Alicia Spinelli, M.S., CCC-SLP-CBIS, was originally studying to be a sign language interpreter. But when her mom introduced her to a speech therapist, that changed.
“Learning about speech therapy opened my eyes to other populations who deal with a variety of speech disorders, including swallowing, voice disorders and cognitive impairments. I knew that was the field I wanted to pursue,” says Alicia Spinelli.
Working with Rehabilitation Patients
In her seven years with Bacharach, Alicia has worked with a variety of populations. She often treats patients with Parkinson’s or patients who have had stroke or brain injuries.
“I like working with these populations because we get to see them from a very acute stage, through their rehabilitation inpatient stay and then again in their outpatient visits. It is exciting to see how much they progress – some patients go from not being able to eat or drink at all to eating solid foods and drinking regular thin liquids again,” says Alicia.
Training to Treat Parkinson’s Voice Patients
Alicia is also very passionate about helping patients with Parkinson’s disease. In fact, she went to Texas to train in a program called “Speak Out” in order to add it to Bacharach’s arsenal of speech and language therapy services.
The 25-day program starts with a patient evaluation. Patients who qualify for the program receive a free program book which they use at each therapy session. During sessions, a therapist works with the patient on reading chapters in the book aloud. The therapist focuses on helping the patient increase their speaking volume by practicing as if they were talking to an audience. Patients are then assigned chapters to work on at home before their next session.
“My grandfather had Parkinson’s, so I had an interest in helping those patients. Many people who have Parkinson’s report that they can’t be heard. So when I learned about the Speak Out program, I knew that I could help give these patients their voice and confidence back,” says Alicia.
Alicis Spinelli Offers Parkinson’s Support Group
The program has also morphed into a support group, where patients meet with Alicia each month to continue practicing speaking loudly, learning about new developments with the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and connecting with other patients.
For more information about Bacharach’s speech and language therapy or the Speak Out program, call 609-652-7000.