Speech-Language paThoLogy

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Page 1: Speech-Language paThoLogy

Speech-Language paThoLogy

Page 2: Speech-Language paThoLogy

The Speech-Language paThoLogiST (S-Lp) iS a Trained profeSSionaL reSponSibLe for The aSSeSSmenT and TreaTmenT of a wide range of communicaTion diSorderS, Such aS:

Language (speaking, understanding, reading, and writing)

ex.: Language disorders, dyslexia, aphasia following a stroke or head injury, etc.


Ex.: Difficulties associated with other general issues such as deafness, motor impairment, autism, dementia, intellectual disability, etc.


Ex.: Stuttering, difficulty with articulation due to a degenerative disease such as parkinson’s, etc.


Ex.: Problems related to the presence of nodules on the vocal cords or resulting from throat surgery due to cancer (laryngectomy), etc.


Ex.: Tongue thrusting behaviors such as commonly seen in children who suck their thumb or other behaviors that cause the teeth to move and for which a dental retainer must be worn; dysphagia caused by a stroke or degenerative disease, etc.

These difficulties can occur suddenly or develop gradually. They can last for several months or years and are often developmental.

Through various interventions, Speech-Language Pathologists will strive to develop, restore, or maintain their patients’ ability to communicate in order to promote their independence and ensure their integration into family, school, professional, and social activities. S-LPs work closely with family members and other health and education professionals, providing them with information and support.

Speech-Language Pathologists must have obtained a Master’s degree.

The profession of Speech-Language Pathology holds a protected title and reserved activities. Speech-Language Pathologists must be members of the Ordre des orthophonistes et audiologistes du Québec (OOAQ) in order to be recognized with the title and allowed to perform the reserved activities. Obtaining a license from the OOAQ after acquiring a Master’s degree is mandatory in order to legally practice in Québec. For more information, visit the Ordre’s website at www.ooaq.qc.ca.

Page 3: Speech-Language paThoLogy

spheres of professionaL praCtiCe

Speech-Language Pathologists work in a variety of settings, including health, education, research, and private practice. Depending on the setting, the S-LP’s clientele may be preschool and school-age children, teenagers, adults, or seniors. Their work includes the promotion of healthy communication habits and prevention as well as assessment and rehabilitation. They therefore play a number of different roles including that of clinician, expert, consultant, health advocate, and communicator.

SchoolsChildren may experience speech or language difficulties due to a number of different issues or problems such as learning disabilities or behavioral disorders, intellectual, motor, or hearing impairments due to a neurological disorder or an emotional or psychological problem.

After an initial assessment, the S-LP will determine a treatment and intervention plan and will ensure its’ implementation in order to improve the patient’s communication skills.

when working with students, the s-Lp:

› screens and identifies oral and written communication problems;

› assesses the nature, extent and severity of language disorders;

› creates a speech-language treatment and intervention plan;

› identifies and prioritizes specific treatment objectives;

› improves a student’s communication skills and targets or corrects areas of weakness through individual, small group, or class sessions;

› recommends coping strategies and teaches students how to use technology to help with their learning disabilities.

when working with parents, the s-Lp:

› keeps them informed of their child’s language and speech development;

› teaches parents the proper strategies and attitudes for effective communication;

› actively involves them in the rehabilitation process through therapies and home activities;

› counsels parents to accept their child’s limitations.

Page 4: Speech-Language paThoLogy

when working with teaChers and other professionaLs, the s-Lp:

› discusses the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s language and speech abilities and establishes a link with the student’s learning disabilities;

› recommends proper strategies and attitudes for healthy and effective communication;

› collaborates with teachers and supports in-class communication.

the objeCtiVes of speeCh-Language interVentions are to:

› help students become as functional as possible and improve their learning abilities;

› reduce or eliminate language challenges so that students may eventually better understand spoken and written language and improve their own oral and writing skills ;

› improve students’ all-around communication skills;

› prevent social isolation.

Health and Social Services and private practiceSpeech-Language Pathologists may work in private practice or in a health and social services center in a hospital, rehabilitation center, or long-term care facility.

the s-Lp’s roLe is to:

› assess all aspects of a client’s spoken and written language, as well as his speech, voice, and swallowing abilities;

› confirm or rule out the presence of communication disabilities, identify any related conditions and how these may be affecting the patient on a personal, social, academic, and professional level;

› work with patients to establish objectives based on their abilities, difficulties, and needs;

› educate patients and their families on the nature and severity of the challenge and recommend solutions;

› conduct individual and group therapies;

› educate other professionals on ways to communicate more effectively with the patient;

› recommend alternative means of communication.

Page 5: Speech-Language paThoLogy

the s-Lp’s goaLs may inCLude:

› developing functional communication between patients and their social network;

› improving the patients’ understanding of spoken and written messages;

› coaching patients to form complete sentences and generate intelligible speech;

› establishing strategies to compensate for or replace spoken and/or written communication so that patients can make themselves understood;

› developing basic language skills to facilitate learning;

› preventing or controlling stuttering;

› regaining vocal function;

› swallowing without risk of choking.

In addition to individual patients, various organizations also call upon the services of professional Speech-Language Pathologists in private practice, including school boards, Centres intégrés universitaires de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS), daycares, childcare centers, youth centers, employee assistance programs, the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), and the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).

Research and EducationSpeech-Language Pathologists work in the fields of education and research, sharing information in both speech and language sciences as well as in communication sciences and disorders.

Research fields are quite varied, including language function and development, underlying cognitive and neurological factors, interventions targeting communication disorders, rehabilitation and social integration, the effects of aging on the neurobiology of language and speech, and clinical approaches to assessing and treating language and speech disorders, to name a few.

Studies in communication sciences use qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies.

Research and teaching in Speech-Language Pathology aim to expand evidence-based knowledge and improve clinical practice and the quality of public services related to communication disorders.

Page 6: Speech-Language paThoLogy

The miSSion of The ordre deS

orThophoniSTeS eT audioLogiSTeS

du Québec (ooaQ) iS To proTecT

The pubLic in aLL SphereS of pracTice

of iTS memberShip Such aS hearing,

Language, voice, Speech, communicaTion

and Their diSorderS.