Institute for Voice and Speech

Providing speech pathology services with expertise in Voice and Neurological disorders

Dr. Carol Gracco, Director

Dr. Gracco holds a Ph.D. in Speech Science, anatomy and Physiology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Haskins Laboratories, a Yale affiliate in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Gracco has practiced in the field of speech pathology since 1978. Her clinical specializations include voice, neurogenic and swallowing disorders with special emphasis in diagnostic laryngeal imaging and acoustic analysis. As an affiliate of Yale University in the Department of Otolaryngology, she established a clinical speech and voice physiology laboratory there in 1993. She went on to write numerous grants in support of research in voice disorders and Parkinson’s disease.  Dr. Gracco served as principal investigator on grants in Parkinson’s disease and Voice related disorders awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Gracco is a noted lecturer in voice and speech science and vocal tract disorders, state licensed and certified by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association.

Speech Pathology covers a broad range of communicative disorders involving dysfunction of the vocal tract or its components: the larynx, lips, tongue or jaw. Disorders of movement of any part of the vocal tract or the respiratory system may influence the acoustic product or the sound emitted as speech. Voicing is a component. Movement of the articulators are components (lip, tongue jaw) and pulmonary function as breath support play impactful roles.  Disorders of any structure or component of the vocal tract may change the sound of the voice or the articulation of specific sounds produced in coordination.

Voicing or the source of sound produced at the vocal folds, may be affected in isolation or voice deficits may exist in combination with other speech and language disorders. The symptoms of voice disorders may result from a variety of primary deficits including neurological disease, trauma, respiratory conditions, or developmental disorders. Disordered speech reflects symptoms of dysfunction in underlying mechanisms and is often highly treatable.

Vocal cord dysfunction is a clinical entity often associated with voice disorders and may exist in isolation as well. Typically vocal cord dysfunction manifests as difficulty breathing during exercise. Often correlated with a diagnosis of asthma, vocal cord dysfunction and may exist without asthma and with or without the presence of allergy or upper respiratory disorder. Primary diagnosis in coordination with pediatrics or pulmonologist VCD is highly treatable via management of breathing and speaking efficiency. Dr. Gracco has successfully treated patients with vocal cord dysfunction since her initial research in this disorder in conjunction with cardio pulmonology and Otolaryngology at Yale Medical School in 1994.

The institute for voice and speech is a speech pathology service dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of communicative disorders. Dr. Gracco works closely with pediatric, allergy, otolaryngology, pulmonology and internists, to offer highly specialized management of speech and voice deficits.

With detailed diagnostic attention to voice and speech disorders, treatment may be more efficient and intervention more effective. Acoustic and perceptual analysis of speech signals and careful assessment of anatomical and physical and motor control of speech characteristics are invaluable to treatment efficacy. With these tools, surgical intervention for vocal tract disorders may be enhanced and post surgical recovery maximized. Image: Analysis of vocal tract shape and dimensions using magnetic resonance imaging: vowels. Baer T1, Gore JC, Gracco LC, Nye PW.,  1991 Aug;90(2 Pt 1):799-828.

Services

  • Diagnostics and management of the professional voice for teachers, professionals, vocalists. Disorders may include muscle tension dysphonia, spasmodic dysphonia, vocal fold mass, vocal fold paralysis, work related vocal stress or fatigue.
  • Diagnostics and Management of vocal cord dysfunction, a condition characterized by difficulty breathing during exercise
  • Diagnostics and management of neurologically based speech and voice deficits.

Insurance:

Dr. Gracco works cooperatively with insurance companies at large and currently is a participating provider with anthem Blue Cross and Blue shield of Connecticut.

Payment schedules are available for those with partial or no coverage

 

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Please provide your contact information below or email Dr Gracco at the address below:

Phone: 203.453.5083

Fax: 203.453.0639

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