What can a Speech Pathologist do for me?
Speech Pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speech, language, swallowing, fluency and voice.
They work with people who have difficulty communicating because of developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disability, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, dementia and hearing loss, as well as other problems that can affect speech and language.
People who experience difficulties swallowing food and drink safely can also be helped by a speech pathologist.
Speech Pathologists are specialists who work with people across their entire lifespan. An adult might visit a speech pathologist to help them understand and find the right words to use after a stroke, while a child might need treatment to help their expressive language (putting words together and being understood) or receptive language (understanding instructions and meanings). Speech pathologists also work with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), devices that help people who find it difficult to speak or write to communicate more easily. This can include unaided systems like signing and gestures or aided systems like picture charts, books and special computers or devices.
Speech pathology is practised in a wide variety of settings schools, hospitals, aged care homes, universities, kindergartens, rehabilitation centres, community health centres, private practice and mental health services. Some speech pathologists specialise in areas of complex need, such as autism or cerebral palsy and may work in specialist intervention services for people with these disabilities.
Speech Pathologists are university-qualified professionals. Most are registered with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) but it is not a legal requirement. They undertake ongoing training and education programs to ensure that they are aware of current knowledge and new therapies.
Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4.30pm
Health Services Building, Portland District Health
Phone: (03) 5521 0653
Fax: (03) 5521 0372
- Assess individual communication abilities
- Assess and provide strategies for swallowing difficulties
- Provide adults who have communication difficulties with strategies
- Support parents who have children with communication difficulties
- Provide therapy support for adults and children who are having speech difficulties
- Support kindergarten and daycare staff when working with a child with communication difficulties
- Provide strategies for children and adults with voice challenges
Speech pathology services may be accessed directly by individuals, their family members and / or care givers.
Referrals from your GP or other health professional may be emailed or faxed to the above contacts.