UC San Diego Health’s speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat all types of speech, language, social communication, cognitive communication and swallowing disorders.
Our therapists are all licensed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, a nationally recognized credential that meets the highest standards of excellence in the profession.
We see a wide range of patients every day – from professional singers to individuals recovering from a stroke.
Some of the conditions we commonly treat include:
- Apraxia (a motor speech disorder in which signals from the brain to the mouth are impaired)
- Aphasia (language difficulties, caused by brain damage)
- Dysarthria (a motor speech disorder often characterized by slurred or slow speech)
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Painful swallowing
- Stuttering and other speech impediments
- Voice disorders (problems with speech production such as abnormal pitch, loudness or loss of voice)
As part of an academic medical center, our therapists use evidence-based methods (methods grounded in science) and the most advanced diagnostic technologies to achieve the best outcomes for our patients.
Our services include:
- Evaluations -- an initial assessment by a certified speech-language pathologist is a first step in crafting a successful rehabilitation plan. You must obtain a referral from a physician for an evaluation before any treatment by a speech-language pathologist can begin.
- Radiologic fluoroscopic exams (modified barium swallow exams) -- a movie-type x-ray called fluoroscopy is used to create a video of the patient swallowing
Flexible endoscopic exams -- endoscopy is used to observe the inside of the throat
- Electrical stimulation (e-stem) -- the technique helps enervate (stimulate) nerves that control muscles involved in speech and swallowing
- Compensatory swallow techniques -- we teach patients how to compensate for loss of function
- Muscle strengthening exercises -- specific exercises can help restore function of the muscles involved in speech and swallowing
- Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT) -- an effective treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions
- Home exercises -- we teach you a sequence of exercises you can do at home to maintain and continue to improve recovery
Because of wide variety of medical conditions that can affect communication and the physical act of swallowing, our patients’ care is often coordinated with medical specialists in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), neurology, gastroenterology, head and neck oncology, radiation oncology, and pulmonary medicine.