A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) works to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. A SLP holds a Masters Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In order for SLP’s to earn a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP), individuals must hold a Masters Degree, successfully complete clinical experiences and pass a national board examination.
To earn the CCC-SLP, individuals must complete graduate course work and a clinical practicum at a college or university whose program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). This assures graduates that their academic and clinical experience meets nationally established standards.
SLP’s work in a variety of settings including but not limited to: private practice, schools, hospitals, rehab centers, nursing care centers, research centers, State and Federal Government Agencies, home health care, early intervention, preschools, head start, adult day centers, prisons, colleges and universities.
What type of licensing and credentials do SLP’s hold?
A certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) holds a nationally recognized credential known as the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) along with a graduate degree and the completion of clinical experience. A SLP has also passed a National Exam in Speech-Language Pathology and will usually obtain a state licensure in the respected state they practice in.
A Speech-Language Pathology Assistant must complete holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders or an associate’s degree in a SLPA program. They must also have completed field work under a certified/licensed SLP, and finally, they must follow the ASHA Code of Conduct for SLP-Assistants.
What areas are SLP’s trained to identify and treat?
When many people think of SLP’s, they think of a person who helps young children produce speech sounds correctly. But they can do much more than that! Speech-language pathologists are trained to treat people of all ages, from babies to the elderly. Here are the areas SLP’s are trained to identify and treat:
Speech Production: This includes working with articulation, phonological, and motor planning disorders.
Language: This includes both expressive language (talking and writing) and receptive language (listening and reading). Many people don’t know that SLP’s also work with clients on social use of language.
Cognition: This includes areas such as memory, problem-solving, attention, and executive function.
Voice and resonance: This includes helping people to modulate the pitch, volume, and nasality of their voice.
Feeding and swallowing: This includes helping people to swallow safely and help remediate atypical eating patterns, such as refusing to eat or being extremely selective about foods.
Fluency: This includes teaching people who stutter strategies to make communication easier. This also includes cluttering, a disorder characterized by rapid and irregular speech.
Auditory habilitation or rehabilitation: This includes working to improve auditory processing skills or helping to improve communication for people who have experienced hearing loss.
Do SLPs work as part of a team?
YES! We absolutely do!
As speech pathologists, we see problems through a SLP lens. Other professionals will see problems through their trained professional lenses. While each of these lenses has areas of overlap, there are parts of the picture that we are unable to see without the other.
When we collaborate with other professionals, we are better able to see the whole picture to promote patient-centered care.
Who do SLPs Collaborate with?
Below are just a few professions that SLPs work with:
- Behavior Intervention Specialists
- Occupational Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- School Psychologist
- Social Workers
- Special Education Teachers
- Family members