Speech Therapy: Hitting All the Right Notes


Lake City resident, Pat Albright, loves to sing. She began experiencing hoarseness and her throat felt dry, and she was unable to hit notes she was accustomed to reaching. “I knew something was wrong. I thought I’d either have to quit my church choir or get help,” recalls Pat. She sought the help of an ear, nose, and throat specialist who referred her to Stewart Memorial Community Hospital for outpatient therapy with speech-language pathologist Courtney Schreck.

 Speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, work with children and adults who have concerns or problems with talking, understanding, thinking, and swallowing. For children, concerns typically arise related to delayed development or an accident/illness. With adults, concerns usually arise with aging, an accident or a medical condition that impairs their ability to do what they used to be able to. A referral is needed from a medical provider prior to beginning speech and language therapy services. Often a visit to your doctor is the first step in starting therapy. 

When Pat met with Courtney, they worked to strengthen Pat’s voice. “As we age,” explains Courtney, “we can lose mass of the tissues and muscles within the larynx where the vocal folds are located, just as we do with other muscles in the body. That results in poor tone, decreased loudness, and a weak voice.” 

During each session Courtney performed laryngeal massage on the outside of Pat’s throat and worked with her on exercises to strengthen her voice and increase breath support.

 “I really enjoyed my sessions with Courtney, and I learned so much!” enthuses Pat who continues to exercise her vocal cords. She is once again enjoying rehearsals with the choir. For this soprano, SMCH speech therapy sessions hit all the right notes.

For more information about Speech Therapy at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital, please call 712-464-4244.