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Speech-Language Pathologist

Overview

Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing and fluency.

Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory and problem-solving disorders. They also work with people who have swallowing difficulties.

Most speech-language pathologist jobs require a master's degree. The Council on Academic Accreditation is an entity of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; it accredits postsecondary academic programs in speech-language pathology. While graduation from an accredited program is not always required, it is required by some States for licensure and is mandatory for professional credentialing from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Most states have licensing requirements for speech-language pathologists.

Source: MedlinePlus and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Note: This definition was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Includes information about professional certification as well as public information on childhood and adult communication disorders.

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