For a person who is undergoing rehabilitation to recover from a stroke, head injury or a medical condition that affects the vocal and pharyngeal tracts, the path to recovery is long and challenging. According to studies, it may take up to two years to recover from a stroke, and without speech & swallowing therapy learning to speak or eat properly again maybe not possible for many patients.
Speech Therapy involves diagnosis, followed by the treatment of patients with communication and/or swallowing difficulty. Speech and language problems occur due to medical conditions (stroke or brain injury) or developmental delay or congenital anomalies.
SIA’s speech-language therapists play a significant role in rehabilitation programs including, but not limited to
- Neurological Rehabilitation- Patients who are recovering from a stroke, brain injury.
- Cancer/Oncology Rehabilitation- Patients that are about to go through radiation, currently undergoing treatment or have completed their treatment for cancer.
- Geriatric Rehabilitation- Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Dysphagia (swallowing disorder), Aphasia etc.
- Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation- Patients dealing with slurred speech, unclear word articulation, difficulty controlling loudness and change in voice quality as a result of the disease.
- Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
- Swallowing Rehabilitation
- Rehabilitation for performing artists.
At SIA, speech-language or swallowing evaluation is completed on a one-on-one basis and can typically last for one hour. The duration and frequency of treatment range for each individual person and will be determined by the evaluating speech-language pathologist on board.
How do our speech therapists work with the patient?
Our speech therapists at SIA start with the evaluation and diagnoses of speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. Once they understand the specific needs of the patient, they work towards selecting a technique or combination of techniques to serve the individual’s needs.
Speech Therapists help patients who have a language deficit by using specific strategies to retain word retrieval or participation in group therapy to improve conversational skills. They sometimes use role-play with the patient to practice talking on the phone or prepare them to go back to work. If the patient’s cognitive skills are affected, our speech therapists may use memory logs to keep track of daily tasks and strive to increase awareness about any functional deficits.
When it comes to swallowing difficulties, our speech therapists recommend proper positions, feeding/eating techniques and possible changes in the consistency of food and drink.
The skills that speech therapy at SIA aims to provide are speech fluency, improved memory and cognitive function, increased auditory comprehension, efficiency in swallowing, better augmentative communication, improved verbal expression as well as speech production and a higher level of executive functioning. The overall goal of the therapy we provide as a part of our rehabilitation treatment at SIA is to ensure that our patient returns to their independent functioning to the best level possible.