McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program (MDTP)
The McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program is an intense, exercise-based speech therapy program used to treat Dysphagia. Dysphagia includes difficulty in swallowing foods, liquids and even saliva, due to muscle weakness or paralysis. This can lead to poor nutrition, aspiration pneumonia and less enjoyment in eating. It is common with strokes, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, head/neck cancer and other progressive neurological disorders. Some signs of dysphagia are: coughing, choking or throat-clearing while eating or drinking. A sensation of food stuck in the mouth, throat or upper chest is also common.
Our certified speech-language pathologists will provide a proven food hierarchy, clinical strategies and performance monitoring during the therapy to help you reach the goal of safe oral intake. This is a progressive therapy and will involve more challenging physical movements as you go through the program. Our outpatient treatment plans generally consist of these important elements:
- Skill-building that will help restore communication and function.
- Strengthening of the muscles needed for speech, voice and swallowing.
- Patient/caregiver training that will help compensate for communication deficits and help you live more independently.
If you are suffering from dysphagia or difficulty swallowing, our certified speech-language pathologists may also incorporate Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) into your speech therapy. NMES is done using a VitalStim® or Ampcare™ device and is a non-invasive therapy that aids in muscle strengthening and helps your muscles relearn the process of swallowing.