Communication Disorders

Voice disorders

Voice disorders involve changes in voice quality, pitch, and loudness that are inappropriate for your age, gender, or culture. Your voice may sound hoarse, breathy, or feel strained. 


Your therapist may recommend a specialized voice test which uses a strobe light to show the movement of your vocal cords during speech. The therapist first applies a numbing gel to your nostrils, and then will place a thin camera into your nose to watch your vocal cords as you speak. 

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) LOUD

This is a specialized voice treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease which we offer at our outpatient clinics. To learn more visit LSVT Global's website.  

Passy-Muir Valve

If you are unable to speak due to a tracheostomy tube, an Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) may recommend a Passy-Muir Speaking/Swallowing Valve to help.

To learn more, visit and the American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Speech disorders


Dysarthria is a speech disorder caused by muscle weakness. These include muscles in our face, lips, tongue, and throat, as well as muscles for breathing. It is harder to talk when these muscles are weak. Dysarthria happens when you have weak muscles due to brain damage. It is a motor speech disorder and can be mild or severe.
  • Exercises. Your SLP might recommend an exercise program to improve muscle strength for speech. They may also suggest neuromuscular electrical stimulation if appropriate. 
  • Compensatory strategies. Your therapist may work with you on a variety of strategies to improve the clarity of your speech so that you may be understood, such as speaking louder and slower.

To learn more, visit the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and the National Aphasia Association.

Apraxia of Speech

Apraxia is a motor speech disorder that makes it hard to speak. To speak, messages must go from your brain to your mouth. These messages tell the muscles how and when to move to make sounds. When you have apraxia of speech, the messages do not get through correctly, due to brain damage. You might not be able to move your lips or tongue the right way to say sounds. Sometimes, you might not be able to speak at all.

To learn more, visit the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and the National Asphasia Association

Language disorders


Aphasia is a language disorder that happens when you have brain damage. Your brain has two halves. Language skills are in the left half of the brain in most people. Damage on that side of your brain may lead to language problems. Damage on the right side of your brain may cause other problems, like poor attention or memory. Aphasia may make it hard for you to understand, speak, read, or write. It does not make you less smart or cause problems with the way you think.

To learn more, visit the National Aphasia Association, Aphasia Hope and the American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

One strategy your therapist may recommend to help you communicate is the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Children and adults with severe speech or language problems may need to find other ways to communicate. There are many types of AAC that they can use.

To learn more, visit the American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Speech Communication Group

Palomar Health offers a Speech Communication Group

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (442) 281-3242 or visit our locations.

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