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Adult Speech Language Pathology

Our certified Speech-Language Pathologists help people of all ages improve quality of life by maximizing their communication potential and/or swallowing function. Our SLPs work in collaboration with other members of your rehabilitation team, which may include physical therapists, occupational therapists, physicians, and dieticians, to tailor your therapy to your needs. We help you formulate goals for how you would like to improve, and we help you reach your goals.

We provide assessment and treatment for the following:

Aphasia

Aphasia is a language disorder that results from damage to the language centers of the brain and can affect ability to speak, read, write, and listen. Symptoms include: difficulty finding words, speaking in single words or short phrases, stringing together nonsense words, difficulty understanding spoken messages or written material, and difficulty spelling and writing sentences that make sense. Some people with aphasia may require Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) techniques/tools.

What can cause Aphasia?

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Brain tumors or infections; brain surgery
  • Progressive Neurological Diseases (such as dementia)

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) will thoroughly assess your language skills. Therapy may include treatment designed to improve language function and/or compensate for language deficits. Additionally, your SLP can help you implement an AAC system, if necessary, and will work with your family/caregivers to help them support your ability to communicate. Therapy will help maximize your ability to communicate and function independently in daily life.

Cognitive-Communication Disorders

A cognitive-communication disorder can involve difficulty with memory, attention, organization, problem solving, safety awareness, decision making, social judgment, and planning. Problems can make it difficult to independently pay bills, remember appointments, stay on task at work, use a calendar or clock, take medications appropriately, maintain personal hygiene, read and follow instructions, etc.

What can cause a Cognitive-Communication Disorder?

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Progressive Neurological Disorders
  • Dementia
  • Brain tumors or brain infections

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will thoroughly evaluate your cognitive-communication skills. Treatment may be designed to restore function (i.e., improve memory, attention, or other cognitive skill) and/or help you compensate for such difficulties. For example, an SLP can train you to use memory strategies and tools to aid your memory, even if memory problems persist. Therapy will help you achieve your highest level of independent functioning for daily living.

Dysarthria

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder. Symptoms include speech that is: difficult to understand, slurred, nasal sounding, slow in rate, monotone, and weak/quiet.

In severe or progressive cases of dysarthria, Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) may be necessary to help a person communicate..

What can cause Dysarthria?

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Disorders of the Nervous System (examples: Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, MS)
  • Brain tumors or infections

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will thoroughly evaluate your speech. Therapy may include exercises to strengthen muscles, improve coordination of breathing and speech, and improve your ability to be understood by others. Therapy may also include instruction in strategies, such as slowing your rate of speech. If necessary, your SLP can help you implement an AAC system. Therapy will facilitate effective communication so you can function as independently as possible.

Apraxia of Speech

Apraxia is a motor speech disorder that involves difficulty producing, sequencing, and coordinating speech sounds. Symptoms include: errored speech sounds (for vowels and consonants), inconsistent errors and fluctuating speech, monotone speech, slowed speech, and speech that is very difficult to understand. In severe cases, Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) may be necessary.

What can cause Apraxia of Speech?

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Brain tumors and infections
  • Neurological conditions
  • Surgical trauma

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will thoroughly evaluate your speech. Therapy may include treatment to improve speech production (i.e., exercises to help you sequence and coordinate sounds and words) and/or instruction regarding strategies (for example, slowing your rate of speech.) If necessary, your SLP can help you implement AAC tools/techniques. Therapy will facilitate effective communication so you can function as independently as possible.

Dysphagia

Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that can affect the following phases of swallowing: the oral phase (i.e. preparation and oral transit of food/liquid to be swallowed); the pharyngeal phase (i.e., passage of food/liquid through the throat); and the esophageal phase (i.e., passage of food/liquid through the esophagus to the stomach.) Dysphagia can lead to choking, weight loss/malnutrition, and aspiration pneumonia, which can occur when food/liquid enter the airway.

What can cause Dysphagia?

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury
  • Head/neck cancer and chemo-radiation therapy
  • Progressive neurological diseases (including Parkinson’s Disease, MS, and dementia)
  • Surgeries or trauma that impact the neck/throat

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will evaluate your swallow. This may include: an examination of your mouth, an interview regarding your symptoms, observations of you swallowing foods and liquids of various textures, an X-ray swallow study, and/or an endoscopic swallowing assessment. Your SLP will recommend swallowing strategies, which may include diet modifications (i.e., specific textures of foods that will be easiest for you). Therapy may include exercises designed to strengthen your swallowing muscles to help you eat/drink safely and efficiently.

Voice Disorders

A voice disorder (aka “dysphonia”) occurs when the voice does not meet a person’s daily communication needs. Dysphonia may sound like a hoarse, breathy, quiet, strained/strangled voice, or a voice that cuts in and out. The voice may feel fatigued with use. Voice problems may be constant, or they may come and go.

