Children with developmental delays and adults who have suffered a stroke, injury or other neurological disorders may benefit greatly from our program. Those who have difficulty speaking or those who are speaking but who are not speaking clearly can receive help at HVCH. We also provide therapy for patients who have difficulty swallowing and eating.
Speech, language and swallowing therapies are available Monday through Friday for patients of all ages — infants to geriatric.
Difficulty swallowing or choking can be evaluated and treated by our team. A radiologist and a speech pathologist work in conjunction with our imaging department to conduct a modified barium swallow test under video fluoroscopy. In this test, the patient sits in a special clinical chair while foods of various densities are swallowed, observed and recorded. This assessment allows the treatment team to prescribe a diet of foods or food preparations appropriate for the patient in order to prevent aspiration of food or liquid into the lungs.
We work closely with the family physician and radiologist to prescribe a safe diet, appropriate exercise, recommendations for posture and a swallowing rehabilitation program. In essence, we develop strategies for safe swallowing to avoid the medical complications of choking. Staff members from both departments work together to serve inpatients and outpatients.
People with neurological disorders are often at risk for swallowing difficulties. Besides regulating the density of foods, our team will help determine the best posture for swallowing.