We offer assessments, therapy and advice to young and adult patients, both on an inpatient and an outpatient basis.
The main focus for speech therapy at the SPC is tracheal cannula management and therapy for dysphagia. Our large multi-professional team and many years of practical experience mean that we are able to offer diagnosis and therapy even for complex dysphagia, and particularly in the context of tracheal cannulas.
Areas of therapy
The act of swallowing is divided into a variety of phases which can be affected individually or by a combination of problems.
In addition to clinical examinations, diagnostics also involve the use of imaging processes (transnasal, fibre-optic endoscopic checks or video fluoroscopy).
Serious dysphagia can lead to aspiration pneumonia (saliva, liquids or food getting into the airway) and can also result in malnutrition. Eating and drinking play a pivotal role in many social contact situations; as a result, dysphagia may cause the sufferer to become withdrawn and to experience social isolation.
Treatment is individually tailored to the patient’s particular difficulties, aimed at all times at re-enabling them to eat and drink as soon as possible and without experiencing any complications.
Tracheal cannulas may be required if serious problems with breathing and/or swallowing develop. They affect breathing, swallowing and speech.
In order to achieve the best possible outcome in these three areas, tracheal cannulas must be selected according to the specific needs of the individual patient. Successful tracheal cannula management requires close interdisciplinary cooperation between all the specialists involved.
Speech disorders are frequently acquired as a result of a stroke or brain injury. All aspects of speech may be affected, i.e. speech production (speaking, writing) and comprehension (understanding verbal language, reading).
The aim of speech therapy is to restore the best possible communication skills for everyday situations.
Speech impairments mainly result from brain damage. They are characterised by unclear speech, also often referred to as “slurred speech”.
Because the areas of breathing, voice and articulation can be impaired in different combinations and degrees of severity, individual focuses are set in therapy.
Voice impairments can arise from, among other things, non-physiologic use of the vocal mechanism or organic changes. Hoarseness is the most common feature of voice impairment.
It can be treated by means of voice therapy, surgery or a combination of the two. We strive to achieve physiologic use of the voice where possible and to avoid overstraining, as well as over-compensating.
Paresis of the facial nerve
Paralysis of the facial nerve may be caused by accidents or by neurological illnesses, although it is also not uncommon for it to occur spontaneously. Paralysis of facial muscles generally only affects one side.
A variety of measures are used to stimulate the facial nerve and thus to stimulate the recovery of the muscles.
The SPC offers speech therapy students the opportunity to complete an internship. The requirements for this are a specific interest in working with adults, particularly in the area of dysphagia, as well as a minimum duration of twelve weeks, generally, and at least four working days on-site each week.
Courses and further training
We offer courses and workshops for speech therapists, nursing specialists and doctors who are interested in the areas of dysphasia and tracheal cannula management. The scope and contents can be coordinated to individual needs. A link to the courses we offer is provided here: