Specialties and Therapeutic Practices:
Voice disorders happen for many reasons. Treatment depends on what's causing your voice disorder/disturbance. Your voice box or larynx is made of many different working parts such as muscle, cartilage, and mucus membranes. In it's simplest form, sound is created when your vocal cords vibrate. However, voice disorders disrupt the optimal functioning larynx, which impact your voice. Michelle has experience working with neurological voice disorders such as spasmodic dysphonia, vocal weakness and paralyzed vocal folds. She helps her patients reduce the stress induced vocalization that often causes polyps, nodules or cysts. Michelle teaches her therapeutic vocal program while integrating and training her patients in lifestyle coaching/education that directly impacts vocal function so you begin to love your voice once again.
Apraxia greatly impacts the patients ability to speak. It's a disturbance along the motor strip within the brain interrupting motor plans from the brain to the mouth. Patients will often understand what's being said, but are unable to verbalize a complete thought in return. Symptoms of apraxia are distorting sounds, groping behaviors of the face/lips/tongue, inconsistent speech errors, errors in tone, stress or speech rhythm. Through step by step evaluation processes Michelle quickly identifies if there's oral apraxia, verbal apraxia, motor apraxia or a combination. Michelle treats apraxia using her knowledge, experience and successful tools while integrating lifestyle practices to reduce stress, motivate and increase self confidence.
Brain injuries are debilitating and often crippling for the patient and family. There are various causes such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neuro-degenerative diseases ... Cognition encompasses how you think, organize, recall and acquire new knowledge using thoughts, experiences and senses. Cognition and linguistics go hand in hand as the brain interacts in sync to apply those processes to the world. Aspects often affected are reasoning, attention, memory and processing. Within each of those aspects are further sub-categories such as sustained/alternating/selective and divided attention, working/visual/episodic memory and inductive/deductive reasoning. You don't realize how you use all of these processes everyday, but they are essential in how you live. Through specific evaluation protocols, Michelle is able to identify the processes affected and approaches cognitive-linguistics using a core cognition functional approach tailored to include the interests and strengths of her patients.
Aphasia is a language impairment affecting comprehension and an individuals ability to speak. It often also involves impairment of reading and writing as well. It occurs to do an injury to the brain, which is almost always a stroke, but can also be caused by a brain injury such as a tumor or trauma. Aphasia can create numerous quality of life issues affecting jobs, relationships and day to day function. Treatment focuses on functional language recovery to optimize daily living tasks and a return to as much normalcy as possible. Some patients make a full recovery, others it's a slow process. Michelle believes the best intervention starts early and is wonderful in a group setting where patients are able to try their communication skills in a safe environment. Practicing initiating conversations, turn taking, clarifying misunderstandings and fixing broken conversations are functional and effective ways to assist long term recovery.
Often times it's thought a book holds all the knowledge regarding the diagnosis and treatment. A patient, child or adult, can have a specific disorder and present very differently from someone else with the same diagnosis. What this means is often treatment needs to look very different for each individual! Michelle understands that no matter the disorder, her focus is always to incorporate the patient/family in creating functional goals to achieve unstoppable success.