Speech therapy is medical treatment provided by certified speech-language pathologists (also called speech therapists) to help people with speech and language problems. Speech therapy includes various techniques to improve language skills, voice, fluency and clarity.
Our providers design custom treatment plans to manage a wide variety of speech-related conditions, ranging from vocal cord dysfunction, to difficulty speaking and understanding, to swallowing disorders. We work closely with your primary and other health care providers to keep them updated on your progress for coordinated care.
Contact Overlake Medical Center today to learn more about speech therapy and how to make an appointment. You’ll find our speech-language pathologists at our Bellevue Rehabilitation Services clinic.
What We Treat
Our speech therapists have extensive training and experience in a wide range of specialty areas:
- Aphasia (difficulty speaking and understanding speech)
- Dysarthria (a speech disorder caused by muscle weakness)
- Apraxia of speech (a speech disorder that makes it hard to speak because of motor planning and programming problems)
- Vocal cord disorders
- Speech disorders related to neurological conditions including brain injuries and Parkinson's disease
- Dysphagia (swallowing disorders)
- Speech and swallowing problems after head and neck cancer
- Cognitive (thinking) difficulties with communication caused by concussions, brain injuries and dementia
Our speech therapists offer the complete spectrum of treatments, and some of our top services include:
Speech-language and cognitive therapy
Speech-language and cognitive therapy help treat communication problems in children and adults. Therapy focuses on improving quality and clarity of speech, conveying or expressing information, understanding others and cognitive skills (listening, memory and speaking).
Voice therapy focuses on helping people produce sound from their voice box or larynx. Some people may need voice therapy due to a medical condition, such as vocal cord nodules or muscle tension. The goal of therapy is to help you produce sound or a clearer voice.
LSVT-LOUD® for Parkinson’s disease
Our skilled speech therapists also specialize in helping people with language issues caused by neurological disorders and injuries, such as Parkinson’s disease. We customize the LSVT-LOUD treatment for your specific needs to improve voice, speech and communication. LSVT-LOUD involves daily exercises and activities that help you speak louder and clearer.
Speech therapy and swallowing rehabilitation
We care for people with a wide variety of swallowing disorders, including esophageal motility disorders (problems with movement of food through the esophagus) and esophageal stenosis (narrowing of the esophagus). To help evaluate these disorders, our providers may recommend modified barium swallow studies (MBSS) and fiberoptic endoscopic evaluations of swallowing (FEES). Our speech-language pathologists can provide these specialized tests to help identify the underlying causes of swallowing problems so we can create a custom care plan for you.
We also treat swallowing disorders in people who have had head and neck cancer. Treatments for these types of cancers can impact your ability to swallow. Our team uses advanced diagnostic tests to determine exactly what’s causing each person’s swallowing disorder and develop an effective treatment.
What to Expect
Everyone’s speech therapy will be tailored to their unique needs and conditions. On average, you’ll attend speech therapy sessions once a week for 30 minutes to one hour. Some people may need speech therapy for several weeks, and others may attend sessions longer, depending on their condition. Some speech therapy appointments may be available via telehealth, depending on your visit and your needs.
During your initial evaluation, our speech therapists will discuss your medical history and symptoms to determine the right treatments for you. Our goal is to help restore your speech and communication so you can thrive.
What questions should I ask my provider about speech therapy?
- Have you worked with people who have this type of problem before?
- What are some realistic goals of speech therapy?
- How long will I need speech therapy?
- When can I expect results from speech therapy?
Do I need a doctor referral for speech therapy?
Yes, you’ll need a referral from your provider for speech therapy. Ask your provider to download and complete the referral form, and have the referral faxed to (425) 688-5912. After the referral has been submitted, call us at (425) 688-5900 to schedule your appointment. Some speech therapy appointments may be available via telehealth, depending on your visit and your needs.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of speech therapy?
Many health insurance plans cover speech therapy. Please contact your health insurance company to review your benefits and coverage.