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The Most Common Speech-Language Pathology Abbreviations

Wondering what a certain speech-language pathology abbreviation means—or when to use it? Check out this list for common SLP abbreviations.

Ryan Giebel
5 min read
April 11, 2023
image representing the most common speech-language pathology abbreviations
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The use of shorthand to denote medical diagnoses, devices, movements, anatomical landmarks, certifications, credentials, and more—whether in writing or via an EMR—is commonplace among today’s clinicians. However, the list of medical abbreviations is ridiculously lengthy, so we thought it would be beneficial to narrow our focus, and zero in on the most commonly used speech-language pathology (SLP) abbreviations. (Don’t worry; we’ve got lists for physical therapy and occupational therapy abbreviations, too.) 

To help us on our quest to discover as many SLP abbreviations as possible, we consulted a friend of WebPT, Paige Luetkemeyer, M.S., CCC-SLP (thanks, Paige!). We also divided this article up into three sections for easier scannability. And as the bulk of our speech-language pathology abbreviations fall into the clinical category, we’ll start there. 

Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Abbreviations

A couple of caveats before we dive into the list (don’t worry, we’ve kept this abbreviated—lol):

  • As with any abbreviation used for medical records and legal documents, a facility may have a prior agreed-upon list that supersedes anything that follows here, so consult with your company’s compliance department or EMR superuser to be safe. 
  • Speaking of compliance, the push for more inclusive language and transparency has led some agencies and organizations to eliminate abbreviations outright. Fortunately, text expanders—like the one built into the WebPT EMR—can change designated abbreviations into their full-text equivalents, saving you time in the process.

Alright, back to our regularly scheduled programming.


AAC – augmentative and alternative communication
ABR – auditory brainstem response
AD – assistive device
ADL – activity/activities of daily living
AICD – automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator
AKA – above-knee amputation
Amb – ambulation
A/P – anterior/posterior
ASD – autism spectrum disorder


B – bilateral
BID – twice a day
BKA – below-knee amputation


c (with a line over it) – with
CABG – coronary artery bypass graft (open heart surgery)
CAD – coronary artery disease
CAS – childhood apraxia of speech
CGA – contact guard assist
CHF – congestive heart failure
CHI – closed head injury
CI – cochlear implant
C/O – complains of
Cont – continue(d)
COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CP – cerebral palsy
CPAP – continuous positive airway pressure
CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CPSE – Committee on Preschool Special Education
CR – Cluster Reduction
CRF –chronic renal failure
CSF – cerebrospinal fluid
CVA – cerebrovascular accident
CVI – cortical visual impairment


DBP – Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician/Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics
dB HL – decibels hearing level
DC – discharge (or D/C)
DDK – Dysdiadochokinesia
DNR – do not resuscitate
DNT – did not test
DOE – dyspnea on exertion
d/t – due to
DTTC – Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing
DVT – deep vein thrombosis
Dx – diagnosis


EEG – electroencephalogram
EENT – eyes, ears, nose, and throat
EI – early intervention
EOB – edge of bed
Estim or ES – electrical stimulation
Ex – exercise
Ex Lap – exploratory laparotomy or laparoscopy 


FCD – final consonant deletion

FEES – fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing
FIM – functional independence level (also called FIM score)
FTT – failure to thrive
f/u – follow up
Fx – fracture
FWW – front-wheeled walker


GI – gastroenterologist or gastrointestinal
GP – generative phonology or general practitioner
GSW – gunshot wound


HAPP-3 – Hodson Assessment of Phonological Patterns, 3rd Ed
HEP – home exercise program
HEENT – head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat
HL – hearing loss
HNC – head and neck cancer
H/o – history of
HOB – head of bed
HOHA (HOH) – hand over hand assist
HP – hot pack
Hx – history
Hz – hertz (cycles/sound)


I (or Ind) – independent
ICD-10 – 10th revision: International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems
IALP – International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics
ICD – Initial Consonant Deletion
ICF – International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
ICF-CY – International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – Children and Youth
IDDSI – International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative
IEP – individualized education program
IFSP – individualized family service plan
IPA – International Phonetic Alphabet
IPA – International Phonetic Association
IV – intravenously


L – left
LBQC – large-base quad cane
LBW – low birth weight
LCL – lateral collateral ligament
LE – lower extremity
LLE – left lower extremity
LOA – level of assist
LOS – length of stay
LRE – least restrictive environment
LTG – long-term goals
LUE – left upper extremity


Max A – maximum assist
MBS – modified Barium swallowing study
MBSImP – Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile
MHP – moist hot pack
MI – myocardial infarction
Min A – minimum assist
MIT – Melodic Intonation Therapy
MLU – mean utterance length
MVA – motor vehicle accident
Mod I – modified independent


NBQC – narrow base quad cane
NG – nasogastric
NICU – neonatal intensive care unit
NKA – no known allergies
NMES – neuromuscular electrical stimulation
NNS – non-nutritive suck
NPO – nothing by mouth
NS-OME – Non-Speech Oral Motor Exercises
NS-OMT – Non-Speech Oral Motor Treatments
NVD – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea


O2 – oxygen
OB/GYN – obstetrics and gynecology
ODD – oppositional defiant disorder
OM – otitis media
OMA – Oral Musculature Assessment
OME – Otitis Media with Effusion
OME – Oral Musculature Examination
Oto – otolaryngology
OOB – out of bed


