Speech Pathologist, Speech Therapist and Speech-Language Pathologist. Is there a difference? 

We regularly field questions from families and members of the public regarding our job title  “What is the difference between a speech therapist and a speech pathologist?” or “My child sees a speech-language pathologist, is that the same as a speech pathologist?”

Simply put, there is no difference between a speech pathologist, speech therapist or speech-language pathologist.  In fact, the ONLY difference is in the name! Each one of these titles is interchangeable. 

In Australia the term speech pathologist is commonly used.  It is more common to hear the term speech therapist in the United Kingdom. In the United States, speech-language pathologist is often the preferred term.

You can know for sure that regardless of whether a therapist uses the term speech pathologist, speech-language pathologist or speech therapist (or the acronyms SP, ST or SLP!) they mean the same thing and will have the same qualifications. 

What’s in a name? What is speech pathology? 

Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using voice.

They work with people who have difficulty communicating because of developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disability, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, dementia and hearing loss, as well as other problems that can affect speech and language. People who experience difficulties swallowing food and drink safely can also be helped by a speech pathologist.

Why do we prefer pathologist? 

Here at Active Speech Pathology we prefer to be called speech pathologists.

Pathologist means ‘to find the causes and effects of something’. We feel this captures the essence of our role as experts in communication. We work hard to find the cause of communication difficulties and carry out the best treatment following evidence-based practice, for those same difficulties. 

If you have concerns about your child’s communication and would like to see one our Speech Pathologists, call us on 3103 0776.