Program Spotlight: Speech Therapy

St. Mary’s speech therapy program provides comprehensive evaluations and treatment for children and adolescents with a variety of speech, language, and feeding disorders. Our pediatric speech therapists work with a child one-on-one or in a small group. Interactions can include playing and talking while using pictures and books, as well as ongoing events designed to stimulate language development. For non-verbal patients, we use augmentative solutions from printed symbols to speech generating devices.

For kids at St. Mary’s who have difficulties with feeding and swallowing, speech therapy engages them in exercises that strengthen the muscles of the mouth. During this process, different food textures are used to encourage awareness during eating and swallowing. Special thanks to the National Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, the Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust, the Sexauer Foundation and the Slomo and Cindy Silvian Foundation for supporting the Center for Pediatric Feeding Disorders.

2017 was a particularly exciting time for speech therapy services. In addition to starting Toddler Storytime, we purchased a C-Arm medical imaging device with a grant from the New York City Council. The C-Arm is allowing our staff to take and record video x-rays of our patients while they are swallowing food. This device is enabling our staff to make the most informed decisions as to the patient’s treatment, and complete patient assessments faster and far more efficiently.

Speech therapy increases independence and improves important skills that allow a child to communicate more effectively. It also develops pre-literacy skills, improves swallowing function and safety, and so much more!