SPEECH THERAPY AND SWALLOWING DISORDERS

Speech therapy is a health profession specializing in evaluation and treatment of people who have speech, language, voice, fluency or swallowing disorders that affect their ability to communicate.

WHY IS SPEECH THERAPY NEEDED?

Four main causes can create a need for Speech Therapy:
Acquired, from a traumatic brain injury such as a car crash or workplace accident;
Degenerative, caused by Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), or head or neck cancer;
Neurologic, resulting from a CVA (stroke), leading to aphasia or dysarthria; and
Developmental, caused by a delay or deficit, either physiological or neurological, such as autism, apraxia, auditory processing difficulties, or cleft palate. Speech and language services can be provided to infants, toddlers and school-aged children.

Services are provided on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. A physician's order must be obtained for evaluation and treatment. Speech Therapy treatment is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most other insurance carriers. Please contact your insurance company for more information on you benefits for Speech Therapy. Treatment for these conditions varies. For more information, or an appointment, contact Crystal Schultz, SLP, at (785) 890-3625 Ext. 6313.

Click here to learn about a new service available in Speech Therapy - VitalStim Therapy

SWALLOWING DISORDERS

There are two main types of swallowing disorders (dysphagia): Those resulting from an inability to start swallowing, and those resulting from an inability to complete the process. For the latter, symptoms can include chronic heartburn, respiratory symptoms or chest pain. Causes can include:
Peptic stricture, (the end-stage result of chronic acid reflux esophagitis),
Being over age 50,
Carcinoma (cancer),
Lower Esophageal Ring (an abnormal ring of tissue that forms where the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) and stomach meet),
Scleroderma (a group of rare diseases that involve hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues),
Achalasia (Ay-kal-A-zia, a type of swallowing disorder in which the esophagus does not allow food to easily enter the stomach), or
Diffuse Esophageal Spasm (a condition in which uncoordinated contractions of the esophagus occur).

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