SOCORRO – Following requests from local patients who want more options, a company in Socorro is expanding the choices for adults and children requiring speech therapy.
Wilson Nice, MA, owner and operator of an outpatient speech therapy clinic – Nice Speech Lady LLC – hosted a grand opening earlier this month. The clinic is located at 715 California, at the corner of Wal Street and California.
Nice, who has 22 years of experience in the field and holds a clinical competency certificate in speech therapy, 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 grateful for this opportunity to open Nice Speech Lady’s physical doors to in-person visits, which was the next step in expanding our business,” said Nice. “This summer I had an influx of local people who wanted to be seen but didn’t want virtual dates. So I changed my business plan. … You can do it virtually. You can do it in person, or you can do a combination, depending on what you need that week.
Nice said the deciding factor is being able to provide the level of care that a virtual visit cannot provide.
“Everyone has the right to communicate effectively and as speech therapists our role is to help the patient achieve that goal,” she said.
His 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 helping the family and teaching them how to be more effective in getting what they want in terms of communication,” she said.
She also sees many adults who have neurological histories impacting their swallowing, cognition and communication.
“In medical speech therapy, 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.
In addition to communication, there are also patients with cognitive issues, she said.
“It would be mostly in the adult realm,” she said. “People affected by a stroke, people with head trauma, or people with an illness that affects their ability to communicate.”
And then there’s therapy for people who have trouble swallowing.
“The same muscles used for speaking are the same muscles used for swallowing,” Nice said. “Swallowing disorders can be related to chewing, it can involve esophageal problems, or it can 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 telehealth speech therapy services, serving patients from her home in Socorro to other parts of New Mexico, through a HIPPA-compliant platform.
In mid-summer, she received an influx of local referrals, with in-person visits being the most requested.
“At first, I started by explaining that I was only set up for virtual tours, because I got these referrals,” Nice said. “However, the fact that patients are advocating for what they think would work best for them made me ask myself: How can I meet this need? and ‘What would that look like?’
In-person speech therapy services have been available at her clinic since August. Nice Speech Lady is also expanding to provide services in other states, “to pursue access to speech-language pathology services where there are no local SLP providers, or where virtual SLP visits would be the delivery of services desired”.
For more information, visit nicespeechlady telepractice.com.