Speech-language pathologists (speech-therapists), also known as a speech pathologist, diagnose and treat individuals and children with language and speech problems. They help people and children with specific language issues, to learn to communicate better, improve grammar, and understand their messages. They also teach them to express themselves in a manner that is understood and can be understood by others.
Speech-language therapists are specially trained in the field of speech. They perform basic analysis and diagnosis of communication problems and recommend treatment. They examine the patient’s speech patterns and use a variety of testing procedures to determine which condition the patient has. They then make recommendations on the treatment, which may include speech therapy. The speech-therapist is the one who decides whether or not a patient will benefit from speech therapy.
There are several areas of speech pathology that a speech-therapist can specialize in. These areas include pediatric speech pathology, which deal primarily with children who have language and developmental problems; pediatric neurology, which deal with disorders of the nervous system; cognitive speech pathology, which deal with disorders related to memory, comprehension and reasoning; speech pathophysiology, which focus on hearing disorders; and voice pathology, which deal with voice disorders related to vocal chords. A speech-pathologist may work in conjunction with other doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists to examine patients in a wide variety of situations and decide whether or not the individual should be treated with medication.
Once speech pathology is decided upon, the therapist will begin to work with the patient. The goal of speech therapy is to improve the patient’s ability to communicate. As part of the therapy, the therapist may also help the patient develop speech behaviors. These speech behaviors can include proper use of speech sounds and gestures, learning to make eye contact, using correct vocal inflections, maintaining good posture, and learning how to deliver sentences and phrases correctly. These behaviors are important because they will help the patient to be understood by the person he or she is speaking to. Once the behaviors are developed, the speech therapist can teach the patient to speak in front of an audience.
Speech therapy is often accompanied by a physical exam that includes observation of the patient’s speaking abilities, including pronunciation, tone, body language, body expression and other skills. such as eye contact. The physical exam may also include a test of speech production, which involves the patient speaking aloud in front of a mirror. and listening to themselves talk back to see how well they are performing in their speech. The exam may also include tests of memory, comprehension, listening and speaking skills. Some tests may even involve recording the patient’s voice to see if they are able to follow a simple script.
Once the speech pathology services are complete, the speech therapist begins to work with the patient to improve his or her speech, in combination with the treatment. The process of speech pathology takes time, because it is a multi-step process that takes a period of time to complete. The speech therapist may also work with the patient to change the speech patterns that are causing problems. If all goes well, the patient will be able to resume a normal speech pattern and will be able to communicate with others more effectively.