A voice therapy specialty program was launched by Waveny LifeCare Network through its rehabilitation services and Waveny Home Healthcare.
Led by speech language pathologist Sally Connolly, voice therapy can address a variety of needs stemming from medical conditions or trauma, or even help to enhance normal vocal functions like projection or singing.
"Many factors can lead to lost or reduced vocal function," Connolly said. "Neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease can negatively impact one's voice and speech, as can other conditions or physical conditions such as cancer or trauma to the larynx. Voice therapy can help significantly in many of these cases."
The therapy can also assist with common vocal conditions and help to improve speech projection and delivery.
"Many people experience frustration due to a hoarse or breathy voice, while others have difficulty projecting their voices in specific social settings or in the workplace," Connolly said. "In fact, sometimes people lose their speaking voice or parts of their vocal range completely. In these instances, voice therapy can often restore or improve the voice and provide more personal control. It's an appropriate method of treatment for public speakers, professional singers, older adults and anyone else who would like to improve their verbal expression abilities."
A professional singer and flutist, Connolly can attest to the value of therapy, as her own personal experience with vocal loss and subsequent treatment was a driving force in shaping her career path as a speech pathologist.
"I lost part of my vocal range while I was in college at Brown University," Connolly said. "In my speech pathology program at Boston University, I had the honor of completing a specialty clinical placement at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary alongside professional singers and speech-language pathologists and was able to apply the therapy techniques I learned to resolve my own voice issues."
Connolly received an undergraduate degree in behavioral neuroscience and a master's degree in speech language pathology from Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She has completed additional continuing education courses.
For information, call 203-594-5335 or visit www.waveny.org.