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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Children benefit from speech therapy program

  • For parents who notice delays or difficulties in their children's speech development, resources are a welcome find. And if those resources are close to home, all the better for parent and child.
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  • For parents who notice delays or difficulties in their children's speech development, resources are a welcome find. And if those resources are close to home, all the better for parent and child.
    That's why Saint John Hospital in Leavenworth developed a comprehensive outpatient speech therapy program, and is seeing more and more children in the Leavenworth, Basehor, Lansing and Fort Leavenworth areas.
    According to Diane Little, MA CCC-SLP, the outpatient speech and language therapy at Saint John is helping young children improve their language skills and be better prepared for school. Little is a certified language pathologist at Saint John, with more than 20 years experience.
    "We provide services for the pediatric through geriatric population," Little says. "We provide speech-language therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy here at Saint John on an outpatient basis."
    Speech therapy for children
    Saint John offers after-school hours for therapy, which is convenient for families. In addition, consultation with other therapy providers ensures continuity of care for children.
    "We work closely with the schools in the area," Little explains. "The school clinicians can refer parents to us if their child needs additional services."
    Students in K-12 often have an Individualized Education Program, or IEP, which helps them access special therapeutic services for speech, language and hearing challenges, among others.
    According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), speech and language disorders affect one's ability to talk, understand, read, and write. Such disorders have different causes, and may range from a few speech sound errors or repetitions of sounds or words to a total loss of the ability to use speech to communicate effectively.
    Speech therapy for adults
    Adults may experience speech and language difficulties for a variety of reasons, such as:
    • Apraxia – motor speech disorder due to brain damage
    • Dysarthria – weakening of muscles of the mouth, face and respiratory system, often due to a stroke or brain injuryn Stuttering – affects fluency of speech
    • Voice – from hoarseness to vocal cord damage
    • Aphasia – results from damage to the brain, and causes problems with speaking, listening, reading and writing
    • Swallowing – difficulty swallowing liquids, solids, medication, saliva
    Communication difficulties in adults may also relate to medical conditions such as ALS, dementia, Huntington's disease, laryngeal or oral cancer, right hemisphere brain injury, stroke, or traumatic brain injury. Saint John's speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy teams work closely with Saint John Hospital and Providence Medical Center doctors for both inpatient and outpatient services.
    Comprehensive rehabilitative therapy services are provided as ordered by the physician for patients admitted to the hospital.
    Most of these services are covered by private insurance, United HealthCare/TriCare, Medicare or Medicaid. A physician's order is required, so Leavenworth area residents are encouraged to consult the office of ENT physician Joel Waxman, M.D. at 913-281-8406 or the Providence Medical Group physicians at 913-727-6000.
    Page 2 of 2 - General questions about insurance coverage and the outpatient therapy program can be answered at saintjohnleavenworth.com or 913-680-6180.
    The outpatient rehab center is located at the entrance of the Saint John campus in Leavenworth at 3500 S. 4th Street. It adjoins the outpatient surgery center at Saint John, with easy access for patients needing cataract surgery, general surgery, diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopies and EGDs, and infusion therapy.

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