Speech Therapy

Speech therapy helps individuals learn how to communicate effectively and how to understand communication, as well as obtain and improve feeding and swallowing skills.

Assessment is the first step to effective speech therapy intervention. This step includes an individual, in-depth evaluation of areas within the scope of practice for an speech-language pathologist (SLP).

The individual’s age and the nature of the concern or disorder help guide the therapist when determining the most appropriate assessment procedures.

All assessments include clinical observations as well as standardized and/or non-standardized evaluation tools. Upon completion of testing, a diagnosis is formulated and a comprehensive report is written. The results of the assessment are discussed with the patient and a written report is submitted to the referring physician. The therapist and patient or patient’s family then work together to develop an individualized Plan of Care outlining the course of treatment.

Treatment is based on the results of the assessment. TheraCare Outpatient Services strives to maintain patient and family-focused therapy sessions. Sessions will be customized to meet the needs of each patient. These individualized programs may include any number of techniques including the use of specialized computer programs.

Speech-language therapy sessions range in duration from 30 minutes to 60 minutes and are typically recommended one to three times weekly. The duration of treatment is dependent on the severity of the disorder, the age of the client and any associated physical, emotional and social factors.

Some therapy sessions may be provided through telepractice. Telepractice is the use of telecommunications technology to provide therapy sessions to individuals who may live a far distance or are unable to travel to our clinic.

 

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Overview of Pediatric Conditions

Kid

Concerns may include a speech sound disorder, childhood apraxia of speech, motor speech deficits and others. All refer to difficulties producing speech sounds. Listeners often have trouble understanding the communication of an individual with a speech disorder.
A language disorder is an impairment in the ability to understand (receptive) and/or use (expressive) words. Some characteristics of language disorders include improper use of words and their meanings, the inability to express ideas, inappropriate grammatical patterns, reduced vocabulary and the inability to follow directions. Language disorders involve semantic-pragmatic disorders, autistic spectrum disorder, and acquired neurological disorders such as a brain injury.
The area of literacy includes much more than reading, writing and spelling. Early developments begin in the first few years of life and are a continuous developmental process. Examples of additional literacy skills and behaviors include book handling, picture/story completion and story reading behaviors.
Cognitive-Communication disorders are conditions that cause individuals to have difficulty thinking. Although symptoms can vary, typically changes in awareness, perception, reasoning, memory and judgment are observed.
Fluency disorders are characterized by an interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech, such as stuttering, which is commonly referred to as dysfluency.
Individuals with voice disorders may have difficulty with pitch, volume or quality of their voice (i.e., hoarseness, loss of voice).
Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD) encompass a condition called tongue thrust most often identified by dentists or orthodontists. In addition, OMD can include inappropriate muscle function and incorrect habits involving the lips, jaw, and face. Any of these deficits may or may not co-occur with speech sound errors. It is important to have a qualified professional evaluate these areas and provide treatment as necessary to avoid impacting dental health and speech articulation issues, along with other concerns.
The term dysphagia refers to difficulty passing food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing can occur in any stage of the swallow. Stages of the swallow include: oral preparation, oral transit, pharyngeal and esophageal.

Overview of Adult Conditions

Adult

Speech disorders include concerns of difficulties producing speech sounds and may be referred to as slurred speech or misarticulation. Listeners often have trouble understanding the communication of an individual with a speech disorder.

Adult

A language disorder is an impairment in the ability to understand (receptive) and/or use (expressive) words. Some characteristics of language disorders include improper use of words and their meanings, the inability to express ideas, inappropriate grammatical patterns, reduced vocabulary and the inability to follow directions. Language disorders can be a result of acquired neurological disorders such as aphasia, dementia and brain injury.

Adult

Individuals with voice disorders may have difficulty with pitch, volume or quality of their voice (i.e., hoarseness, loss of voice).

Adult

Cognitive-Communication disorders are conditions that cause individuals to have difficulty thinking. Although symptoms can vary, changes in awareness, perception, reasoning, memory and judgment are typically observed.

Adult

Fluency disorders are characterized by an interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech (such as stuttering), which is commonly referred to as dysfluency.

Adult

The term dysphagia refers to difficulty passing food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing can occur in any stage of the swallow. Stages of the swallow include oral preparation, oral transit, pharyngeal and esophageal.