Speech Therapy

Communication is the ability to organize thoughts, transmit them to others, and receive and understand messages. Generally, this complex process is completed with little effort. But injury, illness, or developmental delay can impair the communication process.  

It is estimated that 10 percent of Americans of all ages suffer from speech impediments. The Speech Pathology Department of Schneck Medical Center offers a comprehensive program for identifying and treating these problems. 

Recognizing the Need for Speech Pathology Services

While every child is unique, all children develop in similar ways. When communication skills do not develop within a normal period of time, it is important to have the child evaluated. Early intervention may be critical in the development of appropriate speech or language skills.

Adults can also experience communication problems. Stroke, degenerative neurological diseases, traumatic brain injury, and numerous other problems can produce conditions that interfere with a person's ability to communicate effectively.

Problems with swallowing, or dysphagia, can be difficult for both children and adults. The causes of Dysphagia include premature birth, cleft lip/palate, stroke, degenerative neurological diseases, and oral/pharyngeal cancers. Compensatory techniques or other treatments from speech pathologists may alleviate these problems.

Childhood Disorders

Speech disorders are characterized by:
  • difficulty articulating or producing sounds; substituting one sound for another; omitting or distorting a particular sound
  • a voice that is hoarse, harsh, or breathy; too high or too low; too loud or too soft
  • disruptions in speech rhythm, including hesitations, repetitions, blocks, or prolongations of sound

Language disorders are characterized by:
  • difficulty comprehending or understanding language
  • difficulty using language, such as poor sentence structure, limited vocabulary, or lack of speech
  • difficulty processing or interpreting what one hears or sees

Swallowing disorders are characterized by:
  • difficulty sucking as an infant
  • difficulty transitioning to cup-drinking
  • difficulty transitioning to different textures of food
  • difficulty chewing textured food
  • coughing or choking frequently during eating or drinking

Adult Disorders

Speech disorders are characterized by: 
  • dysarthria - unclear speech due to oral muscle weakness
  • apraxia - difficulty processing the initiation or sequencing of sounds; voice that is hoarse, harsh, or breathy; too high or too low; or too loud or too soft
  • disruptions in speech rhythm - hesitations, repetitions, or prolongations of sounds

Language disorders are characterized by:
  • aphasia - difficulty understanding, processing, or comprehending language
  • difficulty expressing messages or putting thoughts together
  • anomia - difficulty finding the right words to say

Swallowing disorders are characterized by difficulty with:
  • coughing or choking during or immediately following meals
  • taking medications (not a problem if independent of another problem)
  • chewing or manipulating food in the mouth
  • swallowing food completely
  • painful or labored swallows
  • feeling that food becomes lodged in the throat

Obtaining Treatment

The earlier a communication/swallowing problem is diagnosed, the greater the chance for successful treatment. And our team of speech-language pathologists is well-equipped to assess and treat these disorders.

Our speech pathologists hold Masters degrees in communication disorders, are certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association, and are licensed to practice speech pathology by the State of Indiana. 


Contact Us

For more information about Speech Therapy, please call (812) 522-0488 or email us.