& Swallowing Therapy

Clear Communication and Safe Swallowing

A VMH speech language pathologist diagnoses and treats a variety of communication, cognitive and swallowing issues for children and adults. Individuals referred by their primary care provider may receive therapy, with a strong emphasis placed on patient and family education.

For more information, contact 608-637-4385.

Therapies Offered

LSVT Big & Loud
Experiencing tremors, slow movements, impaired balance and stiffness can create problems with walking and completing daily tasks. Declining vocal strength, muffled speech and difficulty swallowing can create problems with communication and eating. LSVT Big & Loud empowers individuals diagnosed with Parkinson Disease to move BIGGER and speak LOUDER.

Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the language center of the brain, most commonly stroke. People with aphasia may have difficulty communicating and/or understanding language. A speech language pathologist diagnoses and provides therapy for aphasia, helping patients regain independence and the ability to communicate. 

Dysphagia is difficulty or inability to swallow foods or liquids and has many different causes. Any condition that weakens or disables muscles or nerves can cause dysphagia: cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral vascular accidents are examples of conditions that can cause dysphagia. Difficulty swallowing, coughing or choking when eating or drinking, or the sensation of something being “stuck” when swallowing can all be helped.

While many young speakers go through a normal developmental stage of stuttering, those who stutter consistently do so often despite a strong desire to not and will likely always stutter to some degree. However, they may seek the help of a speech language pathologist to learn techniques to decrease the stress, tension and negative image often associated with stuttering. 

Childhood Speech and Language
If there are concerns over a child’s acquisition of speech sounds or language development, a speech language pathologist can evaluate a child, provide speech and/or language therapy, and offer tools to help facilitate speech and language development.

Apraxia is a speech disorder of the nervous system. Those with apraxia know what they want to say, but when they try to say it, their brain cannot correctly coordinate the muscles of the mouth and face. The muscles are intact but communication between the brain and muscles is impaired.

Dysarthria occurs when the muscles of the face, mouth and respiratory system become weak as a result of a stroke or brain injury. The weakness may make talking and eating difficult.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Some people have an inability or difficulty communicating verbally, which can result in frustration and a decreased quality of life. Low- and high-tech augmentative and alternative communication devices are available to help.

Voice Disorders
Dysphonia and aphonia can involve a range of etiologies and symptoms that make it difficult for a person to use his or her voice effectively. Some symptoms may include chronic breathiness, hoarseness and/or decreased loudness levels.

Meet our Speech Language Pathologists

Allison Pierce MS, CCC-SLP, Supervisor Speech & Swallowing Therapy | Employee Team Leader

Education: Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from University of Wisconsin, Madison

Additional Certifications or Training:  Additional training in evaluation and treatment of voice/speech for people with Parkinson Disease- LSVT Certified.

Professional Areas of Interest:  Employee experience and leadership development; Voice and stuttering evaluation and treatment; Counseling in Speech Pathology; Animal Assisted Therapy

Personal Interests:  Cross country skiing, hygge, traveling, hiking, and training/competing with our English Cocker Spaniels in agility and other dog sports

Sara Troshynski Fredelake MS, CCC-SLP

Education: Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Marquette University

Additional Certifications or Training:  Additional certification in Dysphagia evaluation and treatment: MBSImP Certified, MDTP Certified, LSVT Certified.

Professional Areas of Interest:  Stroke and Brain Injury Recovery, Dysphagia Evaluation and Treatment, Language Treatment in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Personal Interests:  My family spends a lot of time doing projects on our small farm, we love to work on projects together, especially outside! I am always interested in learning new things!

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