What can cause a Voice Disorder?

  • Structural abnormalities of the vocal folds, inflammation of the larynx, or trauma to the larynx
  • Neurologic conditions (such as Parkinson’s Disease)
  • Misuses of the voice (like yelling, excessive throat clearing, patterns of muscle strain when talking)
  • Psychogenic causes (such as stress and anxiety)

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will thoroughly evaluate your voice, which may include an assessment of your voice called Videostroboscopy, in which a camera is utilized to observe your vocal folds coming together and vibrating. Therapy involves exercises designed to improve the balance between your breathing, voicing, and resonance. Therapy will help you to use your voice optimally for improved communication in daily life.

Fluency Disorder

Fluency disorders include “stuttering” and “cluttering” and affect the flow of speaking. Symptoms include an abnormal speech rate or rhythm and dysfluencies (in which sounds are repeated or prolonged, or the sound seems “blocked” because it is difficult to initiate the sound.) Speech may feel effortful, and there may be physical tension when talking. People who stutter may experience embarrassment and anxiety about their speech.

What can be associated with a Fluency Disorder?

  • Genetics
  • Neurophysiological factors (differences in brain structure and function)

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will thoroughly evaluate your speech. Your SLP may train you to use techniques to prevent stuttering and to stop stuttering in the moment. You may practice using stuttering techniques in a variety of speaking situations/settings, with your SLP providing feedback and encouragement as needed. Therapy does not always cure stuttering, but it can help you learn to manage it and lessen the impact of stuttering on your ability to communicate.

Augmentative/Alternative Communication

When a person can’t speak or comprehend effectively, he/she may benefit from AAC, which involves various techniques/tools to communicate in non-traditional means. AAC strategies can supplement a person’s existing speech or be an alternative to speech when speech is not functional. AAC can be no-tech (like gestures/signs), low tech (like symbols or pictures) or high tech (like a speech generating device, which produces synthesized speech to help a person communicate).

Who May Benefit From Augmentative/Alternative Communication?

  • People with congenital conditions (such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, or apraxia of speech)
  • People with acquired disabilities (resulting from stroke, brain injury, surgery, or neurodegenerative diseases like ALS)
  • People with temporary conditions (such as people who are intubated while hospitalized)

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will assess your communication potential using a variety of techniques/tools. Your SLP will consider your language/cognitive skills, fine motor skills, vision, hearing, and positioning when making recommendations for techniques/tools that will help you communicate. Assessment is an ongoing process that continues throughout therapy, as AAC systems need to evolve as your communication abilities evolve. Therapy is designed to maximize effective communication between you and your communication partners across the lifespan.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

OMDs occur when there is an imbalance of the oral and facial muscles that interferes with normal growth, development, or function of orofacial structures. OMDs can co-occur with speech and swallowing disorders and can affect children and adults. Symptoms of OMDs include abnormal resting postures of the tongue, lips, and teeth; dental abnormalities; abnormal speech; and abnormal tongue behavior during swallowing (including a tongue forward position.)

What can contribute to an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder?

  • Obstructed nasal passages (such as with enlarged tonsils or allergies)
  • Chronic oral habits (like thumb or pacifier sucking)
  • Orofacial muscular/structural differences (such as tongue tie)

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will thoroughly evaluate your oral rest postures and speech and swallowing patterns. This includes getting a history about current and past feeding behaviors, oral habits, and related medical information. You may require treatment for allergies and/or enlarged tonsils prior to beginning speech therapy. Your SLP will facilitate any necessary referrals to professionals who may be able to assist you (i.e., an ear/nose/throat physician or an orthodontist.) In therapy, your SLP will help you eliminate abnormal oral behaviors. Therapy will facilitate normal orofacial and dental development and ensure this will be maintained in the future.

Voice/Communication Services for Gender Diverse Populations

Communication services are provided for people whose voice (or other aspects of communication) is not congruent with their gender identity. Every individual is unique, and speech therapy is unique to every individual. Speech therapy may include voice masculinization, voice feminization, and/or training to modify speech, language, and non-verbal communication.

Who Can benefit from These Services?

Individuals who identify as transgender, gender fluid, gender diverse, gender nonconforming, or other gender identities, who wish to modify their voice/communication

How can Speech Therapy help?

A certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) will thoroughly evaluate your speech and communication. Your SLP will work together with you to establish goals for how you wish to express gender and will train you to safely modify your voice and communication. Areas of focus may include vocal pitch, intonation, voice quality, resonance, fluency, articulation, pragmatics, and vocalization (e.g., laughing and coughing). Therapy will assist you in achieving an authentic voice and communication style based on your individual needs.

Providers

Kendra Drake

Speech Language Pathologist

Susan Johnson

Speech Language Pathologist

Carly Kingzett

Speech Language Pathologist