What is a Speech Language Pathologist?

A speech-language-pathologist (SLP) is a trained professional certified to provide speech/language therapy services by having obtained the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). A CCC-SLP evaluates and treats children and adults who have difficulty with communication.

An SLP can treat many types of speech and language disorders. A speech disorder is a condition in which a person has difficulty creating or forming the speech sounds needed to communicate with others. Types of speech disorders include articulation and phonological disorder, stuttering and Apraxia. A language disorder is impaired comprehension or the use of spoken, and written language systems. Types of language disorders include receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language disorders. An SLP may also evaluate and treat children and adults who have a swallowing disorder, an oral-motor disorder or require the use of Augmentative alternative communication devices (AAC).

Speech and language therapy is an evidenced based profession utilizing a holistic approach. Our facility offers various treatment approaches and sensory based activities that help promote language development in children. Therapy is tailored for an individual’s specific needs and can treat a variety of disorders such as receptive and expressive language disorders, developmental delays, speech sound disorders, social communication disorders, and feeding/swallowing disorders. SLPs provide family-centered services to treat individuals at all levels of severity from 18 months to 21 years old.

An SLPs main priority is to address improving communication in an individual. Communication is the active process of exchanging information and ideas. The two ways we communicate are verbally and nonverbally. Verbal communication consists of spoken language. Nonverbal communicators communicate in other non-vocal ways such as using gestures or eye contact or their body language to help us understand their wants and needs and their emotions. Some nonverbal communicators also use AAC which stands for alternative and augmentative communication; Augmentative means to add to someone’s speech and Alternative means to be used instead of speech. People of all ages can use AAC if they have trouble with speech or language skills. Some people use AAC throughout their life. Others may use AAC only for a short time, like when they have surgery and can’t produce speech. There are two types of AAC. One type of AAC is low tech or no tech AAC which requires something external to the person using it that is non-electronic or a very simple electronic device. For example, Picture Exchange Communication (PECs), or communication books. High tech AAC is a complex electronic device that permits the storage and retrieval of messages, which allows speech output such as using an app or an iPad/tablet with a “voice” to communicate known as a Speech generating device.