Speech-language pathology evaluates and treats people who have difficulty speaking, communicating or swallowing. We’re dedicated to helping people of all ages overcome speech, language, cognitive, swallowing and other communication disorders to find their authentic voice.
Empowering you to use your voice
Having difficulty speaking, swallowing and communicating can surface in childhood or develop following a stroke, brain trauma or other significant head and neck conditions. Our speech-language pathologists have devoted their careers to helping people find their voices when communicating is challenging.
We can use many therapy techniques to help you, from playing word games to practicing tongue exercises. We’ll map your treatment path around your unique condition so you can improve with our team and at home.
Expert speech-language therapy
The speech-language pathology team at Lowell General assists both inpatients and outpatients with communication and swallowing disorders. We take the time to evaluate and treat specific areas of speech and language that require restoration and compensation, such as:
- Accent modification
- Augmentative communication
- Deep pharyngeal neuromuscular stimulation
- Facial muscle exercise
- Lee Silverman voice treatment
- Modified barium swallow studies
- Thermal tactile stimulation
Experience personalized and comprehensive care for speech, hearing, and language disorders at Tufts Medical Center. Our team of expert speech-language pathologists is dedicated to providing the highest level of care to people of all ages. As a teaching hospital, we stay up-to-date with the latest knowledge and techniques and offer education and training to current and future medical professionals.
Our team is certified nationally and at the state level, and our department has almost 50 years of experience in caring for patients including testing like modified barium swallow and flexible endoscopic evaluations of swallowing studies and treatments like Lee Silverman voice treatment and speaking valve care.
Our team of speech-language pathologists can lend a helping hand if you’re living with 1 or a combination of the following conditions:
Your treatment plan will consider how much your speech or swallowing challenges interfere with your everyday life. Together, we’ll understand the extent of your condition with these evaluations:
- Cognitive and linguistic evaluations
- Feeding evaluations
- Speaking valve assessment
- Speech and language evaluation
Additional testing we offer, includes:
A modified barium swallow study (MBS) is an imaging test that evaluates your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract to pinpoint why you have difficulty swallowing.
Your speech-language pathologist and radiologist will ask you to swallow a contrast media called barium sulfate to improve the visibility of your upper GI tract during the test. This allows your team to observe the anatomy and function of your throat with greater clarity.
A flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) test is a quick and easy procedure that can help diagnose issues if you're having trouble swallowing food or liquid. Your speech-language pathologist will use a flexible tube called an endoscope with a tiny camera and light attached to it. Before the test, they'll spray your nose with something to numb the area so that you won't feel a thing. Then, they'll gently insert the endoscope through your nose and into your throat, where they will check your throat, larynx, and trachea on a screen. They may ask you to swallow and try different textures and sizes of food and liquid. If you're experiencing trouble swallowing food and drinks, a FEES test can help to figure out what's going on.
Your speech and swallowing care deserves more than a one-size-fits-all approach. We consider your evaluation when mapping out a treatment path to help you communicate, learn and work to your fullest potential.
Speech-language therapy is also used to help people affected by severe hearing loss overcome speech, language and cognitive conditions to communicate confidently.
When it comes to treating your speech and swallowing condition, a strong support system is just what the doctor ordered. We help families cope with the stress and misunderstanding often accompanying speech, language and swallowing difficulties. Our doors are open to loved ones who want to learn skills and techniques to improve communication at home.
Your treatment plan will be uniquely yours and may include:
People with communication disabilities don’t have to feel silenced. We offer a range of picture, word and speech-generating communication aids that empower people with severe speech impairments to still communicate with others.
Deep pharyngeal neuromuscular stimulation (DPNS) is a therapy that restores your throat’s muscle strength and reflexes for better swallowing. DPNS can successfully improve:
- Reflexive cough
- Vocal quality
This treatment option, which lives within our facial muscle exercise program (FMEP), is for people who experience significant facial weakness and difficulty swallowing. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (ES) is a treatment option that promotes, maintains and preserves facial muscles and their functions.
ES is coupled with the following treatments within our FEMP:
- Articulatory speech tasks
- Deep pharyngeal neuromuscular stimulation (DPNS)
- Facial massage
- Lingual and labial oral-motor exercises
- Oral and facial icing techniques
An innovative technique has been discovered that can greatly improve the lives of people suffering from Parkinson's disease and other conditions that affect their ability to speak. This treatment helps individuals learn how to speak at a normal loudness level, which can boost their confidence and enable them to use a stronger voice. This method has been proven to be highly effective for those with conditions such as Parkinson's, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.