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Speech-language pathology is the treatment for the improvement or cure of communication disorders, including speech, language, and swallowing disorders. The discipline of speech-language pathology includes professionals that are trained in the techniques, strategies, and interventions designed to improve or correct communication disorders. Communication disorders include disorders of speech, language, and swallowing. Language disorders include developmental or acquired conditions that lead to difficulties in understanding or producing language. Speech-language pathologists participate in the screening, assessment, and treatment of patients who experience one or a combination of these disorders. Persons with isolated speech sound disorders are often helped by articulation therapy, in which they practice repeating specific sounds, words, phrases, and sentences. For individuals experiencing voice disorders, a combination of medical and behavioral treatments are often helpful. For stuttering and other fluency disorders, treatment approaches usually help individuals develop techniques to both reduce the severity of stuttering and allow the individual to produce more fluent speech.
For all of these therapies, individuals are taught to cope more effectively with their speech in progressively difficult situations, starting with speaking alone to the pathologist and ending with speaking to a group of people.