- Marion Nielson, MS, MA, CCC-SLP (Pediatric Therapies)
- Elizabeth Bensen, MS, CCC-SLB (Pediatric Therapies)
Speech pathologists treat disorders that affect communication, swallowing, memory and other functions of the brain. They work with a wide range of patient populations and address impairments in cognition, speech sound production, expression, comprehension, swallowing, and voice. Our speech-language pathologists provide rehabilitation services for patients recovering from medical events such as stroke or traumatic brain injury. We also work with individuals with neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia or Parkinson's Disease. We have speech-language pathologists with advanced training and certifications in Parkinson's treatment programs including Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD).
Swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) can occur when the muscles and nerves we use to eat and swallow are affected as a result of medical or neurological issues, such as stroke, Parkinson's, dementia, cancer, etc. This may include muscles in the lips, tongue, or neck. Some swallowing problems may be obvious like drooling, coughing or choking but others may be harder to spot (e.g., feeling food stuck in the throat). Dysphagia can also lead to further medical issues such as malnutrition, dehydration or pneumonia.
Occupational therapists or speech-language pathologist work with individuals with swallowing issues in order to assess and treat this condition. Treatment includes diet changes, exercise and muscle re-education, instruction on compensation strategies, and caregiver training, as appropriate. We also offer VitalStim therapy, a dysphagia treatment which uses small electrical currents to stimulate and re-educate the muscles involved in swallowing.
If a person shows any signs of eating or swallowing difficulty, it is important for swallowing to be tested. Ask your physician for a swallowing assessment.
- Parkinson’s LSVT BIG™ and LSVT LOUD™ programs
- Instrumental swallowing evaluation and treatment