SLP, Speech therapist, Swallowing therapist, Speech teacher....you've heard them all. Used interchangeably and it is confusing. But what exactly are we?
A Speech-Language Pathologist, abbreviated as SLP, is a professional who holds a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology and/or Communication Disorders. He/she holds extensive training in the pathology, or study of diseases/disorders, that affect any part of the body responsible for communication and/or swallowing. In a nut shell, we deal with everything from the chest up.
+ throat (swallowing)
+ oral cavity (mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, chewing)
+ voice (vocal folds)
+ brain (memory, attention, comprehension,
If there are weaknesses in any of these areas of functioning, we are one of the members of the team that is called upon. An SLP is responsible for the assessment and treatment of any person who has symptoms and/or diagnosis of a communication or swallowing disorder.