In-person speech therapy clinic opens in Soccoro - Albuquerque Journal

In-person speech therapy clinic opens in Soccoro

SOCORRO — After requests from local patients who want more options, a Socorro business is expanding choices for adults and children requiring speech therapy.

Wilson Nice, MA, owner and operator of an outpatient speech pathology clinic — Nice Speech Lady LLC — held a grand opening earlier this month. The clinic is at 715 California, at the corner of Wal Street and California.

Nice, who has 22 years of experience in the field and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology, said she began seeing Socorro patients virtually in January. Due to requests for in-person treatment, she decided to open the clinic.

“We are so excited and thankful for this opportunity to open the physical doors of Nice Speech Lady to in-person visits, which was the next step in expanding our business,” Nice said. “This summer, I had an influx of local people that wanted to be seen but they didn’t want to have virtual appointments. So, I changed my business plan. … You can do it virtually. You can do it in person, or you can do a combination, based on what you need that week.”

Nice said the deciding factor is being able to provide the level of care that a virtual visit may not.

“Everyone has the right to communicate effectively and as a speech pathologist, our role is to assist the patient in achieving that objective,” she said.

Her practice is open to all age groups. She said she sees many children who exhibit communication issues, such as being on the autism spectrum.

“It’s about assisting the family and teaching them ways to be more effective in getting what they want in terms of their communication,” she said.

She also sees a good number of adults who have a neurological history impacting their swallowing, cognition and communication.

“In medical speech pathology, we work on communication,” Nice said. “Articulation. Voice. Being able to think of words and being able to put those words together into sentences effectively.”

Along with communication, there’s also patients with cognitive issues, she said.

“That would be mostly in the adult realm,” she said. “People who are affected by a stroke, people dealing with a head injury, or people who have some kind of condition that affects their ability to communicate.”

And then there’s therapy for people who have trouble swallowing.

“The same muscles used for speech are the same muscles used for swallowing,” Nice said. “Swallowing trouble may be connected with chewing, it may involve issues with the esophagus, or it may be behavioral.”

Opening the in-person clinic on California Street has been Nice’s goal since the summer.

In January, Nice Speech Lady began providing speech services through telehealth, serving patients from her home in Socorro to other parts of New Mexico, through a HIPPA-compliant platform.

By mid-summer, she received an influx of local referrals, with in-person visits requested the most.

“At first, I proceeded with explaining that I was only set up for virtual visits, as I received these referrals,” Nice said. “However, patients advocating for what they said would work best for them was the catalyst to me to ask myself, ‘How can I meet this need?’ and ‘What would that look like?'”

In-person speech language pathology services have been provided at her clinic since August. Nice Speech Lady is also expanding to provide services in other states, “to pursue access to speech services where there are no local SLP providers, or where virtual SLP visits would be the desired service delivery.”

For more information, visit nicespeechlady

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