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Outpatient Speech Therapy

The goal of the speech-language pathologist at the San Diego Rehabilitation Institute is to provide functional evaluation and treatment of cognitive-linguistic, speech, voice and swallow disorders. A collaborative effort with the rehabilitation team, patients, families and physicians is made to provide individualized care and regain independence, following an illness or injury.

The ability to adequately communicate is an essential life skill that everyone needs for a satisfying quality of life. Likewise, cognitive changes such as reduced attention, memory or reasoning can negatively impact a patient's ability to return to school or gainful employment. Speech-language pathologists work with patients to develop functional strategies that allow for the successful return to activities of daily living.

Swallowing disorders can develop from neurological events, disease processes, injuries, head/neck surgery, cancer and other medical conditions. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is a relatively new treatment that can help patients strengthen muscles used for swallowing, potentially leading to safer and more efficient nutrition. The treatment may not be recommended for patients with active cancer, pacemakers, reduced responsiveness, seizure disorders and deep brain stimulators.

Speech therapy services include the following:

  • Speech and language assessment and treatment
  • Cognitive assessment and retraining
  • Motor speech dysfunction
  • Alternative/augmentative communication evaluation and training
  • Pre- and post-laryngectomy therapy
  • Videostroboscopy and voice therapy
  • FEES/MSB evaluation of swallow dysfunction and treatment
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation

Swallow Therapy

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) is a treatment for pharyngeal dysphagia resulting from stroke, radiation/chemotherapy, Parkinson's disease, head injury, head and neck surgery and cervical osteophytes. NMES can help patients—even with long-term problems—strengthen muscles used for swallowing, potentially leading to safer and more efficient eating. After receiving physician orders, our staff can use NMES to treat both inpatients and outpatients. The treatment may not be recommended for patients with active cancer, pacemakers, decreased responsiveness, seizure disorders and deep brain stimulators.

Contact Us

If you would like a referral, please contact us by e-mail or call:

Inpatient Rehabilitation: 619-229-7380
Outpatient Rehabilitation: 619-229-7216

Julie Cunningham, MA, CCC-SLP

Julie-CunninghamJulie Cunningham received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology at San Diego State University. She joined the team at Alvarado in 2016, where she has had the opportunity to work with patients at all stages in their recovery. She has experience working with a variety of disorders including voice, speech, language, cognition, and swallowing. Her passion is working with adults to help them feel fulfilled in their ability to communicate and participate fully in their lives. She enjoys collaborating with otolaryngologists (doctors who specialize in ear, nose, and throat disorders), physical and occupational therapists, and the rest of the medical team to provide the most comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan possible. She lives with her fiancé and their ginger tabby cat. She likes hiking, camping, and exploring all the neighborhoods in San Diego.