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Speech therapy

We provide evaluation and treatment services for pediatrics through adults. Speaking and swallowing are tasks that involve very coordinated, detailed movements of head and neck muscles. An injury to one of these muscles, or a disability that impacts the nerves that run to those muscles, could make these seemingly simple activities a whole lot harder to perform. The following are some, but not all, of the common conditions treated by Speech-Language Pathologists:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Language Delays/Disorders
  • Articulation Delays/Disorders
  • Social Language Skills
  • Voice Disorders
  • Stuttering
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Stroke/TIA
  • Dysphagia
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Dysarthria
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Speech therapy at Berger Health System can help. Our speech pathologists offer specialized therapy on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.

Speech therapy services

Some people leave off, add or substitute sounds when they speak. These speech sound disorders can impair clear communication, which makes conversations frustrating for both the speaker and the listener. Our speech language pathologists use therapy techniques that can help people to speak clearly.

We can also help people who have lost vocal ability due to a tracheostomy or some other medical intervention. Our therapists might help strengthen the muscles involved in speech, or they might provide training in alternate communication methods, including nonverbal communication and augmentative and alternative communication.

Some people who access our speech-language therapy services are adults. But we also help children, including kids impacted by developmental delays.

Swallowing therapy services

An inability to swallow can make eating and drinking more than difficult. When you have trouble swallowing, each sip or bite you take could become life-threatening. At Berger Health System, we understand the seriousness of these disorders. And we offer innovative therapies that can help.

We offer VitalStim Therapy, in which we'll use an external device to stimulate your muscles and nerves while we work with you on a swallowing exercise. This two-pronged approach can provide significant and lasting improvement of the swallowing mechanism, and it's just one of the ways we can help your swallowing ability improve.

Get the therapy you need

In order to enroll in our speech therapy program, you will need a referral from your doctor. We will use that referral to guide the development of the treatment plan we offer, and we will need to know the name of your doctor so we can keep him or her apprised of your therapy progress.

Meet the speech therapy team

Liz Fonzi, M.A., CCC-SLP

Liz Fonzi, M.A., CCC-SLP has been practicing at Berger Health System since 2009.  She has achieved her Bachelor of Science in Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences in 2003 from Ohio University and her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in 2007 from University of Cincinnati.  Liz specializes in the evaluation and treatment of pediatric speech, language, voice, feeding and swallowing disorders.  She is also trained in working with children on the Autism spectrum, children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Cleft Lip and Palate, and Downs Syndrome.  She is trained in using Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) , Augmentative-Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, and Beckman Oral Motor.  She is trained in working with adults with a variety of diagnoses (CVA’s, TBI, Swallowing, Voice, etc).  She is trained to complete Modified Barium Swallow Evaluations and treat swallowing disorders.

Mary F. Mason, M.S., CCC-SLP

Mary F. Mason, M.S., CCC-SLP has been practicing at Berger Health System since 1993. Mary achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Hearing studies from The College of Mount St. Joseph in 1985 and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from The University of Louisville in 1986. Mary specializes with tracheostomized and ventilator dependent patients. She is an author of Speech Pathology for Tracheostomized and Ventilator Dependent Patients, 1993. Mary lectures both nationally and internationally, including a graduate course at the University of Louisville, on this topic. Mary is trained on Vital Stimulation, DPNS training (Deep pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation), for swallow recovery.

Brianna McClung, M.S., CCC-SLP

Brianna McClung, M.S., CCC-SLP joined our team in August 2016!  Brianna graduated from Marshall University with her Bachelor of Science in 2009 and a Master of Science in Communication Disorders in 2011.  Brianna’s specializes in dysphagia management to evaluate and treatment swallowing disorders including vital stimulation treatment and completing Modified Barium Swallow Evaluations. She is also trained in working with adults who have suffered a stroke, traumatic brain injury, and/or are tracheostomy dependent. Brianna also is trained in treatment of pediatrics including articulation disorders, language disorders, children on the Autism spectrum, down syndrome, and children diagnosed with Apraxia of speech.

We hold appointments Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Learn more about our services offered at our new Health & Wellness center at 1280 N. Court St. here!

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