Improve your speech, language, or swallowing at any age with the help of the compassionate speech-language pathologists at Stamford Health.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), or speech therapists, have advanced training to diagnose and treat communication, feeding, and swallowing problems. These problems can occur due to an injury or health condition, disability, surgery, or developmental disorder.
Conditions We Treat
Get care for:
- Aphasia – Problems talking or understanding speech
- Cognitive-communication disorders – Trouble communicating because of problems with thinking, memory, or learning as a result of a brain injury, stroke or dementia
- Developmental delays
- Dysphagia – Difficulty swallowing, chewing, clearing food from your mouth, or keeping food or liquid out of your lungs
- Fluency disorders – Stuttering or trouble speaking clearly
- Language disorders – Problems understanding and using words
- Receptive disorders – Trouble understanding or processing language
- Voice disorders – Difficulty with pitch, volume, or tone of voice
Personalized Speech or Swallowing Therapy
Work with your SLP to create a treatment plan that meets your or your child’s needs and preferences. Depending on your condition, symptoms, and goals, your SLP may recommend an assessment to learn more about your condition.
Rely on your Stamford Health SLP to help you:
- Communicate your needs, wants, and thoughts
- Improve your focus
- Increase your vocal muscle strength to help you speak more clearly
- Read and write easier
- Retain information
- Understand others more clearly
Inpatient Hospital TherapY
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) in the hospital setting provide evaluation and treatment services in speech, language, cognition, swallowing, and voice. In this setting, doctors consult the Speech-Language Pathology team when patients demonstrate difficulty in any of the above areas or for individuals with the following diagnoses: stroke, brain injury, respiratory failure, aspiration pneumonia, COVID, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and more.
In the hospital setting, SLPs are most often consulted to assess swallow function. Difficulty or discomfort during swallowing is called dysphagia. Two studies we perform to assess if patients present with dysphagia are Fiberoptic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) and Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBS). FEES is performed by inserting a scope with a camera on one end through the nose to assess the anatomy and physiology of the throat, airway, and vocal cords during swallowing. MBS is performed in radiology, and through the use of video X-ray, we can assess the integrity of your swallow in real-time.
Modified Barium Swallow Studies at Stamford Health
Speech-Language Pathologists assess the swallow function of individuals in the community through the completion of Modified Barium Swallow Studies in the radiology department at Stamford Hospital on an outpatient basis.
A Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBS) uses video x-rays to assess swallowing in real-time. During this study, the patient will eat different consistency foods and liquids coated in a contrast material (barium sulfate), allowing the textures to show up on x-ray while the patient is eating and drinking. The test provides information about the swallow and the patient’s risk for food or liquid entering the airway; this is known as aspiration. The MBS will provide the Speech-Language Pathologist with the information necessary to recommend the safest diet and compensatory strategies to use while eating or drinking to improve swallow efficiency and safety.
Please discuss having a Modified Barium Swallow Study with your doctor if you or someone you care for presents with any of the following symptoms: coughing while eating or drinking, wet/gurgly vocal quality after meals, the sensation of food getting stuck in your throat, increased effort or number of swallows to clear food, or any other swallow related concerns.
Speech Therapy Services at Bennett Cancer Center
Speech-Language Pathologists work closely with patients from the Bennett Cancer Center diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Given the increased risk of developing swallowing difficulties associated with this diagnosis and course of treatment (chemoradiation therapy) speech-language pathologists meet with patient’s early on to discuss diet, swallow function, and provide an individualized prehabilitation swallow program. This program provides the resources and personalized care necessary to prevent or limit adverse effects of chemo-radiation on swallowing to help patients continue to eat and drink safely without restriction.
Van Munching Acute Rehabilitation Therapy
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) in the acute rehabilitation setting focus on improving communication, cognition, and swallowing function. Diagnoses related to communication and swallowing include Aphasia, Apraxia, Dysarthria, Cognitive Impairment, and Dysphagia. At VMU, our goal is to progress patients towards their individualized goals to improve quality of life before returning home or to the next level of care. We provide patients and their families with the skills and strategies necessary to help individuals express their wants, needs, and engage socially, problem-solve to complete household, community, work-related tasks or “instrumental activities for daily living,” and eat and drink food and beverage safely.
Outpatient Speech Pathology Services
Outpatient Speech Therapy Services at TULLY Health Center
Speech, Language & Feeding Therapy for Children
Pediatric speech-language pathologists treat a variety of communication, articulation, and language delays and disorders. SLPs determine the child’s current skill levels in expression, comprehension, and production of sounds and words. The team at Tully Health Center is trained in PROMPT, a multi-sensory technique to help develop motor control for appropriate speech production, and Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach and can address any potential concerns for both picky eaters as well as “problem feeders.” SLPs will engage with your child through play-based activities designed to motivate and teach children to communicate as clearly and independently as possible.
Speech & Language Therapy for Adults
Major life events like traumatic brain injury, cancer, and stroke can alter the way adults produce and understand language. Not only can these conditions affect the way an adult speaks, but they can also impact the way language is processed in the brain. Things like word-finding, pronunciation and language comprehension can become difficult as well. Tully Health Center’s speech team is trained in a variety of treatment approaches to address aphasia, apraxia and dysarthria for improved communication with loved ones.
Cognitive Linguistic Therapy
The outpatient speech team at Stamford Health evaluates patients who are experiencing difficulties as a result of traumatic brain injury, concussion, or memory loss. These impairments may include:
- Thought organization
Speech sessions are designed to train patients to use an array of strategies to help patients improve their immediate, short term and working memory skills for successful completion of daily tasks and learn, process and retain new information using materials that align with individual lifestyles and interests.
Across the lifespan, voices can change as a result of illness, disease, or even misuse, like talking too much or too loudly. This can make communication difficult. Speech-Language pathologists work with patients to improve the quality, loudness and pitch of their voices. The Speech-Language Pathologists at Tully Health Center are all certified LSVT LOUD clinicians, a specialized research-based treatment approach to improving loudness and speech clarity in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
Many factors can influence the way we bite, chew and swallow food including neurological impairment, stroke, or even normal aging. Difficulty swallowing can have a significant impact on health, safety and quality of life. The speech therapists at Stamford Health can clinically assess a patient’s swallow safety and function.
SLPs educate and train exercises to help strengthen the muscles involved in swallowing to help make eating as safe and enjoyable as possible for patients and their loved ones.