Speech Therapy

Speech therapy provides treatment for children and adults who have difficulties with speech, language, communication, voice and swallowing. Speech therapy at JRMC can support those who may suffer from:

  • stroke
  • swallowing difficulty
  • memory impairments
  • language delay
  • stuttering
  • complications following head, neck and throat cancer
  • complications following traumatic brain injury

Speech-language pathologists develop strategies to improve overall communication. They teach patients and their families what to do so that healing continues throughout their daily lives at home. Speech therapy is one component of our comprehensive communication services. Learn more about audiology and our Ear, Nose & Throat physician.  

Speech is the movement and accurate production of individual sounds. Speech complications may occur due to stroke, progressive neurological disorders (ALS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease),  congenital disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome), or delayed language development in children.

  • Motor speech
    • speech difficulties that usually occur post stroke, post brain injury, or from other neurological disorders
    • may include difficulty with certain sounds or pronunciations
  • Articulation errors
    • lisp
  • Sound substitution
    • saying “wabbit” for “rabbit”
  • Omissions
    • saying “oo” for “shoe”
  • Stuttering
    • includes repetition of words and sounds (Will-will-will-will we go to the store, I w-w-w-w-want ice cream)
    • prolongation of sounds (SSSSunday comes after Saturday.)

Language is a combination of the ability to accurately express wants and needs and understanding what others are communicating to you. Changes in language may occur due to stroke, progressive neurological disorders (ALS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease), or congenital disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome)

  • Expressive Language
    • ability to accurately express wants and needs
    • using correct vocabulary
    • writing abilities
    • object naming
  • Receptive Language
    • direction following
    • comprehending what other’s are communicating
    • reading abilities
    • accurately answering questions
  • Cognitive Communication
    • memory
    • attention
    • problem solving
    • organizing
    • daily living skills: balancing a checkbook, reading a recipe, remembering appointments
  • How speech can help
    • provide alternative forms of communication
    • provide compensatory language strategies
    • provide language rehab
    • provide cognitive rehab


Voice disorders include any sudden, unexplained, or progressive difference in the voice.

  • Disordered voice qualities may include
    • raspy voice
    • hoarse voice
    • shaky voice
    • uneven sounding
    • pitch breaks
    • inappropriate pitch for age and gender
    • low volume
  • Causes of voice disorders
    • vocal nodules
    • vocal polyps
    • allergies
    • neurological disorders (Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, MS)
  • How can speech help
    • teach appropriate voice habits
    • behavioral intervention
    • vocal hygiene
    • Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT)- Parkinson’s Disease specific
Swallowing disorders may occur due to stroke, progressive neurological disorders (ALS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease), congenital disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome), or normal aging.

  • Swallowing disorders may include
    • difficulty chewing
    • difficulty swallowing
    • coughing when eating/drinking
    • choking when eating/drinking
  • How speech can help
    • strengthening exercises
    • modified diet
    • sensory stimulation

REBECCA GUSSIAAS, MS, CCC-SLP • Speech Language Pathologist

Becca joined the JRMC team in 2015. She is originally from Carrington, ND. She attended Minnesota State University Moorhead for her undergrad and graduate degrees. She is certified in Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT), Vital Stim and Myofascial Release for neck, voice and swallowing disorders.

“I chose speech therapy to help others find their ‘voice.’ Communication makes the world go round!” – Becca




Contact JRMC Rehab to Learn More

  • (701) 952-4800