What is speech pathology?

Posted on 24 August 2015 by Yooralla

This week is Speech Pathology Week, raising awareness of the role and importance of speech pathologists and the support they provide to people with communication and swallowing disorders.

But do you know what speech pathology involves? Here are 11 interesting facts.

  1. It’s estimated that over 1.1 million Australians have a communication or swallowing disorder.
  2. Speech pathologists work with people who have trouble communicating.
  3. People at any age can benefit from the support of a speech pathologist – from children who have difficulty with language and sentences to stroke survivors who are working to regain their communication skills.
  4. Despite what the name suggests, speech pathologists don’t just help people to communicate with speech – they also help people communicate in other ways, such as through assistive devices and tools like key word boards through to electronic speech devices.
  5. Around 13 000 Australians use electronic aids to communicate
  6. Language, understanding words and being understood are also areas speech pathologists can assist with.
  7. Speech pathologists help people who have difficulty swallowing.
  8. You can find speech pathologists working in a number of settings and specialities – in schools, kindergartens, hospitals, community health centres, disability services and private practices.
  9. For children, there are certain ‘milestones’ in the development of speech and communication. If these milestones aren’t being reached, you may need to seek help from a speech pathologist.
  10. Speech pathology will be available under the National Disability Insurance Scheme for individuals with goals in their plan to improve communication, for example.
  11. Yooralla’s speech pathologists provide assessment and therapy for eating and drinking, speech, language, and communication regardless of complexity.


Speech Pathology Australia factsheets

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