Speech and language pathologists (also called speech therapists) are licensed professionals who specialize in helping people overcome limitations associated with speaking, swallowing, eating, and cognition.

At HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital, our speech and language pathologists are highly competent in diagnosing and treating such functional deficits resulting form illness, hospitalization, hearing loss, birth defects, and developmental delays.

Dysphagia Evaluation and Treatment   View more information.

A swallowing evaluation is provided to assess an individual's oral, pharyngeal, and related upper digestive structures and functions to determine swallowing functioning and oropharyngeal/respiratory coordination in order to eat safely and to sustain adequate nutrition and hydration.

Swallowing treatment is provided to prevent nutrition and hydration problems and pulmonary complications of aspiration and to improve functional feeding and swallowing skills.

Acute Speech, Language, Dysphagia Assessment and Treatment   View more information.

Inpatient evaluations and treatments are provided to hospitalized patients who may experience speech and language difficulties or swallowing impairments that interfere with their ability to communicate and swallow safely to maintain nutrition.

Speech and Language Evaluations and Treatment   View more information.

Speech language pathology services can be grouped into two main categories: diagnostic or evaluative services and therapeutic services.

Treatment is appropriate for deficits resulting from injury, illness, congenital anomaly, or developmental conditions, which may be habilitative or rehabilitative in nature. A speech and language assessment is provided to assess an individual speech-language and cognitive-communication disorders that result in communication disabilities. Speech-language pathologists treat disorders of speech sound production, language comprehension, expression, pragmatics, semantics, syntax, fluency, and cognitive function.

Voice Resonance Evaluations and Treatment   View more information.

A voice assessment is provided to assess an individual's voice across pitch, loudness, and quality of vocal production. Resonance and nasal airflow assessment is provided to evaluate oral, nasal, and velopharyngeal function for speech production, including identification of impairments, associated activity, and participation limitations.

Voice treatment is provided for individuals with voice disorders, alaryngeal speech, and/or laryngeal disorder affecting respiration. Intervention is conducted to achieve improved voice production, coordination of respiration and laryngeal valving, or acquisition of alaryngeal speech sufficient to allow for functional oral communication.

Videofluoroscopic Swallow Evaluations   View more information.

Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS), or Motion fluoroscopic evaluation of swallowing by video recording is a videofluoroscopic, radiographic test that that incorporates a set of modifications in consistency, bolus size, texture, patient positioning, and radiographic focus to facilitate optimum visualization of the oral-pharyngeal-laryngeal structures and their function during swallowing. The effects of compensatory maneuvers, diet modification on aspiration prevention, or bolus transport during swallowing can be studied radiographically to determine a safe diet and to maximize efficiency of the swallow.



Karen Wirtanen, CCC-SLP
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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Medline Plus (A service of the US National Library of Medicine)



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Speech Therapy