Role of SLP


Screening, identification, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, intervention and follow up services for the disorders of:

  • speech (articulation, fluency, voice)
  • language (including disorders of receptive and expressive communication in oral, written, graphic and manual modalities)
  • oral, pharyngeal, cervical, oesophageal and related functions e.g. dysphagia, including disorders of swallowing and oral function for feeding; orofacial myofunctional disorders
  • cognitive aspects of communication
  • social aspects of communication

As well as:

  • Developing effective alternative and augmentative communication techniques or strategies and training individuals and families in their use;
  • Selecting and fitting effective /appropriate prosthetic/ adaptive devices for speaking and swallowing;
  • Using instrumental technology to diagose and treat disorders of communication and swallowing;
  • Providing aural rehabilitation to children with hearing impairment;
  • Collaborating on assessment of CAPD, management partner;
  • Audio screening: pure-tone air conduction and tympanometry;
  • Enhancing speech and language proficiency ;
  • Consultation and counseling, referrals; training and supporting family members; training / supervising support personnel;
  • Developing and managing academic and clinical programmes as well as conducting and applying research .

Communication Pathologies: Some Causes and Contributing Factors

The are a number of different causes that lead to a range of communication problems. Communication problems include:

  • Delays in young children learning to use language as they should;
  • Problems in the production of sounds which make speech unclear and difficult to understand;
  • Language based problems in learning, reading and writing;
  • Stutter or other problems with fluency of speech;
  • Voice problems such as hoarseness and loss of voice;
  • Communication problems may occur in association with specific conditions such as Cerebral Palsy or with cleft palate;
  • Adults who may have communication difficulties due to strokes or head injuries.
A student with two children with cleft lip and palate immediatley pre-surgery. This student was invovled with the Operation Smile campaign in the Eastern Cape

Exciting and Challenging Work Opportunities include:

  • Developing and running awareness programmes for effective use of the voice by singers and public speakers
  • Organizing support groups e.g. for people who stutter and their families or for parents of children who cannot speak
  • Engaging in collaborative management programmes e.g. with teachers in fostering written language skills.

Available Career opportunities

Speech-Language Therapists can work in the following occupational settings:

  • State and private Hospitals
  • Assessment and Therapy Centres
  • Special schools for cognitively impaired, physically disabled or learning disabled
  • Clinics serving mainstream schools
  • Homes for the Elderly
  • Private practice
  • Teaching and Research programmes at Universities.