lead to poor nutrition, weight loss, and other health problems.