Speech Language Pathology
Speech language pathology is the study and treatment of disorders that affect a person's speech, language, cognition, voice and/or swallowing.
Communication and swallowing problems can result from a stroke, head injury or other neurological conditions. Our speech pathologists work with patients individually, evaluating their skills and developing programs specifically suited to meet his or her needs.
Speech and language services can help you or a loved one correct or compensate for communication difficulties, including:
- The loss of ability to speak or understand speech (aphasia)
- Cognitive-communications disorders involving attention, memory, reasoning and judgment
- Surgery in which the larynx or “voice box” is removed (laryngectomy)
- Articulation and speech intelligibility (ability to be understood)
- Vocal quality and reducing vocal abuse, including working with those who use their voice professionally
Licensed speech language pathologists provide evaluations and treatment of dysphagia
(swallowing dysfunction). Dysphagia may result in aspiration, choking or unwanted weight loss.
Evaluations involve the patient swallowing liquids and solids of varying amounts and consistencies. Any or all procedures may be recommended to assess swallowing function depending on the nature and severity of the problem. The type of procedure used is generally determined by the speech language pathologist in consultation with the physician.
Many voice disorders are reversible and can be treated if diagnosed early. Some of our voice services include:
- Increasing control of the muscles for speech
- Improving a horse or weak voice
- Voice therapy for Parkinson's disease
- Augmentative communication devices to help patients, who are unable to speak, communicate their needs using technology
Voice problems have multiple causes, including upper respiratory infection, inflammation from acid reflux, vocal overuse, laryngeal cancer, and neuromuscular diseases such as spasmodic dysphonia
, vocal cord paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke
, Lou Gehrig’s disease and multiple sclerosis
. Psychological trauma can also result in vocal problems, as can excessive smoking or drinking. Some disorders occur with no apparent cause.