What is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP)?

SLPs are professionals who identify, evaluate, and treat a wide range of speech, language and swallowing disorders throughout the lifespan. An SLP has a master’s or doctoral degree based on specified coursework and supervised clinical practice, has passed a national standardized examination, and has completed additional time (post-master’s degree) under supervised clinical work (Clinical Fellowship Year).

What do Speech and Language Pathologists do?

Evaluate speech, language, swallowing, and cognitive-communicative problems. Assess the nature and severity of an individual’s swallowing or communicative problems. Develop and implement a treatment program in collaboration with the patient, family and team. Assist patients, when appropriate, with alternative and augmentative means of communication ranging from simple hand movements or alphabet boards to more complex and high-tech electronic devices. Collaborate with team members to facilitate the individual’s functioning and independence. Counsel and educate patients and caregivers on evaluation results, recommendations and resources. Plan discharge according to what is needed for continued recovery at the next level of care. Advocate for patients and families with health insurance providers, employers, and services. Participate in research in various settings to discover new and more effective ways to serve our patients.

How is a speech, language, cognitive, or swallowing problem acquired?

People with communication disorders are young, old, and in-between. Their problems may have existed from birth or resulted from an illness, accident or disease.

What happens during Speech-Language, Cognitive, Swallow and Voice Evaluations?

Prior to the evaluation

  • A questionnaire is completed regarding your concerns and your loved one’s medical, developmental, and educational history.
  • We will request medical information from the child’s pediatrician or adult’s primary care physician, and may also request information from other medical or educational professionals who have evaluated the child. The appropriate referral and authorization forms will be given ahead of time to collect information.
During the evaluation
  • Your loved one’s medical, developmental, and educational history is carefully reviewed. Parents or caregivers are interviewed regarding their concerns and the patient’s history. This information helps the Speech-Language Pathologist identify areas to evaluate more closely.
  • A variety of methods, including formal and informal tests, observation, parent/caregiver interview, and activities will be used to evaluate your loved one’s speech, language, cognition, swallowing and voice. Selection of testing methods is based on individual needs.
Following the evaluation
  • Initial results of the evaluation and recommendations are reviewed with you and the patient (and child, if age appropriate). A written report detailing evaluation results will be mailed to your home and to your child’s physician (if requested)

What is a Treatment Plan?

A treatment plan is an individualized plan created by the Speech-Language Pathologist to address your child’s speech, language, cognitive, swallowing and/or voice needs.
The plan may include:

  • Recommendations for therapy or re-screening/re-evaluation at a later time
  • Initial goals to address during therapy
  • Referrals to other professionals (i.e., audiologist, medical specialist, occupational/physical therapist, etc…)
  • Referral to other community services, such as an early intervention program
  • Suggestions for parents/caregivers and educator

How do I make a speech therapy referral?

To make a referral for a Speech-Language-Cognitive Evaluation, or Swallow Evaluation please call Summit Speech Therapy at 214-518-5777 or use our contact form.

Still have questions?


4500 Hillcrest Rd,

Ste 140,

Frisco, TX 75035


Phone: (469) 331-9933
Fax: (469) 305-7388

Mon - Fri: 9am - 630pm

​​Saturday: 10am - 2pm

​Sunday: closed

© 2019 Summit Speech Therapy, PLLC

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