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SLP Services for Swallowing Disorders

SLPs can help with:

  • Drooling, or food/liquids leaking from the mouth

  • Food/liquids leaking from the nose

  • Complaints of food "sticking"

  • Globus sensation or complaints of a "fullness" in the neck

  • Complaints of pain when swallowing

  • Wet or gurgly sounding voice during or after eating or drinking

  • Coughing during or right after eating or drinking

  • Difficulty coordinating breathing and swallowing

  • Recurring aspiration pneumonia and/or respiratory infection 

  • Extra effort or time needed to chew or swallow


A swallowing disorder, known as dysphagia, may occur as a result of various medical conditions. SLPs are involved in the diagnosis and management of oral and pharyngeal dysphagia. 

Contact Andrea Lau at Speech Vancouver if you have any concerns regarding your swallowing. Andrea can provide assessment and therapy services in the comfort of your home in Vancouver and surrounding regions including: Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, and West Vancouver, Surrey. 


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Andrea's Ad​ditional Training and Qualifications for Dysphagia Management:

Andrea has worked extensively in various acute care hospitals and long-term care facilities with the primary focus on assessing and treating swallowing disorders (dysphagia). Andrea has also received additional training in the instrumental interpretation and analysis of the swallowing mechanism (e.g., via endoscopy or videofluoroscopy), further highlighting her knowledge of the swallowing anatomy & physiology. 

What's the cause of my swallowing difficulty? 


Dysphagia may result from numerous etiologies that cause change or damage to the central nervous system (e.g., brain or spinal cord) and/or nerves, such as ---

  • Stroke

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Dementia

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • ALS (or Lou Gehrig's disease)

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Developmental disabilities in an adult population (i.e., cerebral palsy)

  • Post-polio syndrome

  • Myasthenia gravis

Dysphagia may also occur from problems affecting the head and neck, including ---

  • Cancer in the oral cavity, pharynx, nasopharynx, or esophagus

  • Chemoradiation for head and neck cancer treatment

  • Trauma or surgery involving the head and neck

  • Decayed or missing teeth

  • Critical care that may have included oral intubation and/or tracheostomy

  • Certain medications

  • In patients with infectious diseases (e.g., sepsis, AIDS)

  • In patients with a variety of pulmonary diseases (e.g., cardiac obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD])

  • In patients with GERD

  • In patients following cardiothoracic surgery

  • In decompensated elderly patients.

How can a Speech-Language Pathologist help? 

Andrea is well-trained with extensive experience for assessing and providing management for dysphagia, with a specific focus on management that involves the client's own experience, the client's quality of life, and their functional goals. 

SLPs can help with: ​

  • Identifying the signs and symptoms of dysphagia

  • Identifying normal and abnormal swallowing anatomy and physiology

  • Performing, analyzing, and integrating information from non-instrumental and instrumental assessments of swallow function collaboratively with medical professionals, as appropriate

  • Providing safe and effective treatment for swallowing disorders, documenting progress, and determining appropriate dismissal criteria

  • Providing education and counseling to individuals and caregivers

  • Incorporating the client's/patient's dietary preferences and cultural practices as they relate to food choices during evaluation and treatment services

  • Determining the safety and effectiveness of current nutritional intake (e.g., positioning, feeding dependency, environment, diet modification, compensations).

Contact Andrea Lau at Speech Vancouver if you have any concerns regarding swallowing difficulty and management. 


For more information on how Speech Vancouver can help, please phone 604 723 9589 or email:

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