Speech pathologists diagnose, treat and provide management services to people of all ages with communication disorders, including speech, language, voice, fluency and literacy difficulties, or people who have physical problems with eating or swallowing.
Duties & Tasks
Speech pathologists may perform the following tasks:
- establish the exact nature and severity of each client's communication problems, which may require the use of special equipment and tests
- plan and carry out treatment and management, taking into account age, past and present social environment, and physical and intellectual abilities
- treat children who are unable to communicate effectively due to conditions such as cleft palate, hearing loss, delayed speech or language development, cerebral palsy or emotional disturbances
- treat adults whose language, speech or voice has been affected by surgery, disease or disorders of the nervous system, brain damage or hearing loss
- help children and adults overcome stuttering
- assess and treat children and adults who have difficulty chewing and swallowing
- act as a consultant to education, medical, dental and other health professionals
- provide ongoing counselling, advice and information to clients and families as a part of overall treatment.
Speech pathologists work closely with other health professionals as part of a team.
- good listening and interpersonal skills
- enjoy language and communication
- able to inspire confidence and cooperation
- enjoy working with people
- a patient and tactful approach to people's problems
- able to deal with complex and unusual situations.