What is a Speech Pathologist

The terms Speech Pathologist, Speech Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, and Speech Language Therapist all mean the same thing.

Sometimes people will say therapist because we “do therapy”. The pathologist bit is there because we are able to diagnose difficulties with speech and language.

Speech pathologists do a minimum of four years of university and have to maintain over 20 hours of continuing professional development every year to continue to practice.

Speech pathologists do NOT diagnose Autism or ADHD, though we are often requested to provide information and therapy for children with these diagnoses.

What do we really do?

  • Talk to parents about what their goals for their child are
  • Look at where the child is right now with their communication- this is either formal or informal assessment
  • Start targeting little steps that are designed to support the child to get to their goals – we often do this with games or ‘fun activities’ to help children engage with work that is a little bit difficult. 
  • Model for parents so that they are able to continue the work at home.
  • Talk to you about why we are doing what we are doing and what our targets and evidence is.

At Think Play Say we want to give you value for money. If you are ever unsure of why we are doing a particular task or game, please ask and we will be happy to let you know our goals and reasons

How long will it take? 

We often get asked this question – but the only answer really is – as long as it takes. Each child is different with how they learn speech and language skills. Single speech sounds in children (or adults) that are motivated to change can take as little as 6 sessions to fix, as long as they do their homework. 

Other things can take much longer. We often will recommend a “block” of 5-10 weeks with 1-2 sessions and then a break of the same time. This allows children to consolidate their learning and prevents “therapy burnout”