SPEECH THERAPY

Prairie Rehabilitation has a staff of highly knowledgeable Speech Therapists dedicated to providing exceptional service and progressive treatment. Our Speech therapists provide specialized services at each of our outpatient and long-term care facilities, as well as, in our patients’ homes.

Please see our About page for more information on our Philosophy of Patient Care.

Speech Therapists, also known as Speech–Language Pathologists, specialize in the evaluation and treatment of communication disorders, cognitive disorders, voice disorders, and swallowing disorders.  Some of the more specific areas of expertise include, but are not limited to the following:

Treatment of Language Disorders:

Word-finding Deficits
Which may arise either as a result of a specific language problem such as a childhood language delay, a complication of dementia, or from residual effects from a stroke or head injury.

Social communication difficulties
Involving how people communicate ideas and thoughts with others (pragmatics).  Pragmatic language includes use of appropriate eye contact, facial expressions, vocal inflection, and conversational turn taking, topic initiation and maintenance.  Difficulties with this are often seen in individuals with Autism or those who have suffered a right hemisphere stroke or head injury.

Structural language impairments
Including difficulties creating sentences that are grammatical and meaningful, again resulting possibly from a childhood language disorder or stroke.

Literacy impairments (reading and writing)
Issues related to the word-to-meaning relationship and understanding the ideas presented in a written text.  Often seen in individuals after head injury or stroke.

Treatment of Speech Disorders:

Voice Difficulties
Issues such as a raspy voice, a voice that is too soft, or other voice difficulties that negatively impact a person’s social or professional performance.  This may be due to vocal fold dysfunction caused by abnormal growths on the vocal folds, neurological damage, Parkinson’s disease, or any number of neurological disorders.  We have therapists trained in the LSVT/Big and Loud Program to help improve vocal intensity.

Accent Reduction
Programs where individuals whose first language is not English, who wish to improve their speech intelligibility to aid in communication for social or professional purposes.

Treatment of Cognitive Deficits:

Cognitive Disorders affecting communication
Issues such as attention to task, memory problems, problem solving, executive functions, and safety awareness.  These deficits are often seen following a stroke, head injury/post concussion syndrome, or anoxic event (oxygen deprivation), affecting the patient’s ability to live independently.

Cognitive Linguistic Deficits resulting from Dementia
Our Speech Therapists are all trained in Dementia Capable Care and work closely with other disciplines (e.g., OT, PT, Nursing, and family) to ensure the individual is functioning at their highest level of independence.  These therapy sessions often take place wherever the individual resides, to enhance functional skills in their home environment.

Treatment of Swallowing Disorders:

Dysphagia
Dysphagia may affect chewing and preparation of food for swallowing, the transition of food or liquid from front of the mouth to posterior part of oral cavity, as well as the swallow itself.  Swallowing disorders can occur at any age and can stem from multiple causes.  Our therapists are trained in identifying a swallowing disorder, making referrals for further analysis of the disorder, treating the disorder and providing education to patients, family members, and caregivers who aid in the patient’s feeding.  Speech therapy for dysphagia can play a vital role in ensuring an individual gets proper nutrition and hydration, without the risk of aspiration/aspiration pneumonia.  Our Speech Therapists also are trained in setting up Restorative Dining Programs in the Skilled Nursing Facilities with which we partner.