Treating Speech, Voice, Cognition and Language Disorders
The Speech and Language Pathology Department at Doctors Hospital of Laredo is focused on treating patients with disorders of speech, voice, language, cognition, memory and swallowing. Patients may need these services as the result of having a stroke, brain tumor, neurological/post-neurological condition, neuromuscular disease, or head and neck surgery.
The speech-language pathologist at Doctors Hospital is certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and works in conjunction with a patient's full health team, which can include specialists in neurosciences, otolaryngology, radiology, gerontology, oncology and general medicine. Speech and Language Pathology services are provided at both the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Providence Health Center and Doctors Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Center.
The Department of Speech and Language Pathology provides a range of evaluative, preventative and rehabilitative services to those with disorders including:
- Aphasia (language impairment that hampers the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write)
- Apraxia (speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently)
- Dysarthria (problems with the muscles of the mouth, tongue, larynx, or vocal cords)
- Dysphagia (difficulty or pain swallowing)
- Voice disorders
- Laryngectomy (surgery to remove all or part of the voice box or larynx)
- Glossectomy (removal of part of or entire tongue)
A treatment plan is created for each patient that is focused on re-establishing functional and reliable communication. Treatment goals may also address specific communicative-cognitive deficits through a variety of facilitatory and compensatory treatment techniques.
Patients with swallowing disorders are seen for a comprehensive evaluation which may include a videofluorographic swallowing study to achieve safe swallowing. This is followed by swallowing treatment and diet modification as needed.