At Memorial Hospital, our speech therapy department is able to provide the therapy services necessary to help a patient maintain or improve vital communication skills. Language is our most human characteristic. It is essential to learning, working, and enjoying family life and friendships.
What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of speech, voice, language and swallowing disorders. Speech disorders may result from hearing loss, stroke, mental disability, brain injury or various other diseases. The speech language pathologist (speech therapist) is a person professionally trained to assess and to treat language and speech disorders as well as swallowing disorders. Treatment focuses on functional communication skills, participating in conversation and producing understandable speech as well as improving oral musculature control and swallowing skills.
Swallowing disorders can affect a patients nutrition, hydration or put a patient at risk of aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway) which can lead to pneumonia and chronic lung disease.
In treating dysphagia, a speech therapist will:
- Review the patient’s history of medical conditions and symptoms
- Evaluate the strength and movement of the muscles involved in swallowing
- Observe feeding to see posture, behavior, and oral movements during eating and drinking
- May perform special tests to evaluate swallowing
Treatment varies greatly depending on the cause, symptoms and type of swallowing problem. Treatment may include exercises, positions, or strategies to help swallow more effectively and specific food and liquid textures that are easier and safer to swallow.
For more information please contact Memorial Hospital at 432.758.5811.