A speech pathologist is a health professional, educated at university level in the study of human communication. Speech pathologists assess and treat a wide range of communication and feeding skills, including language, voice, speech, fluency, feeding and swallowing and literacy (Private Speech Pathologists' Association of Western Australia, 2011, p. 1). They provide a wide range of services, mainly on an individual basis, but also as support for families, support groups, and providing information for the general public. Speech pathologists can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, schools, community health centres, rehabilitation centres and private practice. In addition, the role of a speech pathologist is also to act as an advocate on behalf of people with communication disabilities (Speech Pathology Australia, 2012, p. 1).
Human language is a unique mental equity and the use of language is deeply entrenched in human culture. Apart from being used to communicate and share information, it also has social and cultural uses, such as signifying ingrouping and identity (O'Connor, 2010, p. 1). The term language is often used interchangeably with communication and even speech, but it is important to define these terms in the context of speech pathology. Language can be defined as ‘code with structural properties characterized by a set of rules for producing and comprehending utterances’ (Nicolosi, Harryman, & Kresheck, 2004, p. 111). This is in contrast to speech; a ‘medium of oral communication that employs a linguistic code’ (Nicolosi et al., 2004, p. 254) or communication; ‘any means by which an individual relates experiences, ideas, knowledge and feelings to another’ (N...
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...ial Educational Needs, 8(1), 2-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-3802.2008.00096.x
Private Speech Pathologists' Association of Western Australia. (2011, 27 February 2012). What does a speech pathologist do? , from http://www.pspawa.com.au/html/what_do_we_do.html - What%20does%20a%20Speech%20Pathologist%20do
Snowling, M. J., & Hulme, C. (2012). Interventions for children's language and literacy difficulties. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 47(1), 27-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-6984.2011.00081.x
Speech Pathology Australia. (2012). What is a speech pathologist? , from http://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/library/1.1_What_is_a_Speech_Pathologist.pdf
Steele, S., & Mills, M. (2011). Vocabulary intervention for school-age children with language impairment: A review of evidence and good practice. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 27(3), 354.
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