Speech pathology services are provided by a clinician with a master’s degree in speech and language pathology, and certification by the American Speech and Hearing Association. At Bastian Voice Institute, our speech pathologists deal most often with voice disorders, a significant proportion of which occur in singers and other performers. Other significant caseloads include persons with swallowing disorders, and those needing voice rehabilitation via tracheoesophageal prosthesis, after laryngectomy.
Behavioral (speech therapy) treatment of voice or swallowing disorders onsite at BVI may be either primary – directed at resolving or ameliorating the disorder as a sole treatment modality – or it may be supportive to medical/surgical treatment modalities. The speech therapy regimen is individualized for each patient. However, there are some common purposes that can be reviewed here:
- To verify that the patient understands the diagnosis and explanation given by the laryngologist.
- To reinforce and expand upon the diagnostic process in those occasional circumstances where BVI’s integrative diagnostic model fails to lead to a clear diagnosis. In this case, the speech pathologist’s additional functional evaluations and trial therapy can help to sort out competing diagnoses.
- To make measures of acoustic or aerodynamic outputs of voice, for documentation purposes.
- To integrate an understanding of the patient’s personality and life circumstance into the plan, in order to help an individual build a “voice-healthy” lifestyle.
- Teach general voice care, often termed “voice hygiene.”
- To evaluate the patient’s voice production, looking for ways to improve vocal quality and capability and/or to reduce undue strain and wear and tear in order to facilitate healing of an injury.
- To set up a voice exercise regimen for persons with neurologically or structurally impaired voice or swallowing.