Thursday, May 23, 2024

Leavenworth Speech-Language Pathologist provides in-home therapy for better quality of life

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LEAVENWORTH – Allison Mattucci, M.S., CCC-SLP, is providing in-home speech, language, cognitive and swallow therapy for adults through her new business, Alpine Speech Solutions.

Mattucci moved to Leavenworth in 2022, and started working at Achieve Center Pediatric Therapy in Wenatchee. However, she started seeing the need to provide in-home therapy to adults in the area, who often face transportation challenges or lack of options for care.

“I think that's that was a huge factor in me coming to realize that I could be helping people that currently just don't have the access to help,” said Mattucci.

Mattuci’s work is focused not only on basic functioning skills, but improving a client’s quality of life. To her, eating and communication are two foundational aspects of the human experience.  The ability to communicate wants, needs and emotions is the key to fostering relationships. Additionally, going from surviving on applesauce to enjoying a hamburger can not only improve the senses, but also be a segue for making connections. 

“Similar to communication, swallowing is so social. Going out to eat, having family dinners, and holiday get-togethers all revolve around eating,” said Mattucci.

Improving these skills can be influential in improving a person’s life, but according to Mattucci, they are often overlooked.

“A lot of times people with these disorders are referred to physical and occupational therapy, and sometimes their speech just kind of gets put on the backburner. But they're still frustrated and they don't have an avenue to look towards. They're stuck in their speech, and maybe they're stuck on a diet level too, and they don't know where to go,” said Mattucci.

Alpine Speech Solutions is trying to bridge that gap. Mattuci’s work can be broad, covering three distinct areas with some overlap: communication, cognition, and swallowing. 

Mattucci may help clients improve muscle strength and coordination if they are unable to swallow or sound out words in speech, such as those who have suffered a stroke. 

“Kind of like how you go to a gym and you work out your arms, it's like going to speech therapy to work out your mouth and oral structures like your tongue and your lips,” said Mattucci.

Mattucci will also teach clients compensatory strategies, or different ways of completing a task. This can be especially helpful for those with Alzheimer’s or a traumatic brain injury (TBI), who need help with both cognition and language. 

For cognition, a client may work on writing lists or sticky notes to help them remember a morning routine, or to turn off the oven. When a client struggles to remember language, they can use picture boards or circumlocution, the act of describing the word without saying it.

For all three therapy groups, in-home care can be paramount to clinical service. Mattucci can draw from the tools readily available within the home, providing customized, efficient care. The in-home visits offer more comfort for those who have just left the hospital, and also get the support system involved, which can bolster care and relationships.

“What's really important to me is that I'm working not only with the patient, but the family member, or caretaker, or anybody else that is available, to educate and to be on board with the speech therapy process,” said Mattucci.

As the business is still relatively new, services are currently out of pocket, but Mattuci hopes to accept insurance in the future. She offers both in-home therapy to residents of Chelan County, and teletherapy for Washington residents outside of the county. Those interested in learning more can visit alpinespeechsolutions.com, or call (509) 903-6392.



Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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