Speech and language therapists (SLTs) work closely with infants, children and adults who have various levels of speech, language and communication problems, and with those who have swallowing, drinking or eating difficulties. There are around 2.5 million people in the UK with a speech or language difficulty.
The role can involve working with a diverse client group, including people with physical and learning disabilities, hearing loss/deafness, psychiatric disorders or dementia.
Therapists assess a client's needs before developing individual treatment programmes to enable each client to improve as much as possible. Treatment plans often involve other people with whom the client has a close relationship, e.g. family, carers or teachers.
SLTs usually work as part of a multidisciplinary team, alongside other health professionals such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. They may also liaise with professionals in education and social services.
Tasks typically involve:
Therapists operating at more senior levels may be involved in the following:
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