Speech Pathology at Overlake provides a comprehensive program of speech-language evaluation and treatment for communication and swallowing disorders.
Swallowing problems, referred to as dysphagia, can be caused by neurological disorders or other injuries to the brain and/or musculature involved in swallowing. Abnormal swallowing can affect one’s ability to eat and drink safely, but with evaluation and treatment, successful swallowing can be achieved.
A physician’s referral is required prior to the evaluation.
A certified speech-language pathologist assesses the integrity of the swallow, and a treatment plan is developed and implemented. This plan may include food texture or liquid adjustments, swallow precautions and techniques, and include exercises to strengthen muscles and improve coordination.
Modified Barium Swallow studies utilizing video fluoroscopy are available for further assessment and diagnosis of swallowing disorders.
The experienced staff of speech-language pathologists at Overlake plan individual and group therapy programs for adults. All members of the staff hold the certification of clinical competence in speech-language pathology recognized by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
The Voice Therapy specialty service can offer assessment and treatment to patients with functional dysphonia; vocal nodules secondary to vocal misuse; puberphonia; aphonia; post laryngeal cancer; psychogenic dysphonia; irritable larynx syndrome; dysarthrophonia; spasmodic dysphonia and parodoxical vocal fold movement.
The sound of our voice is integral to our self image and if it changes following surgery, illness or stress, it can impact our lives significantly. Voice changes can encompass symptoms of a hoarse, strained voice; a whispery, weak voice; or an absent voice. These can be caused by surgery, a bad case of flu, stress or overuse in difficult environments.
An experienced speech pathologist is able to skillfully assess the sound of the voice and determine factors that may be contributing to the problem. Perceptual and instrumental measures are used. Voice therapy, exercises and direction is given, aimed at improving the way the muscles of the voice are used, in order to reach a patients’ optimum voice quality.
A physician referral for Speech Therapy is required prior to seeing patients.
All services include a comprehensive evaluation and patient and family education as needed. All treatment is performed by speech and language pathologists licensed in Washington.
Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT®-LOUD)
The LSVT-LOUD program is a highly specialized and nationally recognized type of speech therapy for patients with voice and speech disorders as a result of Parkinson's disease. It's a time-intensive, but simple program consisting of 16 one-hour sessions scheduled over the course of one month that helps patients improve the volume and clarity of their speech. The treatment techniques and vocal exercises teach patients to increase and strengthen their breath and exaggerate their speech volume so they can talk much louder and more clearly than they used to.
Overlake's LSVT-certified Speech-Language Pathologist is one of five LSVT therapists in Bellevue.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological condition that often causes a weak, breathy voice and indistinct speech, along with other physical symptoms including tremors and a slow, shuffling gait. Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) and cognitive impairments can also accompany the disease.