Speech Therapy at the Cloquet Hospital

Improve communication and improve your life

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy services through the lifespan

Speech and language disorders affect a person’s ability to speak, understand, write and read. These disorders have a range of causes and may vary from a few speech sound errors to a total loss of the ability to speak and communicate effectively.

Speech therapists

  • Director of Speech Therapy, Karen Hartung, MS CCC-SLP Vital Stim Certified, LSVT Certified
  • Speech Therapist: Debora Braun, MA CCC-SLP Vital Stim Certified, LSVT Certified
  • Speech Therapist: Janine Meister, MA CCC-SLP

Our Speech Therapy Department offers experienced staff to work with a variety of impairments that affect a person’s ability to communicate effectively and swallow safely. The CMH Speech Therapy Department provides evaluation and treatment services to children and adults.

Appointments are by referral only. Please contact your primary care provider to initiate an appointment.

Pediatric speech therapy services

Whether your child is having difficulty developing communication or swallowing skills, or has had an injury, accident, or illness where they need to relearn these skills, our speech therapy team is here for you. We know children learn best through play, so we will motivate your child to develop to their full potential through fun play-based activities.

We frequently help children with:

  • Language disorders: Not meeting language developmental milestones in the expected timeframe, difficulty communicating, difficulty with grammar, difficulty comprehending language, difficulty reading, difficulty writing.
  • Articulation disorders: Difficulty pronouncing words correctly, substituting sounds, difficult to understand
  • Swallowing disorders: Difficulty nursing/taking bottle, Difficulty advancing to solid foods, difficulty chewing, coughing, gagging, choking frequently, messy eating, reduced oral motor skills for eating
  • Stuttering: Difficulty with speech fluency, repeating words/partial words, difficulty getting words out, extra non speech noises
  • Voice disorders: hoarse vocal quality, nasal vocal quality, vocal loudness issues
  • Augmentative/alternative communication: Teaching use of pictures, gestures, speech generating devices, and high-tech communication systems
  • Concussion, brain injury, and stroke rehab
  • Social communication disorders: difficulty with social skills, figurative language, expected social behaviors
  • Pediatric Rehab Program: coordinated care with PT and OT to meet all of your child’s needs. Coordinated scheduling efforts to make back to back appointments when able. Collaboration between therapies when appropriate to have multiple disciplines involved in a single appointment

Adult speech therapy services

Adults generally seek speech therapy after an illness or injury changes their ability to communicate or swallow. At times, adults need speech therapy services for gradual changes through aging or unknown causes.

We frequently help adults with:

  • Communication problems after a concussion, stroke, brain injury, or illness
  • Swallowing disorders: difficulty chewing, difficulty swallowing foods, coughing or choking after swallowing, foods sticking in your throat. We complete Modified barium swallow study/Videofluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) to assess swallowing functions and make recommendations for treatment. We may recommend altered foods/liquids or strengthening exercises with Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (VitalStim) to improve swallowing
  • Augmentative/alternative communication: Communication through non-speech methods including high tech communication systems
  • Cognitive communication disorders: Difficulty with cognition and language related language, including difficulty recalling what was said, difficulty comprehending, difficulty with verbal reasoning, difficulty with concentrating on conversation
  • Stuttering/fluency disorders: Difficulty with speech fluency, repeating words / partial words, difficulty getting words out, extra non speech noises
  • Voice disorders: hoarse or harsh vocal quality, nasal vocal quality, problems with vocal loudness
  • Communication following a laryngectomy, as well as rehab following treatment for head and neck cancers

Speech therapy is part of CMH’s Concussion Rehabilitation Program team

Concussions can result in several symptoms that affect daily life, work, school, and athletics. The CMH Rehabilitation team is equipped to provide you with a comprehensive evaluation and intervention to help alleviate the negative symptoms often associated with concussion.

As part of concussion rehabilitation, speech therapy helps assess and treat impairments in attention/concentration, processing speed, memory, reading comprehension, word retrieval, organization, reasoning, insight, judgement, problem solving, and self-awareness.

Ask your physician for a referral for the CMH Post Concussion Rehabilitation Program.

Embracing speech therapy at CMH: a patient testimonial

Five year old Thomas Power, who struggled with chronic ear infections as an infant, developed difficulty hearing. This affected his speech development and that of his younger brother, Joey–who patterned his communication.

Together, the two boys underwent speech therapy with CMH therapists Deb Braun and Karen Hartung. Their mom, Terese Power, said, “They met Joey and Thomas’s needs and really worked to identify different methods of engaging the boys.” The personalized approach, Terese said, made the experience fun for the boys and introduced tips and tools for the boys to continue working with once they finished therapy.

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Community Memorial Hospital
512 Skyline Boulevard
Cloquet, Minnesota 55720
218-879-4641

CMH Urgent Care hours: Monday-Friday, 5-9pm; Saturday 9am-3pm; closed on holidays
Hospital & Emergency Room 218-879-4641

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