Disorders of the voice can greatly affect one’s ability to communicate effectively. A voice disorder may be diagnosed when one’s voice is markedly different from that of others their age and gender. Voice disorders may be caused by a number of factors, including: Parkinson’s Disease (PD), multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), nerve paralysis, vocal cord abnormalities (nodules, polyps), vocal abuse, vocal issues secondary to an infection.
Voice therapy is often very helpful in restoring voice function and greatly improving a patient’s overall quality of life. Sessions are typically an intensive 30 minutes and incorporate training to promote home-based follow up of exercise introduced in the clinic. Voice therapy is also often augmented by lifestyle changes. These could include increasing water intake and reducing alcohol and caffeine intake.
We utilize the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to maximize positive therapeutic outcomes. Our therapists are highly experienced in a variety of evidence-based voice treatments, including the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT). As voice disorders are an area of specialty for our practice, we have a deep knowledge base with a collaborative, team approach.
Our goal is to help patients improve swallowing and when possible, tolerate an oral diet. We evaluate, treat, educate patients, families and caregivers. We are trained to analyze and interpret clinical & instrumental information related to swallowing. We understand various medical conditions and their relationships to swallowing problems. We create therapy goals based upon our patient’s diagnosis, special needs, dietary restrictions and social/cultural factors. We use a team approach including our speech-language pathologist, physicians, patient, and their family/caregivers, and other professionals who may be involved.
As feeding and swallowing disorders in adults can lead to aspiration of food into the airway, managing such issues is of critical medical and lifestyle importance. Feeding and swallowing issues in adults are commonly associated with stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), scleroderma, multiple systems atrophy (MSA) and head and neck cancer.
To accurately diagnose and treat feeding and swallowing disorders, we use several types of evaluations, including:
- Clinical Evaluations – Performed by our speech-language pathologists in our clinic.
- Modified Barium Swallow Study – Performed by a radiologist and speech-language pathologist outside of our clinic.
- Orofacial Myology Assessment - including objective frenum measurement to help decide if clipping may be necessary, lip strength and other oral motor muscle functions.
- Evaluation via the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI), which objectively measures tongue, lip, and cheek strength
Treatment takes the whole patient into consideration and focuses on swallowing/aspiration precautions, compensatory strategies, modifying diets, therapeutic feedings, oral-motor and saliva control exercises, as well as sensory stimulation techniques.
Adult Speech & Language
Our adults speech and language service aims to help patients improve speech and language while educating patients, families and caregivers. We understand various medical conditions and their relationships to communication, swallowing and cognition. We create therapy goals based upon our patient’s diagnosis, special needs and social/cultural factors.
Disorders typically requiring speech and language treatment in adults include: stroke, traumatic brain injury, cognitive disorders, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, Bell’s Palsy, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, head and neck cancer and other issues.
If you or your loved one are having difficulty with written or verbal expression, comprehending speech or text, planning and organization, problem solving, emotional processing, socialization and pragmatics, we may be able to help.
We develop augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods when appropriate. These range from simple hand gestures to high-tech electronic devices that produce speech. We use a team approach including our speech-language pathologist, physicians, patient, and their family/caregivers, and other professionals who may be involved. We plan discharge to ensure continued recovery.