Speech therapy provides for the identification and treatment of a communication or swallowing problem that may have resulted from an injury, stroke, hearing loss or other neurological or physical condition.
The experienced therapists at St Anthony’s Hospital compassionately diagnose and treat adults and geriatric patients suffering from the many communication and swallowing disorders that can interfere with daily living. You or a loved one will receive an individualized treatment program of exercises, activities and instruction to reduce the disability’s extent and promote development or recovery.
An essential part of the rehabilitative team, speech therapists work closely with occupational and physical therapists to promote patient progress.
Types of Therapy
Dysphagia/Swallowing Dysfunction Therapy Program
Currently, an estimated 15 million people are living with a diagnosed swallowing disorder known as dysphagia. Dysphagia can result from a stroke, head injury, various neurological disorders or without any known cause. It is a serious disorder that can vary in its severity. Some individuals have trouble chewing and swallowing certain textures or consistencies of food and liquids. Others may be completely unable to swallow any food or liquid, or even their own saliva, and must receive all of their nutrition through a feeding tube. Dysphagia can diminish a person's quality of life by causing an individual to withdraw from social events and interactions that involve eating and drinking.
Our speech therapists perform comprehensive diagnostic evaluations to determine the cause and severity of the dysphagia and to develop an appropriate plan of treatment. The examination may include:
- Visual inspection of the oral structures
- Observation of chewing and swallowing of various foods and liquids (occurs during an office visit)
- Radiological examination of the chewing and swallowing processes (conducted in the radiology department with a radiologist and a speech therapist)
- Video swallow studies conducted at the main hospital. Schedule through Central Scheduling.
The loss of receptive and/or expressive language skills due to a stroke is known as aphasia. Persons with aphasia may experience difficulty performing the communication-related activities of daily living.
Speech therapy following a stroke can improve speaking, listening, reading, writing, reasoning and swallowing impairments. To complement traditional speech therapy services for aphasia, speech generating devices, such as the Lingraphica or Dynavox, improve functional communication. Also, various computer software programs for use in therapy and at home exist for speech practice.
If additional rehabilitative services are needed, our multi-disciplinary team of speech, physical and occupational therapists will coordinate a comprehensive treatment approach and schedule that will facilitate your recovery.
Head & Neck Cancer Treatment
Speech and swallowing therapies are available for individuals who have had surgical and/or radiological treatment for cancer in the head and neck.
Individualized treatment programs are available to assist in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. They may include changes in speech, communication, cognition, and swallowing. Early intervention of mild symptoms has shown improvement in symptom management and better maintenance of the progression of specific symptoms.
Our Speech Pathologists are part of the multidisciplinary team that provides care, support and therapeutic intervention for the Memory Disorder Center at St. Anthony’s Hospital. The clinical staff collaborates to enhance cognitive functioning and treat the symptoms of memory disorders. Individualized programs are specifically developed for each patient for their specific deficits and needs. This typically includes a number of compensatory strategies to promote successful compensation of deficit areas and improve and maintain maximal functional independence.
To learn more about our Memory Disorders center, visit BayCareMemories.org.