A speech therapist is a specialist with a higher education who treats speech disorders and related psychological problems. Speech therapists help to improve oral and written speech and language and to develop understanding and communication skills. A speech therapist can also give advice to people who suffer from voice or swallowing problems following an illness or for some other reason. Additionally, speech therapists provide aural rehabilitation for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. During the first appointment, the specialist assesses the severity of the problem, examines the patient’s background and draws up a rehabilitation plan.