May is a month dedicated to raising awareness about communication disorders and to promoting treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing.
Let’s take a moment to highlight the important role that Speech Language Pathologists play in communication.
Here are some facts to help others understand the role of Speech Language Pathologists
- Communication disorders are among the most common disabilities in the United States, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association(ASHA).
- According to ASHA,
Speech and Language Disorders can be associated with:
- Hearing Loss
- Cleft Palate
- Cerebral Palsy and other motor problems
- Learning Disabilities
- Developmental Delays
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- ASHA defines a speech disorder as “an impairment of articulation, fluency, speech sounds, and/or voice.”
- ASHA defines a language disorder as “the impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken, written, and/or other symbol systems. The disorder may involve the form, content, and/or function of language in communication.
- Many people are unaware that speech and language pathologists are trained in communication and swallowing (yes, swallowing!) for the entire lifespan: from birth until death! Speech Language Pathologists can be employed in various settings such as:
- Early Intervention Programs
- Public School Systems
- Private School Systems
- Private Clinics/Private Practice
- Hospital Inpatient
- Hospital Outpatient
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Home Health Agencies
- Corporations/Businesses (for services such as accent reduction)
- You may have noticed Speech Language Pathologists have the letters CCC-SLP after their signatures. These letters stand for Certificate of Clinical Competence, a nationally recognized credential; they signify that the Speech Language Pathologist has completed extensive training and preparation, including undergoing a rigorous academic program and supervised clinical experience, passing a national exam and completing an internship.