Individualized speech-language evaluations and therapy via telepractice
screenings and initial phone consultations
Speech-language screenings are performed to identify who may require a more extensive evaluation. We also offer on-line or telephone consultations with caregivers or physicians to discuss the possibility that a patient may benefit from a full evaluation.
THIS SERVICE IS FREE!!!
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Speech ANd LANGUAGE evaluations FOR All Ages
Speech-language evaluations include a review of the individual's educational and medical history, clinical observation, interviews with parents and caregivers. Goals are set and standardized testing is performed if needed. Every evaluation results in a written report with actionable recommendations. Allison’s reports have been praised by parents, healthcare professionals, and educators as clearly written and extremely practical.
speech, language, Voice and Swallowing therapy
Therapy sessions are tailor-made for each client and their family's needs. With 17 years of voice and swallowing training, we are dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of speech and voice problems and helping our patients succeed. We treat professional voice users, teachers, transgender voice modification and other voice disorders. Additionally, we offer specialized speech and language services, such as aphasia and cognitive memory rehabilitation.
Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) FOR ParkiNson's Disease
At Connected Speech Pathology, your speech pathologist Allison Geller, MA CCC-SLP is certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) program. LSVT LOUD® is an effective speech treatment for individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurological conditions. LSVT LOUD improves vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech mechanism through a hierarchy of exercises. Focused on a single goal “speak LOUD!” – the treatment improves respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory function to maximize speech intelligibility. The treatment does not train people for shouting or yelling; rather, LSVT LOUD uses loudness training to bring the voice to an improved, healthy vocal loudness with no strain. The LSVT program includes 16 treatment sessions over a single month (four individual 60 minute sessions per week). You can refer to my Blog entry HERE to learn more!
The following are definitions of some (but not all!) of the speech problems that I treat:
VOICE DISORDERS- Voice disorders, or dysphonia, are medical conditions involving abnormal pitch, loudness or quality of the sound produced by the larynx and thereby affecting speech production.
Nodules, cysts, or polyps can cause hoarseness, breathiness or changes in pitch. You may also have the sensation of having a "lump" in your throat and your neck may feel "tight". You may also feel that you get tired quickly when speaking. Some causes include loud talking or singing, talking over background noise, smoking, allergies, tense muscles, or acid reflux. If your doctor recommends voice therapy, we can address these issues together.
Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM) is when your vocal folds close when they should open. This can cause wheezing and breathing problems. If your doctor recommends voice therapy to treat PVFM, we can help!
If you are an individual with Parkinson's disease and your conversational volume is low and you cannot always be understood. Or maybe when you are being sarcastic or telling a joke, your communication partner doesn't "get it", then you may have a voice issues with prosody and intonation. We can address these issues in voice therapy. Your speech pathologist, Allison Geller, MA CCC-SLP is certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment program (LSVT) and can help you with these problems.
LARYNGECTOMY is surgery to remove the voice box (larynx). Services are provided for users of electrolarynx or those wanting to learn esophageal speech.
APHASIA- Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of language or the ability to read or write. Aphasia symptoms vary in degrees of severity, depending on a variety of factors such as the lesion site, size and severity. A person with aphasia may have difficulty finding words ("anomia"). Other signs and symptoms include putting words in the wrong order, requiring extra time to process spoken messages, having difficulty writing or copying letters or words, or having difficulty reading and understanding written material. Aphasia treatment is individualized to address the specific areas of impairment identified during the speech-language evaluation. Goals for treatment will include those identified by the person with aphasia and his or her caregivers.
ACQUIRED APRAXIA OF SPEECH- Apraxia is a motor speech disorder that makes it hard to speak or say sounds correctly. It is most often acquired as an adult but can also be developmental, which affects children from birth. With apraxia, it can take a lot of work to say sounds and words aloud. This may cause a person to say something very different than what they meant because of a problem getting the message from the brain to the mouth to make the muscles move in the correct sequence. For example, they may say "chicken" for "kitchen." Or an individual may say a word that does not make sense at all like “berit”. The individual with apraxia may know that what they said is wrong and try to fix it. Sometimes they will get it right, but other times they will say something else entirely. This can be very frustrating. A speech language pathologist can teach strategies to improve symptoms.
DYSARTHRIA- Dysarthria is a speech disorder caused by muscle weakness. It can make it hard for you to talk. People may have trouble understanding what you say. Dysarthria happens when you have weak muscles of the mouth, tongue, jaw lips or palate. This can result in slurred speech, speaking too slowly, too fast, too quiet or too loud. It can also result in voice changes.
DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING (DYSPHAGIA)- Dysphagia is difficulty or discomfort in swallowing, as a symptom of disease or other underlying problem. There are three phases of the swallow: oral, pharyngeal and esophageal. Signs and symptoms of dysphagia include coughing and choking during or after eating or drinking, weight loss, food or liquid leaking from your mouth, extra time to chew food. The individual with dysphagia may feel embarrassed or depressed when eating swallowing problems and want to eat alone. We can help with these problems by providing swallowing therapy with the food liquids you like the eat, all from the comfort of your home.