What Is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy, also known as speech-language therapy or speech pathology, focuses on evaluating, diagnosing, and treating communication disorders and swallowing difficulties. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with individuals of all ages, from infants to adults, who have problems with speech, language, voice, cognition, or swallowing.
Patients who have experienced the following conditions may benefit from using speech therapy interventions:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Receptive and Expressive Aphasia
- Voice Disorders
- Progressive Diseases
- Cognitive Impairments
- Dysphagia or Swallowing Impairments
Moreau Physical Therapy has experience helping patients with these conditions and more recover from speech therapy-related concerns.
What Symptoms Can Speech Therapy Treat?
The main goal of speech therapy is to improve an individual’s ability to communicate effectively and to enhance their overall quality of life. Here are a few reasons why speech therapy is beneficial to patient recovery.
Individuals with speech or language disorders may have trouble retrieving words to name and describe objects, people, or actions. Speech therapy helps enhance their communication skills. SLPs work on improving articulation, fluency, voice production, and language comprehension, allowing individuals to express themselves clearly and understand others better.
SLPs play a crucial role in rehabilitating cognitive skills affected by stroke, traumatic brain injury, or neurodegenerative diseases. Patients may have difficulty understanding spoken language or expressing their thoughts and ideas to participate in a conversation or follow directions. Or, they may have trouble being understood by others in conversation due to inaccurate sound production or disfluencies. During speech therapy, patients can work on memory, attention, problem-solving, and other cognitive functions, promoting mental recovery and independence.
Social and Emotional Development
Communication difficulties can lead to social isolation, frustration, and reduced self-esteem. Some common speech-related social development issues include:
- Inability to attend during activities or to complete familiar daily tasks.
- Difficulty maintaining topics during normal conversation.
- Failure to solve simple problems that arise in day-to-day life.
- Difficulty remembering people, events, dates, etc.
Through therapy, individuals develop effective communication strategies and gain confidence in their abilities, leading to improved social interactions and emotional well-being.
Swallowing and Feeding Issues
Speech therapy also addresses swallowing difficulties, known as dysphagia. For example, a patient may cough or have a wet-sounding voice while eating or drinking. SLPs can assess and treat swallowing disorders, helping individuals regain their ability to eat, drink, and swallow safely, thereby improving nutrition and reducing the risk of complications like aspiration pneumonia.
What Is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia refers to the challenge of swallowing or moving food smoothly from the mouth to the stomach. It occurs due to the weakness or poor coordination of the muscles involved with swallowing. These issues may result from neurological disorders, trauma, medical conditions, nerve damage, and the natural effects of aging.
Symptoms of dysphagia can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Difficulty chewing
- Coughing or throat clearing during or after swallowing
- A “gurgly” or wet-sounding voice when eating or drinking
- Inability to swallow
- Feeling that foods “get stuck in your throat”
- Eye-watering when eating or drinking
- Nasal regurgitation
Speech therapy offers personalized interventions to target difficulties caused by dysphagia. By addressing these challenges, speech therapy empowers individuals to overcome barriers, improve their quality of life, and participate more fully in social, academic, and professional activities.
Adult Speech Therapy Treatments Offered at Moreau Physical Therapy
Speech Therapy aids in enhancing and restoring an individual’s communication and participation skills for daily activities. Treatment focuses on improving speech, voice, language, swallowing, and cognitive abilities in adults. At Moreau Physical Therapy, patients are assessed and treated by skilled SLPs who create personalized care plans to address identified deficits. Additionally, patients receive education and home exercises to optimize therapeutic outcomes. Our SLPs utilize two treatment modalities to help patients improve.
Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT LOUD)
LSVT LOUD treatment is widely utilized for patients with Parkinson’s disease and voice disorders to enhance communication. It involves intensive, high-effort exercises focused on increasing vocal intensity and strengthening the vocal muscles. The therapy focuses on increasing loudness, speech clarity, intelligibility, and facial expression. By utilizing this approach, individuals can improve their communication abilities, leading to a better quality of life and enhanced social interactions.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
Dysphagia deficits, such as facial asymmetry and weakness, can be effectively treated using this particular modality. This therapeutic technique uses electrical currents to stimulate specific muscles or muscle groups. It involves the placement of electrodes on the skin over the targeted muscles, which then deliver controlled electrical impulses. These impulses cause the muscles to contract and relax, mimicking natural muscle activity. NMES is a valuable tool in rehabilitation, helping improve facial muscle strength and restore normal swallowing function.
Schedule Speech Therapy at Moreau Physical Therapy Today
If you or a loved one are experiencing speech or swallowing difficulties, don’t hesitate to reach out to Moreau Physical Therapy for comprehensive speech therapy treatment. Our team of experienced speech-language pathologists is dedicated to helping you regain your communication and swallowing abilities and improving your overall well-being.
Moreau Physical Therapy offers speech therapy services at the following locations:
Whether you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, we are here to assist you. Contact us today at 85-LIVE-MORE (855-483-6673) or send us a message to take the first step towards a better quality of life.