Speech Therapy

Turn to Johnston Health’s caring speech-language pathologists in Smithfield when you or your child needs help to communicate, think, or swallow more easily.

Benefits of Speech Therapy

Speech therapy can help you or your loved one:

  • Increase confidence and self-esteem
  • Perform better at school or work
  • Build relationships
  • Consume enough nutrients safely
  • Live more independently

Who Needs Speech Therapy?

Ask your doctor about speech therapy if you or your child has trouble:

  • Using the right words in the right order
  • Speaking fluently (without stuttering)
  • Pronouncing words clearly, correctly, and loudly
  • Understanding written, spoken, or nonverbal communication
  • Planning, thinking, or remembering
  • Feeding or swallowing

Speech therapy at Johnston Health can especially help children and adults who experience a brain injury, developmental delay, or intellectual disability.

Complete Evaluation

To assess your needs and abilities, the speech-language pathologist may:

  • Ask you or a family caregiver about your symptoms and overall health
  • Test communication skills
  • Use a barium swallow study or pass a tiny, fiberoptic tube into your throat to see how well you swallow
  • Watch your mouth, tongue, and lips as you speak

Personalized Treatment

Based on the evaluation results, your speech-language pathologist will work with you to set goals for therapy. You’ll likely schedule one or two appointments per week for services such as:

  • Apraxia therapy – Helps develop oral motor skills used in speaking
  • Assistive technology instruction – Shows how to use devices that ease communication
  • Basic sign language education – Teaches communication that uses hands and gestures rather than speech
  • Beckman Oral Motor Intervention – Uses the therapist’s hands or gentle tools to stretch or strengthen parts of the mouth
  • VitalStim® therapy – Places mild electrodes on the skin over the throat to help retrain swallowing muscles

Education on Your Condition

Your speech-language pathologist will teach you and a family caregiver or support person about your condition and discuss how you can make progress at home.

Interpreter Services

If you usually speak a language other than English, you’ll appreciate our video and audio access to interpreter services for more than 200 languages.

Request an Appointment

Ask your doctor to refer you to rehabilitation at UNC Health Johnston. Then, call us or ask your doctor’s office to call us at 919-938-7296 to make an appointment.

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