Speech Language Pathologist

Speech-Language Pathologists are health care professionals that understand communication disorders. This includes understanding normal and abnormal brain development, function and structure, and how disease affects speech. Speech-language pathologists use this knowledge to develop, maintain, rehabilitate and increase speech and language skills. 

Some disorders treated by speech-language pathologists include:  

Reading disorders: Difficulties understanding and recognizing words, matching letters to their sounds or reading fluently. 

Writing disorders: Difficulties with expressing thoughts, organizing work and spelling. 

Language disorders: Difficulties with reading, writing, speaking or understanding language due to brain trauma, autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities, stroke, disease or cognitive disorders.

Talking disorders:

  • Difficulties producing the correct sounds or words 
  • Swallowing disorders 
  • Stuttering 
  • Speech muscle impairment 
  • Unusual voice quality, pitch and loudness
  • Fluency disorders

Using speech and language therapy, Speech-language pathologists work in hospitals, clinics and schools. Some of the services they provide include: 

  • Providing speech and language therapy such as speech exercises, voice and accent modification, reading and writing workshops
  • Recommending prosthetics, therapy, surgery, communication tools or accommodations based on needs. 
  • Working with the patient, the patient’s family, caregivers, teachers and the workplace to help them live with the communication disorder. 
  • Assisting with the patient’s return to their everyday life by training family and friends, by providing work, school, and community accommodations and by increasing the patient’s self-esteem.
  • Providing the public with up-to-date speech and language disorder information. 

In Ontario, “Speech-Language Pathologist” is a regulated profession subject to the practice standards, code of ethics and health and safety standards defined by the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario. For more information on regulatory colleges, view our What is a Regulatory College page.