What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
Perhaps a teacher told you that your child should talk to the school speech-language pathologist for a screening. Perhaps you walked by my office at school and said, "Speech, do they give speeches in there?" Believe me, I understand the misconceptions that people have about what I do. To give you a better understanding here is a short blurb of the responsibilities of speech-language pathologists.
Fact Sheet for Speech-Language Pathology
Nature of the Work
Working with the full range of human communication and its disorders, speech-language pathologists:
- Evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders.
- Treat speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly.
In addition, speech-language pathologists may:
- Prepare future professionals in college and universities.
- Manage agencies, clinics, organizations, or private practices.
- Engage in research to enhance knowledge about human communication processes.
- Supervise and direct public school or clinical programs.
- Develop new methods and equipment to evaluate problems.
- Establish more effective treatments.
- Investigate behavorial patterns associated with communication disorders.
Speech-language pathologists often work as part of a team, which may include teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation counselors and others. Corporate speech-language pathologists also work with employees to improve communication with their customers.
In Livonia Public Schools, my responsibilities include but aren't limited to:
- Support student and teachers by addressing speech and language goals that will help a child progress in the general education curriculum.
- Provide speech and language services as indicated on each student’s IEP.
- Collect, record, and report data relative to student performance on individual goals and objectives.
- Conduct required formal and informal evaluations to determine eligibility and to measure student progress.
- Act as case manager for special education students that receive speech only, by scheduling IEP’s, facilitating meetings, and ensuring IEP implementation.
- Actively participate on building student assistance teams.
- Utilize a variety of research-based intervention strategies, continually assessing student response to intervention and make modifications as needed to ensure all children are successful.
- Provide leadership and consultative services to the district’s professional staff on topics concerning speech and language development.
- Work collaboratively with district staff, parents and community agencies involved with students and families, including giving suggestions that will aid the student in daily school activities.
- Prepare written reports that include information needed to determine eligibility and current level of speech and language development.
- Other duties as assigned by the Principal or Administrator of Student Services.
The practice and work of speech-language pathologists may take place in various settings:
- Public and private schools
- Rehabilitation centers
- Short-term and long-term nursing care facilities
- Community clinics
- Colleges and universities
- Private practice offices
- State and local health departments
- State and federal government agencies
- Home health agencies (home care)
- Adult day care centers
- Centers for persons with developmental disabilities
- Research laboratories