What are Speech Language Pathologists?

by | Jun 8, 2022 | News

For every 1,000 births in the U.S., it’s estimated that two to three children have hearing loss in one or both of their ears. Many of these kids will attend school and struggle due to their disability, yet remain undiagnosed. Luckily, though, many will receive the care that they need due to the work of a speech pathologist. Speech pathology is the study and treatment of problems involving communication. Most commonly, this includes speech impairments or language problems, but it can also include issues with hearing. These professionals assist with speech & language by helping to identify developmental delays, physical disabilities, and other phenomena that may inhibit communication abilities.

Assess Communication Abilities

The first task of any speech pathology examination is an assessment of a patient’s general communication ability. The assessment allows the practitioner to gain an understanding of the patient’s communication methods, including any struggles that may become apparent. This can be done in a variety of different ways, including the administration of a formal standardized test, a play session with observation, or an informal conversation followed by evaluation. In addition to assessments that are done in a clinical or school setting, a speech pathologist may seek to observe a patient as they interact in natural social situations. This can provide further insight into their communicative habits.

Treat Speech and Language Issues

Once a speech pathologist has observed a patient’s speech & language, they will determine whether further testing or a diagnosis may be necessary — and if so, proceed to offer treatment options. For diagnoses relating to deafness and hearing loss, treatment options may include the following:

  • Prescription of hearing aids for moderate hearing loss
  • Consideration of cochlear implant for severe hearing loss
  • Surgical procedures such as the insertion of ear tubes

A speech pathologist may work in conjunction with an audiologist to help find the best solution is deafness or hearing loss is indeed diagnosed. Treatment options are often offered alongside continuous therapy from a speech pathologist in order to facilitate the development of language skills.

Speech & Language Support

One of the most important services a speech pathologist provides is support for hearing-impaired individuals’ speech & language development. These skills are often delayed or diminished due to the obstacles posed by hearing loss. The ability to understand language is largely dependent on your ability to hear sounds, so speech pathology services can help hard-of-hearing people develop communication skills that might otherwise remain poorly realized. Speech pathologists do this by guiding patients through therapeutic exercises including conversation and the use of books and pictures to strategically stimulate the development of language skills.

Discover How Speech Pathology Strengthens Communication

For individuals experiencing hearing loss, there is rarely one single solution. Rather, treatment is most effective when multiple modalities are used and collaborative therapy is utilized. Thus, the speech pathologist plays an important role in helping hearing-impaired people discover language skills and strengthen their communication abilities. If you’re wondering how to access speech pathology services, HEAR Center can help. We have been serving the hard-of-hearing community since our founding in 1954.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or to make an appointment:

Call or text: (626) 734-6555

Email us at: appointments@hearcenter.org 

Chat us: https://direct.lc.chat/13342371/

Also, for more information about our speech services please visit our webpage: https://www.hearcenter.org/services/speech-language-pathology/