P – pain
PACS – Phonological Assessment of Child Speech
PACT – Parents and Children Together
PCC – Percentage of Consonants Correct
PCP – primary care provider
PE – pulmonary embolism
PEDS – pediatrics
PEG – percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
PECS – picture exchange communication system
PICC – peripherally inserted central catheter
PMX (or PMHx) – past medical history
PNF – proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation
PO – by mouth
PRN – as needed
PROMPT – prompts for restructuring oral muscular phonetic targets method
Pt – patient
PVC – Percentage of Vowels Correct
PVD – peripheral vascular disease
PVM – Place Voice Manner
PD – peritoneal dialysis  


Q – every
QC – quad cane
QD – every day
QID – four times a day


SAMPA – Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet
sCAS – suspected Childhood Apraxia of Speech
SEIT – Special Education Itinerant Teacher
SETT Framework – Student, Environments, Tasks, & Tools
SGD – Speech-Generating Device
SLI – Specific Language Impairment
SODA – Substitutions Omissions Distortions Additions
SPE – The Sound Patterns of English
SSD – Speech Sound Disorder(s)
SSP – Sonority Sequencing Principle


R – right
RA – rheumatoid arthritis
RCT – randomized controlled trial
RICE – rest, ice, compression, elevation
RLE – right lower extremity
RT – respiratory therapist/therapy
RUE – right upper extremity
RW – rolling walker
Rx – treatment or prescription


S (with a line over a lowercase S) – without
SBA – stand-by assist
SBQC – small base quad cane
SC – straight cane
SFA – semantic feature analysis
SGA – small for gestational age
SL – under the tongue
SLI – speech language impairment
SOB – shortness of breath
SOS Approach – sequential-oral-sensory approach to feeding
SPC – single-point cane
STS – sit-to-stand
SW – standard walker
Sz – seizure


TB – tuberculosis
TENS – transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation
THA – total hip arthroplasty
TherEx – therapeutic exercise
THR – total hip replacement
TIA – transient ischemic attack
TID – three times a day
TKA – total knee arthroplasty
TKR – total knee replacement
TMJ – temporomandibular joint
Total A – total assist
TOTs – tethered oral tissues
Trach – tracheostomy
Tx – treatment


UE – upper extremity
URI – upper respiratory infection
US – ultrasound
UTI – urinary tract infection


VCF – Velo-cardiofacial syndrome
VPI – Velopharyngeal insufficiency
VFSS – Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study


WBQC – wide-base quad cane
WC (or w/c) – wheelchair
WFL – within functional limits
WNL – within normal limits
WSD – weak syllable deletion
WW – wheeled walker


4WW – four-wheeled walker

Professional Speech-Language Pathology Abbreviations and Certifications

As with many healthcare professionals, there are a slew of certifications that follow many an SLP’s name. We’ve gathered as many as we could think of to help you better understand what each of these mean—and help you wade a bit more confidently through the alphabet soup that is often professional titles. 

ATC – Athletic Trainer, Certified
ATP – Assistive Technology Practitioner
BCS – Board Certified Specialist
BCS-CL – Board Certified Specialist in Child Language*
BCS-F – Board Certified Specialist in Fluency and Fluency Disorders*
BCS-IOM – Board Certified Specialist in Intraoperative Monitoring*
BCS-S – Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders*
CAPS – Certified Aging in Place Specialist
CBIS – Certified Brain Injury Specialist
CCC-A – Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology
CCC-SLP – Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology
CCI – Certified Clinical Instructor
CCM – Certified Case Manager
CCP – Clinical Certification Program
CCSC – Committee on Clinical Specialty Certification
CDE – Certified Diabetes Educator
CDRS – Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist
CFCC – Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
CHC – Certified in Healthcare Compliance
CPHQ – Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality
CPHRM – Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management
CPT – Certified Personal Trainer
CPT – Certified Pilates Teacher
CSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
CYI – Certified Yoga Instructor
CYT – Certified Yoga Therapist
EdD – Doctor of Education
HHP – Holistic Health Practitioner
LMT – Licensed Massage Therapist
MBA – Master of Business Administration
MHA – Master of Healthcare Administration
MPH – Master in Public Health
M.S. – Master of Science
Ph.D. – Doctor of Philosophy
RHIA – Registered Health Information Administrator
* Designates an official certification within ASHA and the CCSC

Interprofessional Rehab Therapy Abbreviations and Designations

Working in a team with other professionals is common for rehab therapists. So to better understand a teammate’s background and expertise, here is a list of some common credentials seen working alongside SLPs.

CDE – Certified Diabetes Educator
COTA – Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
DO – Doctor in Osteopathic Medicine
DPT – Doctor of Physical Therapy
DHSc – Doctorate in Health Sciences
LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse
LPT – Licensed Physical Therapist
MD – Medical Doctor
MPT – Master of Physical Therapy
MOT – Master of Occupational Therapy
MSOT – Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
NP – Nurse Practitioner
OT – Occupational Therapist/Therapy
OTA – Occupational Therapy Assistant
OTD – Occupational Therapy Doctorate
OTR/L – Occupational Therapist, Registered/Licensed
PA – Physician's Assistant
PT – Physical Therapist/Therapy
PTA – Physical Therapist Assistant
RN – Registered Nurse
RPT – Registered Physical Therapist
RT – Respiratory Therapist/Therapy
Sc.D – Doctor of Science
SLA – Speech-Language Assistant
SLP – Speech-Language Pathologist/Pathology
SLPA – Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

This is certainly not an exhaustive series of lists, and the field of speech-language pathology continues to grow with new opportunities and specialties on the horizon. With that in mind, we’ll update this article periodically as new certifications and specializations come to light!


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