Fact Sheets

Speech Pathology Australia has produced a range of fact sheets on a number of important topics.

What is a Speech Pathologist? 
Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speech, language, fluency and voice.

Communication impairment in Australia
Communication involves speaking, hearing, listening, understanding, social skills, reading, writing and using voice.

Stuttering is a speech disorder that causes interruptions in the rhythm or flow of speech.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication 
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is any type of communication strategy for people with a range of conditions who have significant difficulties speaking.

Helping Your Baby to Talk 
Language is fundamental to a baby’s development.

The Sound of Speech: 0 – 3 years 
(The ages and stages of children’s speech development)
Learning to speak is a crucial part of a child’s development and the most intensive period of speech and language development happens in the first three years of life.

The Sound of Speech: Preschool and School Aged Children
(The ages and stages of children’s speech development)
Learning to speak is a crucial part of a child’s development and progress made in the preschool and early school years is crucial to mastering the rules of language.

Speech Pathology and Indigenous Children
Speech pathologists working with Indigenous communities play a role in assisting with access to other specialist medical, allied health or educational services.

Speech Pathology in Mental Health Services 
Mental health is related to promotion of well-being and prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental health disorders.

Communication and Swallowing Difficulties following Stroke
Sixty percent of people who have had a stroke will develop a swallowing difficulty (dysphagia).

Speech Pathologists Working with Older People
As people age their speech, language, memory, voice and swallowing changes naturally.

Autism Spectrum Disorder 
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? The term ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’ (ASD) describes a condition that affects the way a person makes sense of, and interacts with, other people and their environment.

Learning to read and write is a crucial part of a child’s development. Reading and writing (literacy) are essential skills for adults. Being literate means that people can understand and follow written instructions, find out information online or in books, write letters and emails, and send text messages. It also means that a child or adult is able to participate fully in their education and learning.

Like breathing, swallowing is a reflex and essential to everyday life. Humans swallow at least 900 times a day: around three times an hour during sleep, once per minute while awake and even more often during meals. We swallow food, liquids, medicine and saliva. People who have trouble swallowing are at risk of poor nutrition and dehydration, while babies and children may not take in enough nutrients to support growth and brain development.

The human voice provides the basic sound for speech and singing. It expresses much of the meaning of what we want to say. Our voice tells other people a lot about our emotions, personality and physical and emotional health.