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Our Services

Speech Therapy

St. Clair Hospital’s advanced Speech Therapy Department provides individualized therapy programs for both inpatients and outpatients.

Utilizing comprehensive assessments and therapy materials, the Speech Therapy Department’s team of specialized health care professionals identifies and treats a variety of speech conditions and disorders. Services provided include:

  •      evaluations for level of
         function;
  •      improvement of oral motor
         control;
  •      improvement of speech quality and production;
  •      improvement of cognition;
  •      improvement in swallowing ability;
  •      improvement of communication effectiveness
         and voice production; and
  •      Modified Barium Swallow evaluations.
Depending upon each patient’s physician order, speech, language and/or swallowing evaluations are conducted, with results of the evaluation(s) determining the patient’s individualized plan of care. When speech conditions are identified, an appropriate plan is developed, with treatment – including aspiration precautions, swallowing strategies, therapeutic exercise, and cognitive and communication retraining – provided in a comprehensive manner.
 
St. Clair Hospital’s speech-language pathologists are specially trained to identify, evaluate and treat a variety of conditions and disorders. The Hospital’s speech-language pathologists are licensed and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – the most respected voice for communication sciences and disorders professionals in the world.
 

Speech therapy involves many different components, including:

 
  • Communication, which is essential for expressing daily needs and exchanging thoughts and ideas with others. Approximately 46 million Americans are affected by communication disorders. 
  • Language expression and comprehension, which involves the ability to convey and understand messages either orally, in written form or through gestures or facial expressions. Speech rate, volume, precision and phrasing all contribute to speech clarity. 
  • Cognition, which refers to thinking skills and includes awareness of one’s surroundings, sustained attention to tasks, memory recall and the ability to solve problems during daily activities.
When speech, language expression/comprehension and cognitive skills work cohesively together, they produce effective communication. However, a variety of medical conditions, including stroke, Parkinson’s disease and head/neck cancer can affect all or a portion of these areas of communication.
 

Dysphagia

Swallowing is as necessary to life as breathing. Patients experiencing difficulties swallowing have a condition called dysphagia, which affects an estimated 15 million Americans. There are two types of dysphagia: oral dysphagia, which involves difficulty with chewing and preparing food for swallowing; and pharyngeal dysphagia, which involves difficulty with protection of the airway from aspiration.
 

Signs of a swallowing disorder may include:

  •         coughing or choking when eating;
  •         excessive throat clearing;
  •         changes in one’s voice;
  •         inadequate chewing or holding food in the mouth;
  •         pneumonia or respiratory changes; and
  •         temperature spikes.
Patients who have suffered a stroke or have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiac and/or lung disease, head and neck cancer, and dementia are all at risk of developing dysphagia. When swallowing becomes weakened or compromised due to illness, St. Clair Hospital’s speech-language pathologists can assist patients through a variety of individual exercise and management techniques.
 

Outpatient Therapy Services

Outpatient speech therapy services are available weekdays by appointment at the St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center - Village Square. For additional information or to schedule speech therapy services, please call 412.942.7122.