What Does a Speech-Language Pathologist Do?

Published on: 2019/10/03


At Comprehensive Rehab, we have a highly-qualified staff of speech-language pathologists. But what does a speech-language pathologist do?


Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, treat and help prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

While informally known as “speech therapists,” speech-language pathologists hold at least a master’s degree and are state certified/licensed in their field.


They work with individuals who have problems with language and speech, including related cognitive or social communication issues.

Patients may speak with difficulty or have rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering. They may also be unable to speak at all.

Those with speech disorders may have an impairment of articulation of speech, sounds, fluency or voice.


Significant speech disorders can impact a child’s self-esteem, their relationship with others and may impact their ability to read, spell or write.

Speech disorders include

  • Articulation - the way we say our speech sounds
  • Phonology - the speech patterns we use
  • Apraxia - difficulty planning and coordinating the movements needed to make speech sounds
  • Fluency - stuttering
  • Voice - with the way the voice sound

Speech-language pathologists also work with patients who have language disorders.

Language disorders include

  • Receptive language - difficulty understanding language
  • Expressive language - difficulty using language
  • Pragmatic language - social communication and the way we speak to one another

A speech-language pathologist may also assist with oral-motor disorders, in which a client has a weak tongue and/or lip muscles as well as swallowing or feeding disorders and difficulty chewing or swallowing.

At Comprehensive Rehab, our speech therapy department is equipped to provide services across the age spectrum. Regardless of age or diagnosis, we have a treatment to suit your unique needs and goals.

Comprehensive Rehab has Iowa locations in Clinton, Davenport, Muscatine, and Maquoketa.