What is speech and language therapy?

Speech and language therapy is concerned with the management of disorders of speech, language, communication and swallowing in children and adults.

 

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are allied health professionals. They work closely with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors.

Speech and language therapists work in these areas:

  • community health centres
  • hospital wards
  • outpatient departments
  • mainstream and special schools
  • children’s centres
  • day centres
  • clients’ homes
  • courtrooms
  • prisons
  • young offenders’ institutions
  • independently/in private practice

Speech and language therapists work with:

Babies with

  • feeding and swallowing difficulties

Children with

  • mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties
  • physical disabilities
  • language delay
  • specific language impairment
  • specific difficulties in producing sounds
  • hearing impairment
  • cleft palate
  • stammering
  • autism/social interaction difficulties
  • dyslexia
  • voice disorders
  • selective mutism

 

Adults with

  • communication or eating and swallowing problems following neurological impairments and degenerative conditions, including stroke, head injury, Parkinson’s disease and dementia
  • head, neck or throat cancer
  • voice problems
  • mental health issues
  • learning difficulties
  • physical disabilities
  • stammering
  • hearing impairment