Speech Pathologists work with people of all ages who have communication and swallowing difficulties. Through consultation, assessment and treatment, they help people build the skills needed to produce clear speech sounds, understand and use spoken and written language and promote inclusion and positive social interactions at work, school, home and in the community. They can also help people who have limited verbal communication to use alternative systems such as key word sign, Picture Exchange System (PECS) or an electronic communication device.
Speech Pathologists can help with a wide range of areas, including:
- building skills with receptive language (the ability to understand words and the way they relate together to give meaning) and expressive language (the ability to put ideas into words to communicate with others);
- sourcing and using alternative means of communication for people who are non-verbal;
- improving articulation to increase effective verbal communication;
- treatment for stuttering, such as the Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention;
- assessment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and intervention to address core features of ASD, including non-verbal communicative behaviours, initiating and participating in social interactions and regulating behaviour and emotion;
- development of speech and language skills for people with intellectual disability;
- inclusion strategies for childcare, preschool or school; and
- assessment and strategies to improve language and literacy.