Skip to main content

Speech and Language Pathology

Clinical Services

Evaluation services provided by the Speech Language Pathology team include:

  • Assessment of infant, pediatric and adult oral motor function, swallowing and feeding skills
  • Online computerized measures to assess language function and cognitive processes
  • Brain mapping procedures to assist in determining localization of language function
  • Instrumental assessment of swallowing function with, video-fluorography
  • Assessment of speech and language development in children and adolescents
  • Assessment of speech, language, cognitive function for both adults and children
  • Assessment of voice and resonance with acoustic, perceptual and direct visualization techniques
  • Assessment of candidacy for alternative augmentative communication systems
  • Assessment of oral sensorimotor function for swallowing, feeding and speaking

Consultative and Patient Teaching
Consultative services are provided in the areas of speech, language, oral motor, swallowing/feeding, and cognitive functions for both adults and children. Patient and family education is provided regarding the relationships and impact of specific medical therapies and surgical interventions with speech, language and oral motor functioning. Patients and their families are instructed in home programs to improve functional communication and ability to eat safely.

Clinical Therapeutic Intervention Programs
Therapeutic intervention programs are individually designed to meet the needs of the patient's specific disorder. Therapy services are geared to assist the individual in optimizing his/her communication skills for daily activities, returning to work and planning optimal educational and developmental programs. Standard therapeutic approaches, biofeedback and innovative state of the art programs are utilized to achieve the desired therapeutic goals.

Oral Motor and Swallowing Rehabilitation Program
State-of-the-art assessments are utilized to establish the differential diagnosis of an oral motor deficit or a swallowing disorder. This program uses an innovative approach with standard oral motor assessments, feeding evaluations and new instrumentation assessments documenting anatomic and physiologic aspects of the swallowing. Video-fluoroscopy is performed to provide a delineation of the swallowing dysfunction for assessments, treatment planning and intervention. Individual therapeutic programs are designed and conducted utilizing both standard therapeutic approaches along with biofeedback instrumentation. This program is offered to a variety of neurological, neuromuscular, otolaryngologic, and craniofacial disorders including: stroke, Parkinson's disease, Nieman Pick disease, Gauche disease, juvenile dermatomyosits, inclusion body myositis, cystinosis, head and neck cancers, Beckwith Wiedeman syndrome, and Smith Magenis syndrome.

Language and Discourse Rehabilitation Program
Using psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic theories, sensitive, computerized, and in-depth methods of assessment are conducted to determine precise points of breakdown in language processes. Individualized intervention programs directed toward remediation of impaired processes and re-establishment of functional communication in the patient's natural environments are available. Patients and family members are taught to analyze their interactive discourse "online" or in real time, and to make the necessary adjustments to increase the patient's participation in communicative events. Specialized methods of assessment (e.g. brain mapping of language during cortical stimulation) have been developed to determine where language is localized in the brain, which assists in making medical and surgical decisions aimed at preserving functional communication.

Computerized Voice Laboratory
Vocal dysfunction secondary to various medical conditions are evaluated and treated with various instrumentation tools including acoustic, perceptual, and direct visualization techniques. In-depth analysis is performed statistically to document an individual's baseline performance for comparison of treatment change. Visual and auditory biofeedback is a major component of this program for patient education, self-monitoring skills and documentation of treatment effectiveness.

Voice Restoration Rehabilitation Program
Head and Neck Oncology patients are evaluated and treated prior to undergoing surgical procedures and reconstruction. Rehabilitative services are provided to these patients and consist of electro-larynx use, esophageal speech training and speech retraining with a tracheoesophageal puncture. State-of-the-art techniques and equipment provide a patient with return of functional voice to facilitate a patient's return to his/her daily function and activities.

Adult and Pediatric Speech/Language/Cognitive Rehabilitation Programs
Sensitive assessment tools consisting of behavioral and instrumentation measures are performed during the initial evaluation. These measures along with an individual's daily functional activities are analyzed to design individual treatment programs to achieve optimal functional communication and skills. Therapeutic program design incorporates goals that are within the needs and desires of each patient's lifestyle. Biofeedback approaches with instrumentation are utilized to enhance therapeutic outcomes.

Pediatric Oral Motor and Swallowing Rehabilitation
Multi-faceted assessment tools are utilized in this program to clearly delineate deficits in oral motor development and swallowing. These include standard oral motor anatomic and physiologic evaluations, general musculoskeletal assessments for posture control and utensil holding, objective assessments evaluating oral, pharyngeal and esophageal phases of swallowing. Therapy programs include direct and indirect approaches to enhance a child's abilities. These consist of alterations in diet with consultation from physicians and nutritionists, postural changes and adaptive seating with assistance from other rehabilitation medicine team members, indirect strengthening and range of motion activities along with strategies to enhance swallow function. Utilization of biofeedback with oral ultrasound and electromyography are incorporated into treatment to optimize a patient's outcome. Education of primary care giver and school providers is heavily focused in this rehabilitation program. Children receiving services are medically complex infant and toddlers, craniofacial disorders, neuromuscular and progressive neurological diseases.

NOTE: PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader.

This page last updated on 07/26/2017

You are now leaving the NIH Clinical Center website.

This external link is provided for your convenience to offer additional information. The NIH Clinical Center is not responsible for the availability, content or accuracy of this external site.

The NIH Clinical Center does not endorse, authorize or guarantee the sponsors, information, products or services described or offered at this external site. You will be subject to the destination site’s privacy policy if you follow this link.

More information about the NIH Clinical Center Privacy and Disclaimer policy is available at