Speech/language therapist specialize in assessing,
diagnosing, and treating people with communication problems as well as people who have problems with thinking skills such as memory, concentration and problem solving resulting from injury, stroke, surgery or head and neck cancer.
Holland Hospital speech therapists hold a master's degree and
certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech and Hearing
Association and continue their education through additional certificate
coursework in swallowing, voice, language and thinking skills.
Speech/language therapy services can help people who have difficulty with:
understanding spoken language
thinking of words or communicating with others
voice: hoarseness, soft voice, strain or pain when talking
swallowing: coughing or choking when eating and drinking
cognitive or thinking skills like memory, concentration, problem solving
Various treatment approaches are used including equipment and technology to improve function and quality of life.
is a diagnostic procedure used to identify any subtle changes in the vibratory patterns. A digital computer and strobe light are used to make the images of the
vocal cord vibrations appear in slow motion, so that any abnormal
patterns of vibration may be detected.
The VitalStim® Therapy System
involves the administration of small,
electrical impulses to the swallowing muscles in the throat through
electrodes attached to the skin overlaying the musculature. A small, carefully calibrated current stimulates the motor nerves in the throat. The muscles responsible for swallowing then contract and the quality of the swallowing function improves. With repeated therapy, the muscles are re-educated.
Working with the therapist,
patients speak into a microphone connected to a computer. Software records the voice and provides visual and auditory
feedback in real time. Therapists can then provide target vocalizations
for comparison and the patient works to match these to reach their goal.