Getting you on the road to success
There are many disorders that can affect the way the vocal folds come together, impacting your voice and/or the way that you swallow. I recommend you start with an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) to better understand the cause and appropriate treatment options. After that, your ENT may recommend treatment with a Speech Therapist (that’s me!).
People with Parkinson’s often end up having difficulty with being heard when they speak. A well known program for this is LSVT Loud and is considered the gold standard among many Speech Pathologists for improving voice in people with Parkinsons. I am certified with the LSVT Loud program and have seen great results with it!
For some, it just may be stress from over using the voice. This is particularly common for teachers, singers, and/or anyone that participates in public speaking events. There are exercises that can be performed to help strengthen the vocal folds, as well as identifying and reducing abusive behaviors that may be impacting healthy function.
Dysphagia is difficulty with swallowing food or liquids safely. When we swallow water for example, it should go down the esophagus (food pipe) into your stomach. If the swallow is impaired, it may result in the water getting displaced into the trachea (airway) which may then lead to the lungs if not expelled through coughing. This increases chances of choking and even acquiring aspiration pneumonia.
I have a variety of treatment options for people with Dysphagia. I am really excited about the Aspire2 Guardian Way Protocol, which uses e-stim (electrical stimulation) and sEMG (surface electromyography) for optimal results. The e-stim device delivers an electrical current to the nerves and muscles for improved contractions when swallowing while the sEMG improves performance through the use of biofeedback. When using sEMG, the patient can actually visualize how strong they are contracting their muscles within a given exercise. The patient will see a visual graphic on my iPad that connects to the electrodes placed on the patient. By being able to visualize the strength of the contractions during the exercises, the patient can not only improve accuracy of muscle contraction but help re-educate the muscles for swallowing purposes. I’ve seen great results so far with this program. In the past I used Vital Stim, which also yielded great results, however Aspire2 has adjustable parameters that allow for a more comfortable experience for the patient.
Disorders from a stroke
Strokes, as well as other neurological impairments, can result in a variety of disorders. A few common ones that a Speech Therapist will treat are…
Apraxia of Speech (impairments with coordinating movements in the mouth for producing intelligible speech)
Aphasia (difficulty with understanding or producing the correct words)
Dysarthria (slurred speech)
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
I offer training of various technology within your own home for increasing independence with acts of daily living for those with cognitive deficits. Cognitive deficits include difficulty with memory, attention and problem solving abilities which can significantly impact one’s ability to manage important areas such as finances and medications at home.
Adults with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) often suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), which can further impair their ability to return to work and engage appropriately with those around them. There are a variety of ways to better manage these difficulties so that you can feel in control again. The brain, much like a muscle, needs to be stimulated to work well. When we acquire an injury to our brain (such as a stroke, concussion, etc), it will need a good rehabilitation program to regain functions that were lost or impaired.
As we age, there is a normal decline with our cognitive abilities. For some people, they may not have an underlying disease or traumatic event, yet they still find themselves struggling to keep up with ever changing technology and rules to maintain their independence. I also offer non-skilled wellness services that are not covered by insurance to help create personalized goals to increase the ability to better manage life more independently.
For those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, loved ones can feel lost in areas of management. While currently there are no cures, there are a lot of things we can do to decrease the rate of which the disease will spread as well as finding ways to compensate for cognitive difficulties.
Finding novel ways to stimulate the brain at the right intensity and frequency has been a proven method for improving brain function and when combined with effective compensatory strategies can decrease accidents cause by these deficits.
People who stutter have difficulties producing speech in a fluent manner. They may repeat parts of words (repetitions), stretch a sound out for a long time (prolongations), or have a hard time getting a word out (blocks).
Even more frustrating are the secondary behaviors that tend to accompany these disfluencies, such as tension and negative feelings about talking. People that stutter may avoid certain words or situations such as talking on the phone.
Stuttering can change from day to day. There may be times that are fluent and then times when stuttering occurs more. Stress or excitement can lead to more stuttering.
Is your accent getting in the way of being able to perform your job effectively? Or maybe making your day to day social interactions more frustrating than when you speak to someone in your native language?
On your evaluation day, I will collect a speech and language sample from you that contains all the sounds in the English language and record it. I will then analyze the sounds that are being distorted and why. This will determine your treatment program and with proper training we can decrease the errors in your sounds that are impacting your speech intelligibility when speaking English. This is not currently covered by insurance, however I do offer discounts when sessions are paid in advance.
Insurance & Costs
I am currently a Medicare B Provider and accept all patients under Medicare as well as those with insurance plans that cover out of network services. I do all of the billing for you and you only need to pay if you have a co-payment/co-insurance portion. The only requirement is that you can not currently be in a home health episode receiving benefits under your Medicare Part A benefits. If you are not covered by insurance, or are in need of a service that insurance does not cover, I do offer private pay options and discounts if paid in advance. While a referral from your doctor is not required to get started with me, I will need a physician that is willing to sign off on our plan of care when I fax it over to them.
The Personal Care You Deserve, right in your home!
Please fill in the contact form below and I will call you to set up a Free Consultation to discuss your concerns and answer any questions you may have. You can also call (352) 508-7789 or email me at AM@CobaltTherapy.com with any questions, comments or scheduling inquiries you may have.