What does a speech and language therapist do?

Job title: Speech and language therapist

Where you’ll meet them

Anywhere in a hospital from a hospital ward to outpatients, or a speech and language therapy department. Speech and language therapists also work in the community, including in health centres, schools and children’s centres.

What they’ll do

Help with people who have speech, language and communication problems, or eating and swallowing problems. There are usually separate services for children and adults. They will often support people after a stroke or head injury, and may also work with people with cancer, deafness, dementia, stammering, or any difficulties with chewing, talking or swallowing. They will first assess the problems through observation, talking to you or by using relevant tests. The therapist will then devise a treatment plan appropriate to your needs. This may involve activities, exercises and use of strategies to help. After you’ve left hospital, the therapist should refer you on to other therapists in the community, if needed, so that treatment can continue.

Training

At least a three-year degree course.

Read Ken Rollin’s story of how he recovered from a stroke that left him unable to communicate

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