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Speech & Language Pathology

What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy focuses on assessing, diagnosing and treating patients with communication problems that typically result from disability, surgery or developmental disorders.

Ochsner is dedicated to providing diagnostic and therapeutic speech services to people of all ages: From infants to older adults. Speech-language pathologists, also known as speech therapists or speech pathologists, are professionals who specialize in assessing and treating problems affecting communication as well as feeding and swallowing.

"Speech therapy is centered around evaluating, diagnosing, and addressing communication challenges arising from conditions such as disability, surgery, or developmental disorders. At Ochsner, our commitment extends to delivering comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic speech services across all age groups, from infants to older adults. Our team of speech-language pathologists, commonly referred to as speech therapists or speech pathologists, are experts in the assessment and treatment of communication issues, including those related to feeding and swallowing. Rest assured, we are dedicated to providing specialized care to enhance the communication abilities and overall well-being of our diverse clientele."

Speech-language pathologists treat people who have communication or swallowing disorders. A communication disorder involves the inability to understand or appropriately use the speech and language common to our society. Swallowing disorders stem from the same physical issues that may impact speech.

Recognizing which disorders the speech-language pathologist treats begins with understanding several common types. Generally, speech therapy will focus on obtaining goals related to:

  • Articulation - Focuses on pronunciation of speech sounds
  • Language - Focuses on both receptive (understanding speech) and expressive language (speaking). Therapists will help with comprehension as well as communication.
  • Voice - Focuses on quality, volume and pitch of the voice.
  • Stuttering - Focuses on minimizing the interruptions to the normal flow of speech.
  • Cognitive Communication - Focuses on thinking, memory and learning skills. Therapists will help improve attention, concentration, orientation, memory, problem-solving and reasoning.
  • Chewing and Swallowing - Focuses on the ability to functionally and safely chew and swallow. Therapists work with patients who have swallowing disorders that affect the mouth, throat and upper esophagus.

People who may benefit from the types of speech therapy listed above include those who have had:

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Brain cancer
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Reflux
  • Progressive neurological disorders
  • Concussion
  • Esophageal dysphagia
  • Mild cognitive impairment

    At Ochsner, all of our services demonstrate how we maintain the highest standards in meeting each person's needs. Speech services are personalized for each patient to best fit their needs and goals for recovery or improvement of their communicative disorder. Evaluation and therapy services are provided for children and adults in the clinic, acute hospital and rehabilitation settings. Specialized diagnostic and therapeutic technology and strategies include:

    • Videofluoroscopy of swallowing (MBSS)
    • Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES)
    • Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)
    • McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program

    Our speech-language pathologists are also part of several multi-disciplinary teams at Ochsner that pull in expert physicians, rehab specialists and support services to offer full-spectrum care to patients. Our speech team is included in the following diagnosis-specific programs at Ochsner:

    • Huntington's Disease Clinic (designated a center of excellence by the Huntington's Disease Society of America)
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Clinic (designated a certified treatment center by the ALS Association)
    • Concussion Clinic

    Pediatric speech-language pathologists (speech therapists) help infants, children and teens with communication, feeding and swallowing skills.

    Our speech therapists provide comprehensive and family-centered care in these areas:

    • Alternative and augmentative communication
    • Articulation or phonological processes — challenges producing one or more speech sounds
    • Childhood apraxia of speech — a condition that impacts some kids’ ability make the right mouth movements necessary to speak correctly
    • Fluency — issues with the flow of speech
    • Receptive and expressive language — the ability to share needs, thoughts and wants
    • Social skills related to communication, including nonverbal communication and knowing what to say when
    • Feeding and swallowing difficulties, including breast and bottle feeding
    • Oral motor dysfunction

    Ochsner is one of only a few Louisiana healthcare facilities offering pediatric modified barium swallow studies.

    The Ochsner Adult Communicative Disorders Support Group meets every monthly to provide a comfortable setting for discussion and sharing common problems and solutions. It often meets needs beyond individual therapy.

    Patients may be referred by a physician or may self-refer. Call 877-889-2976 to schedule.

    Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Speech & Language Pathology

    Speech & Language Pathology Locations

    Ochsner Therapy & Wellness - Bay St. Louis
    149 Drinkwater Blvd.
    Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
    • Mon–Fri: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics
    2390 West Congress St.
    Lafayette, LA 70506
    • Open 24/7
    Ochsner Acadia General Hospital
    1305 Crowley Rayne Highway
    Crowley, LA 70526
    • Open 24/7
    Ochsner Lafayette General Orthopedic Hospital
    2810 Ambassador Caffery Parkway
    Lafayette, LA 70506
    • : 10:16 p.m.-10:16 p.m.
    • Open 24/7
    Ochsner St. Martin Hospital
    210 Champagne Blvd.
    Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
    • Open 24/7
    Ochsner Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital
    1310 West 7th St.
    Kaplan, LA 70548
    • Open 24/7
    Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
    1214 Coolidge St.
    Lafayette, LA 70503
    • Open 24/7
    Ochsner Medical Center - Hancock
    149 Drinkwater Blvd.
    Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
    • Open 24/7
    Ochsner Health Center - River Ridge
    9605 Jefferson Highway, Suite J
    River Ridge, LA 70123
    • Mon–Fri: 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Ochsner Health Center - Lapalco
    4225 Lapalco Blvd.
    Marrero, LA 70072
    • Mon–Fri: 7 a.m.-4 p.m.