The Speech Therapist is the professional responsible for the prevention, evaluation, intervention and scientific study of human communication disorders, encompassing not only all functions associated with the understanding and expression of oral and written language but also other forms of non-verbal communication. The Speech Therapist also intervenes at the level of swallowing (safe passage of food and beverages through the oropharynx in order to ensure proper nutrition). The Speech Therapist assesses and intervenes in individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, with the general objective of optimizing the individual’s communication and/or swallowing abilities, thus improving their quality of life (ASHA, 2007).
Areas of Intervention
Since birth, the Speech Therapist has a fundamental role in the harmonious development of the baby. In the Neonatal Care Units it provides care in the area of feeding and communication to the newborn baby and its parents.
In pre-school children their intervention focuses on promoting language, vocal and communication skills as well as the intervention of their disorders.
It plays a fundamental role in school-age children and young people in the intervention of reading and writing disorders, in the enhancement of communication and stuttering.
In adulthood, its intervention focus is mostly on acquired language disorders, vocal pathologies and swallowing. It also has a preponderant role in promoting communication and voice skills in the most diverse professionals. (APTF)