What is Speech Pathology?

Speech pathology is about effective communication. Whether it’s talking on the phone, having a beer with mates at the pub or working effectively in a team, communication is key to being understood in most aspects of life. 

Many people associate working with a speech pathologist with manual or mechanical issues, things such as slurred speech post-stroke, or swallowing issues. However, working with a speech pathologist can enhance all forms of effective communication skills.

Why Would A Veteran See A Speech Pathologist?

Imagine being able to feel heard and understood by your boss and workmates, reading and understanding books or technical work more easily or creating a deeper more vibrant relationship with your romantic partners; effective communication skills are at the heart of everything that makes life enjoyable.

There are many reasons why a veteran might benefit from seeing a speech pathologist. Speech pathologists are an indispensable part of any multidisciplinary team.

They offer crucial assessment information that helps with differential diagnosis, provide effective interventions to address communication and swallowing difficulties and contribute to policy development. There is an emphasis on the importance of Speech Pathologists being included in the management of mental health, as communicative competence is central to successful relationships, social engagement and employment skills, all critical determinants of mental health.

Speech Pathologists are essential in the management of mental health as communicating effectively is central to successful relationships, social engagement, and employment skills.​

How Does A Speech Pathologist Work?

Like many other Allied Health practitioners, Speech Pathologists need to take a detailed health history, they will often work in conjunction with other health practitioners who can provide, with the consent of the veteran, additional medical information that helps create a treatment plan. They are trained to diagnose and treat communication disorders that may arise from issues with hearing loss, brain injury, and other problems that affect speech and language. This includes problems with:

Who can access Speech Pathology services?

Veterans who have a Gold Card and there is clinical relevance for the treatment are able to access the full range of allied health services that are funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

White Cards with Accepted Conditions will be able to access services that have been deemed clinically necessary for their specific conditions. 

Non-Liability Mental Health White Cards may need to have a referral for specific conditions from a psychologist and general practitioner for specific conditions.

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