Speech Therapy & Speech and Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, work with people who have problems with speech, language, social communication, cognition, and swallowing Speech therapy is used both as a primary method and a supplementary method for treating a variety of medical and surgical conditions.

Speech therapists apply various methods to promote a patient’s ability to adapt so that they can continue to communicate, swallow and process information to function as independently as possible.

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Speech Therapy?

Specialized speech therapists can treat various conditions that affect a patient’s ability to perform regular activities. The following health conditions may lead to Speech therapy recommendation:

  • Neurological conditions
    • Stroke
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
    • Traumatic brain injuries
    • Parkinson’s disease
  • Voice disorders
  • Post-oncology treatments - head and neck cancer
  • Pediatric conditions
    • Failure to thrive
    • Feeding difficulties
    • Developmental delays in birth injuries

What Does Speech Therapy Involve?

While the exact form of speech therapy treatment will vary based on the condition being treated, a patient can generally expect to:

  • Have a physical examination and evaluation, including a discussion on pertinent health history
  • Undergo testing procedures to evaluate speech, swallow, cognition or voice as needed
  • Create a personalized plan with specific recommendations and goals to improve your functional ability, including diet recommendations
  • Complete active interventions, including specialized exercises and strategies based on evaluation findings
  • Teach you new ways to complete activities that are challenging based on your condition, such as alternative communication strategies, memory aids
  • Work on family training for carryover of tasks

How Effective Is Speech Therapy?

When performed by a trained specialist, speech therapy can be highly effective for helping patients so that they can carry on with their daily lives as best as possible.

Tampa General Hospital has a team of experienced Speech therapists who can aid in treating many conditions using innovative, evidence-based practice. Therapeutic practices intended to treat patients with speech disorders focus on strengthening the muscles associated with speech. Therapy for swallowing disorders is geared toward reducing the possibility of choking and practicing exercises that improve swallowing.