Speech-language pathologists specialize in assessing, diagnosing, and treating people with communication problems that result from disability, surgery, or developmental disorders. They are also instrumental in preventing disorders related to speech, language, cognitive communication, voice, and fluency. This includes both understanding speech and speaking problems. They also evaluate and treat people with swallowing disorders due to stroke, brain injury, or other nervous system impairments.
Speech-language pathologists often direct care related to:
Speech, language, and swallowing disorders
Speech fluency and stuttering disorders
Augmentative communication devices
Written language disorders
Cognitive (thinking, memory, and learning) disorders
Speech-language pathologists may practice in a variety of settings, including:
Early intervention—head start and other early childhood development programs
Inpatient rehabilitation centers
Outpatient rehabilitation centers
Home health settings
Most speech-language pathologists hold a master's degree and a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology through the American Speech and Hearing Association.