Speech-Language Therapy (Outpatient)

If an accident or condition has left you struggling with communication or swallowing, or you're dealing with an ongoing speech problem, your doctor may recommend outpatient speech therapy. This means you’ll live at home and go to your local Essentia clinic or rehabilitation center to receive therapy.

Essentia's skilled and supportive speech therapists can help you regain or improve your speaking ability. We work with patients of all ages and treat conditions ranging from swallowing and articulation to dysphagia.

What's a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech therapists, also called speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, have the training and experience to diagnose and treat conditions that affect your ability to speak, understand language, or swallow.

What to Expect

During your first visit, your speech therapist will do a comprehensive assessment to check:

  • Your ability to understand language
  • The way you speak and whether your speech is clear
  • Your thinking skills and memory
  • The quality of your voice
  • Your swallowing ability

Personalized Care Plan

Partner with your speech therapist to create a care plan that fits your goals and needs. Depending on your condition, your therapist may recommend:

  • Articulation therapy
  • Augmentative and/or alternative communication methods
  • Exercises
  • Breathing and relaxation techniques
  • Language intervention activities
  • Positions or strategies to help you swallow more easily

Swallowing Assessments

If you have trouble swallowing—or if you cough, choke, or have trouble chewing when you eat—count on your speech therapist to help diagnose your condition. 

Benefit from the use of advanced technology, such as fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing that uses a camera to show you and your doctor how well your throat works.

Other swallowing tests can determine:

  • If the food you eat goes into your airway instead of the stomach
  • Which parts of your mouth or throat aren’t working as they should
  • The types of foods that are safe for you
  • If different positions make it easier for you to swallow

Speech Therapy for Children

Your child may benefit from speech-language therapy if he or she experiences:

  • Speech disorder – Difficulty making sounds
  • Language disorder – Difficulty understanding or communicating
  • Feeding or swallowing disorders – Problems eating or drinking

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