Care for conditions that affect speech and swallowing
Speech Therapy at Beverly Hospital
Several conditions can affect your ability to speak, use language and swallow. If you’re having any of these difficulties, our speech therapists can help.
We understand speech, language and swallowing disorders can be very challenging. Our speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide comprehensive diagnostic testing and treatment for communication, voice, memory and swallowing disorders. Our SLPs care for people of all ages from newborns to seniors.
Speech therapists at Beverly Hospital commonly work with people with a range of medical conditions, including:
- Brain tumors or injuries
- Cancer of the head, neck or throat areas
- Neurological conditions
- Parkinson’s disease
Please download and fill out the applicable patient form(s) before you come in for your first visit.
Pediatric Speech Therapy
We are sensitive to the special needs of children. There are many reasons a child can experience delays in speech or language. Our team specializes in a variety of causes:
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- Developmental delays
- Fluency disorders or differences
- Head injury
- Hearing loss
- Intellectual differences or disorders
- Processing disorders
Adult Speech Therapy
We offer evaluation and treatment of a range of speech/language disorders in adults stemming from these and other medical or nonmedical diagnoses:
Aphasia is the impairment of receptive or expressive language in adults after sustaining head injury, stroke, degenerative diseases or age-related conditions.
This acquired speech deficit impacts articulation and speech intelligibility. It is often described as slurring of speech. This can occur due to head injury, stroke, degenerative disease or age-related changes.
Acquired memory or cognitive disorders involve difficulty with attention, processing, retaining and organizing information.
Swallowing disorders can occur for a variety of reasons including stroke, head injury, radiation related to head or neck cancer, digestive disorders, pulmonary dysfunctions, degenerative diseases and age. Swallowing disorders can lead to medical complications and should be taken seriously. SLPs help people learn how to swallow safely and make needed diet modifications.
Voice disorders affect the quality, tone, sound, pitch and volume of the voice. Symptoms of voice disorders can include hoarseness, harsh quality, strangled quality, decreased breath support or laryngitis.
Specialty Speech Therapy Services
Our experienced team offers specialty services to address many specific types of speech, language and swallowing disorders.
Our SLPs provide expert diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of speech and swallowing conditions in children.
- Trouble pronouncing various speech sounds.
- Sounds can be substituted, omitted, added or changed.
- A child should achieve mastery of all speech sounds by age 7.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
- SLPs use AAC for children with severe expressive or receptive communication delay. Our staff is experienced with identifying the need for and assisting in the selection of an appropriate device to aid communication at home, school or in therapy.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
- CAPD is a broad term for those who have difficulty with processing, analyzing and retaining incoming information.
- Those with CAPD often have difficulty paying attention or remembering information, difficulty carrying out multistep directions, poor listening skills, longer processing time, difficulty with new information, poor academic performance, behavior problems, language difficulty and difficulty with vocabulary or comprehension tasks.
- CAPD is not usually associated with hearing disorders.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- This is a neurological speech sound disorder that involves difficulty in the motor plan for underlying speech without neuromuscular deficits.
- Childhood apraxia of speech can sometimes affect feeding and swallowing.
This is the loss of fluency in connected speech.
- This involves errors in speech sounds, patterns and language necessary for speech, reading and writing development.
- Delays in phonological development are strongly correlated to delays in literacy development.
Social Language Disorders/Pragmatics
- Social and pragmatic disorders involve difficulty in using language, changing language and following rules of language.
- This condition can be related to autism, but can also stem from coexisting language or vocabulary difficulties that impact the ability to function in social settings.
Receptive and Expressive Language Disorder/Delay
- These are delays in understanding language and/or difficulty in its use.
- Those who have challenges with receptive language may have difficulty following directions or routines, difficulty answering questions and/or difficulty identifying various items.
- Those who have challenges with expressive language may experience poor vocabulary, difficulty with grammar or syntax, difficulty expressing thoughts, difficulty communicating with adults or peers and/or limited expressive output.
Voice disorders include the difference in pitch, quality, breath support, speech rate and rhythm, tone or volume of the voice. Those with voice disorders may experience hoarseness, harshness, hypernasality or hyponasality.
Vocal Fold Dysfunction (VFD)
VFD is a vocal disorder often associated or misdiagnosed as exercise-induced asthma. We see many athletes that experience throat tightening during exercise. It is often characterized by “inability to get air in.” Often, these athletes do not respond to inhalers because it is not a lung issue, but a vocal cord issue.
MBS studies evaluate the upper digestive tract. Our SLPs work with a radiologist to rule out aspiration or other deficits in the oral and/or pharyngeal cavities. Our staff will work with you and your family to modify diet textures and consistencies and create safe swallow strategies to prevent aspiration, malnutrition or dehydration.
SLPs use FEES to evaluate swallowing in people with dysphagia. FEES enables the SLP to evaluate dysphagia with greater sensitivity and to recommend diet changes, safe swallowing strategies and a plan of care. SLPs also may use fiberoptic endoscopy as a therapeutic aid and biofeedback tool during your swallowing treatment.
“If only we could hear and understand her speech.” This was the wish of Lee Silverman’s family, a woman who sought therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) in 1986.
At the request of the Silverman family, researcher Lorraine Ramig, PhD, and speech therapist Carolyn Bonitati developed a new type of voice therapy. It helps people with PD and other neurological conditions regain their ability to speak. In honor of Mrs. Silverman and the success of this therapy, the technique was named Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT).
Almost every person with PD will have problems with speech that will progressively diminish their quality of life:
- Mumbled, monotone speech
- Soft voice
The National Institutes of Health funded more than 15 years of research on LSVT LOUD PD-specific speech therapy. The research proved that this therapy is effective. The results of the treatment last up to two years, making LSVT LOUD the gold standard in treating speech disorders for people with PD.
Conditions We Treat
Our therapists work with people experiencing a range of health conditions. These conditions often include:
- Adhesive scarring
- Balance disorders
- Gait disorders
- Hand and upper body extremity disorders
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Postsurgical needs
- Sports injuries
- Worker’s compensation injuries
Our therapists support doctors throughout Beverly Hospital. We also work with patients with complex health diagnoses, including those who need: