What is a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) and what do they do? 

What is a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) and what do they do? 

Speech and language pathology training: 

A speech and language pathologist is a trained allied health professional. They have had specialised training at an Australian certified university to gain their credentials. This is through a Bachelors degree and often a Masters degree, too.

Certified practicing SLPs need to take part in continuous and regular professional learning and training to meet professional, ethical and clinical standards. These standards are set by their governing association; Speech Pathology Australia.

From this training and qualification, Speech and Language Pathologists have specialist knowledge in the following:

  • The structures of the face, mouth and throat that are responsible for talking, eating and swallowing.
  • The areas of the brain which are responsible for talking, eating and swallowing.
  • The areas of the brain that are responsible for learning, using and understanding spoken and written language as well as social communication.

What speech and language pathologists diagnose and treat 

Speech and Language Pathologists have specialised training and are fully qualified to diagnose and treat disorders and delays in the following areas:

  • To say clear speech sounds and use sounds in the right spot in words.
  • To use a healthy and appropriate voice
  • To eat and swallow a range of foods safely and efficiently.
  • To use and understand spoken words and sentences in a range of contexts.
  • To use and understand non-verbal communication such as facial emotions, gestures and pre-verbal behaviours.
  • To read, write and spell correctly.
  • To engage and motivate a child to want to communicate and build pre-verbal skills.

These skills are all important to help your child socialize with peers, learn in a classroom, participate successfully in daily life and improve their overall development.

Here atthe Lizard Centre, our speech and language pathologists are trained to work with people of different ages and medical backgrounds. Our Speech Pathologists here see lots of children who present with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. They also work with children who present with speech, language and feeding disorders who have no medical diagnosis.

Not sure if your child needs SLP services? Get in contact with our SLP team at the Lizard Centre. They are best able to give you accurate information about whether your child would benefit from an SLP assessment and/or therapy.