Speech-Language Pathologists evaluate and treat the following areas: feeding, swallowing, speech, language, cognition, and voice. Children with congenital heart disease often have difficulty with feeding. Speech-Language Pathologists will assist with infant feeding and swallowing throughout your child's hospitalization. Some children will require instrumental swallowing assessments that a Speech-Language Pathologist will complete. The Speech-Language Pathologist works closely with other professionals, such as nutrition, to develop an individualized feeding plan for each child. The Speech-Language Pathologist will provide education to family members to help assist in your child's care.
A Speech-Language Pathologist will often start seeing your child before surgery and continue to follow through discharge. They will be present when feeding begins after surgery and guide you through every step of the process. They will also help transition to outpatient speech therapy services as needed.