Rehabilitation Services

at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech-Language Pathology services at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital includes the diagnosis and treatment of adults with speech, language, voice and swallowing problems. Swallow Evaluations include Modified Barium Swallow (MBS) studies, or Videofluorscopic Swallowing Studies (VFSS) which are conducted in our Radiology Department with collaboration between Speech-Language Pathology and Radiology. We also complete Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) studies for assessment of swallowing disorders.

Our clinicians also evaluate and treat children with feeding and swallowing difficulties associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder, failure to thrive and picky eaters. We utilize the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach for the treatment of feeding disorders. Through the utilization of this holistic approach to feeding therapy, we address the whole child to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding problems through sensory desensitization.

In addition, we provide services addressing speech and language across the full age spectrum (birth to age 18), including but not limited to developmental articulation, expressive language disorders, stuttering, implementation of Assistive Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices, social pragmatic language and articulation therapy for those with hearing loss.

Frequently Asked Questions About Speech and Language Therapy

What is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP)?

SLPs are professionals who identify, evaluate and treat a wide range of speech, language and swallowing disorders throughout the lifespan.

An SLP has a master’s or doctoral degree based on specified coursework and supervised clinical practice, has passed a national standardized examination and has completed an additional nine months of closely supervised clinical work.

What do SLPs do?
  • Evaluate speech, language, swallowing and cognitive-communicative problems.
  • Assess the nature and severity of an individual’s swallowing or communicative problems.
  • Develop and implement a treatment program in collaboration with the patient, family and team.
  • Assist patients, when appropriate, with alternative and augmentative means of communication ranging from simple hand movements or alphabet boards to more complex and high-tech electronic devices.
  • Collaborate with team members to facilitate the individual’s functioning and independence.
  • Counsel and educate patients and caregivers on evaluation results, recommendations and resources.
  • Plan discharge according to what is needed for continued recovery at the next level of care.
  • Advocate for patients and families with health insurance providers, employers and services.
  • Participate in research in various settings to discover new and more effective ways to serve our patients.
How is a speech, language, cognitive or swallowing problem acquired?

People with communication disorders are young, old and in-between. Their problems may have existed from birth or resulted from an illness, accident or disease.

What are typical disorders related to speech and language pathology?
  • Aphasia
  • Articulation disorders*
  • Cognitive-communication disorders
  • Dysarthria/Apraxia
  • Dysphagia/swallowing disorders
  • Early literacy and communication delays*
  • Language learning disabilities*
  • Pragmatic difficulties*
  • Stuttering*
  • Voice disorders

* Pediatric services (age 18 and under)

Will speech and language pathology services help me?

Yes. Data collected by ASHA indicates that people who receive speech and language pathology services make improvements in all settings (hospital, outpatient and long-term care), including:

  • 93 percent of people with a motor speech disorder
  • 91 to 94 percent of patients with language problems
  • 82 percent of outpatient voice clients

Over HALF of patients in an acute care or rehabilitation hospital had feeding tubes removed by their time of discharge after receiving speech and language pathology services for dysphasia


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