Feeding, Swallowing and Voice

Eating crackers

Visit us at our new state-of-the-art facility, where we offer interdisciplinary assessment and management of pediatric and adult feeding, swallowing, and voice disorders with expertise and scope that is unmatched. We are the only center offering these comprehensive services in our 7 county region and who employs 2 of only 21 therapists in Ohio with special certifications in swallowing and swallowing disorders.

Feeding/Dysphagia Therapy

Difficulty swallowing can happen at any age. We offer expert care in the treatment of feeding and swallowing disorders. Feeding and swallowing problems (dysphagia) are extremely complex and surprisingly common in adults and children. The dysphasia treatment we provide is designed specifically for a patient’s anatomical, physiological, and even psychological needs as determined through the evaluation process.


Common causes of dysphagia in children are sensory processing disorders, structural abnormalities (i.e. cleft lip/palate), genetic syndromes, birth defects, GI disorders, prematurity, failure to thrive, picky eaters, and low muscle tone. The evaluation process includes a clinical evaluation paired with an extensive parental report. Pediatric patients are typically seen one to three times per week.

What areas does pediatric feeding/dysphagia therapy address?

  • Introducing new foods.
  • Normalization of the sensory system.
  • Developing self-feeding skills.
  • Swallowing strategies.
  • Active exercise plans.
  • Family-centered feeding plans.


Some common causes of dysphagia in adults include head/neck cancer, TBI (traumatic brain injury), progressive diseases, post surgical complications, esophageal dysfunction, and aging. The evaluative process includes clinical swallowing evaluations, modified barium swallow studies, and fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of the swallow (FEES). Adult patients are typically seen one to three times per week.

What areas does adult dysphagia therapy address?

  • Active oral and pharyngeal exercise plans.
  • Swallowing strategies.
  • Diet modifications.
  • Biofeedback.
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES).
  • Expiratory muscle strength trainer (EMST).

Voice Therapy

Voice disorders can happen for a variety of reasons and may greatly affect your quality of life. We can help you improve your voice. In collaboration with Dr. Clifton Hood, ENT, we offer specialty voice evaluation and treatment options. Our expert therapists perform rigid oral endoscopy and flexible nasal endoscopy for the purposes of videolaryngostroboscopy (VLS) assessment. VLS is an instrumental tool used to evaluate the pharyngeal and laryngeal structure and function, and aids in the diagnosis of a wide variety of voice disorders including: muscle tension dysphonia, vocal nodules, vocal fold polyps, cysts, granulomas, reinke’s edema, chronic laryngitis, chronic reflux, paradoxical vocal fold dysfunction, presbylaryngeus, puberphonia, spasmodic dysphonia, and unilateral and bilateral vocal fold paresis/paralysis. In addition, thorough acoustic and perceptual voice evaluations are able to be completed. These procedures allow for high quality assessment of the vocal mechanism. Our qualified therapists also provide therapeutic voice services as needed, giving patients excellent continuity and quality of care close to home.

What areas does voice therapy address?

  • Vocal function exercises.
  • Use of virtual voice trainer.
  • Identifying and eliminating phonotraumatic behaviors.
  • Breathing and laryngeal relaxation techniques.
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES).

Meet Our Staff

Contact Us

We are committed to providing prompt appointments to patients who need evaluation and treatment. To initiate therapy we will need:

  • A prescription from your or your child’s primary care physician ordering Speech Therapy services, which includes a diagnosis.
  • An initial evaluation scheduled at Mary Rutan Hospital Therapy & Sports Medicine.

Mary Rutan Hospital Therapy & Sports Medicine
1134 N. Main Street
Bellefontaine, OH 43311

Phone: 937.593.0822
Fax: 937.599.5022

Get driving directions and map.

Phone: 937.593.0822

Mary Rutan Hospital Therapy & Sports Medicine
211 Lippencott Lane
Urbana, OH 43078
Phone: 937.887.0163
Fax: 937.651.6801


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