Speech Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) assess, diagnose, and treat oral-motor, swallowing, cognitive-linguistic, speech, fluency/stuttering, voice, and language disorders.
A patient is said to have a speech disorder when he or she is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently or has difficulty with their voice or resonance. When a person has a language disorder, he or she has trouble understanding others or sharing their feelings, thoughts, and ideas.
Who Needs Speech-Language Therapy?
There are numerous conditions that require treatment by an SLP. These are a few.
- SLPs work with patients who have problems with their voice or resonance, which may be caused by vocal cord injury.
- Speech-language therapy benefits patients who have experienced a stroke, brain injury, or head and neck cancer, or those who have neuromuscular disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. These patients may have difficulty with speech, swallowing, or aphasia (loss of ability to understand or express speech).
- SLPs provide therapy for stuttering (dysfluency) as well as for accent modification.
How Do SLPs Treat Disorders?
SLPs use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and treat voice and resonance disorders. Vocal therapy involves improving the biomechanics of voice production. The goal is to restore vocal function and quality by implementing exercises to improve vocal cord strength, endurance, and flexibility, and the balance of breathing, phonation (producing sounds), and resonance.
Our expert SLPs work closely with the otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat) and plastic surgery departments to provide comprehensive patient care.
When the patient has difficulty with swallowing, a modified barium swallow study may be done in conjunction with the radiology department to further evaluate function.
These are just a few examples of how speech therapists improve the quality of their patients’ lives.