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What does a speech pathologist do?

For anyone who hasn’t required speech therapy personally or for a loved one, there’s often a perception that speech pathologists solely help children who have a stammer or lisp. While this is one aspect of the job, there’s far more to the role of a speech pathologist than this.

Our team of speech pathologists at Sunbreak Speech Therapy work with clients of all ages, who have a vast range of therapy needs, in a variety of settings. The complexity of speech and language conditions we treat is extensive, supporting every need from newborn babies in the NICU with a tongue-tie, to end of life care in nursing homes. Beyond speech-related issues, our team also helps clients who need to stimulate their brain to improve language skills and memory.

Here’s a few of the different environments we work in and types of clients we support:

· Preschools - helping young children develop their fundamental communication skills if there has been a delay in their development.

· Schools - supporting students who are experiencing speech and language developmental challenges that are impacting their schooling and ability to communicate with others.

· Homes - using familiar household items, the home routines, and surroundings to implement speech therapy that develops articulation and vocabulary use.

· Hospitals - in the NICU, ICU and rehab departments, where patients require assistance with developing or restoring key speech, language and communication functional skills. For example, stroke patients who need to relearn how to speak, or patients who have had surgery on a cleft palate.

· Nursing homes - for end of life care, such as feeding therapy, when swallowing has become difficult.

· Memory care - helping people with dementia maintain and support memory, communication, and aid challenges with eating, drinking and swallowing.

· Autism programs - assisting people with autism comprehend both verbal and nonverbal communication used by others

· Vocal coaching - for people who have undergone gender reassignment

· Accent reduction - for clients who want to train their voice in a way that will help them progress professionally or feel more confident about how their voice sounds.

We also work closely in partnership with other health professionals, including: ear, nose and throat doctors (ENTs), dentists, orthodontists, pediatricians, nutritionists, dieticians, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, mental health professionals, psychologists, and teachers. Sometimes there are physical reasons why someone is having difficulty with their speech (such as a cleft palate or tongue tie). In other cases social, emotional, mental and behavioral factors can impact speech and language development. Consequently, sometimes multiple health support services are required to ensure an individual’s unique needs are met so depending on those needs, there can be several different services working together.

If you you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, please call 503-266-1030 or email

Alternatively, you can book a free 15-minute consultation by clicking here.


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