The "speech" part in speech and language therapy (or speech pathology) is the most obvious one!
Whether due to an articulation problem, phonological difficulty, or motor speech trouble (all fancy ways of saying how we put speech sounds into our communication), a speech therapist helps adults and kids to produce clearer and more accurate speech.
If you're having issues understanding your child's speech, it's better to get it checked out as for many speech disorders "wait and see" does more harm than good.
Speech therapists can work with children and adults who have difficulty with the brain's language processing system, including understanding and expressing language, as well as social communication skills.
They can assess for language disorders and delays so, while they won't be able to help you improve your Chinese or French, they will be able to give speech therapy and strategies for language difficulties.
Do you sound like a 70-year-old smoker even though you've never touched a cigarette in your life? A speech therapist can help you find voice techniques to ditch the gravelly sound.
If someone has a hoarse or strained voice, a speech therapist can help them identify and treat the underlying causes of their voice disorder, such as vocal nodules or muscle tension dysphonia.
Speechies can also support gender affirming voice for those wishing to know how to safely train their authentic voices.
A speech therapist can help people who stutter by teaching them techniques to improve their fluency and reduce stuttering behaviours.
Some approaches look at eliminating the stutter and increasing fluency while others aim to build confidence around a stutterer's ability to communicate despite their fluency.
Speech pathology can help people who have experienced brain injuries, strokes, or other neurological conditions that affect communication, such as memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
6. Swallowing disorders
Do you frequently choke on your food or drinks, making meals a hazardous affair? A speech therapist can help you swallow with confidence and reduce the risk of foods going down "the wrong way".
A condition known as dysphagia affects 1 million people across Australia and swallowing problems can occur at any stage of life. A speech language pathologist working in this field can provide guidance.
7. Accent Modification
Want to impress your international friends with your accent skills, but you can't seem to master the Australian twang or the Scottish brogue? A speech therapist can help you nail the accent, so you can finally sound like a true-blue Aussie or a bonny Scotsman. Well, not exactly.
But a speech pathologist trained in accent modification can support you changing or neutralising your accent by tuning in and practicing the speech sounds of the native language. Some people go to speech therapy asking, "How do I change my accent?" and can guide the process of modification.
But wait, there's more?
There are actually even more areas a speech therapist working with children, teens, or adults can support with. Simply ask your local speech pathologist to see what they can assist you with.