What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy is a crucial form of rehab aimed at addressing challenges related to speaking, understanding language, cognition and swallowing. It involves expert diagnosis and customized treatment plans, catered to individual needs.

Whether it's recovering language skills after a stroke or brain injury, or improving communication for those with neuromuscular disorders like Parkinson's disease or Guillain-Barre syndrome, speech therapy opens the door to enhanced quality of life.

Inpatient vs. outpatient speech therapy

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital offers comprehensive speech therapy services in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Our inpatient speech therapy program provides immersive care for those in the acute stages of recovery.

For ongoing support, we offer outpatient speech therapy options. Outpatient speech therapy is integral for patients transitioning from hospital to home, focusing on continued progress in speech and swallowing.

Types of speech therapy 

Speech therapy encompasses various forms tailored to the needs of each patient. It can include swallowing strategies and exercises, vocabulary exercises, articulation practice, attention and memory exercises, reading and writing for the improvement of a range of conditions, including:

  • Issues with listening, reading, writing or speaking (aphasia)
  • Issues with memory, organization or thinking skills (cognitive/linguistic)
  • Pronunciation disorders (apraxia)
  • Slurred speech (dysarthria)
  • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia)
  • Fluency disorders
  • Voice disorders

The diverse nature of these therapies allows for personalized treatment plans, ensuring every patient receives the care they require for their specific condition.

What to expect from speech therapy

Speech therapy is a collaborative process, involving the patient, their family and a therapist who ensures that therapy not only addresses the clinical needs but also fits the patient's lifestyle and goals.

After a thorough evaluation of a patient's speech, language, cognition and swallowing capabilities, our team of master's-level, licensed and certified speech therapists devise a plan. This may include traditional speech exercises, cutting-edge technology to aid in recovery or participation in support groups. This multidisciplinary approach guarantees that each patient benefits from a therapy plan tailored just for them.

Speech therapy may start as an intensive part of the rehabilitation process and gradually decrease in frequency as the patient makes progress. Some conditions may require intensive, long-term therapy, while others might see significant improvements in a relatively short period. Setting realistic goals and managing expectations is a crucial part of this phase, ensuring that patients and their families understand the journey ahead.

While some improvements can be seen relatively quickly, speech therapy is often a long-term commitment. Celebrating small milestones becomes an important part of keeping the patient motivated and engaged. Moreover, as part of long-term care, speech therapists also work on strategies to help patients cope with and compensate for any persistent difficulties, ensuring they can communicate and swallow as effectively as possible within their capabilities.

Aphasia support group

This group is designed for people with aphasia to enhance communication and social skills. The group is facilitated by a speech-language pathologist who will assist with group interaction or when there is a breakdown in communication. The group's objective is to provide a forum for participants to share the frustrations and challenges of aphasia, solutions and develop social connections.

The aphasia support group meets the first and third Thursday of the month from 4-5 p.m. in the Patient Dining Room. For more information, call 484.596.5667 or email  [email protected].