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Speech Therapy

Carianne Vermeulen Speech Therapists Inc. provide the speech therapy services at Cape Rehab Team.

Communication and swallowing difficulties can result from a variety of causes, including (but not limited to): Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other forms of motor neuron disease (MND), brain tumours, Dementia (including Alzheimer’s Disease), Guillain-Barre Syndrome, head and neck cancer, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke and traumatic brain injury.

We know that communicating with others, specifically loved ones, is an important part of daily life. In addition, we understand that being able to enjoy food and share meals with our families is of equal importance and greatly influences quality of life.

We therefore provide intervention in the areas of:

  • Speech production, which includes: articulation, fluency, resonance and voice production.
  • Language processing and use, including the comprehension and expression of both spoken and written language.
  • Dysphagia (swallowing disorders), where the goal is to achieve adequate nutrition and hydration by means of the least restrictive diet possible, and allow for the safe consumption of food, liquid, and medication.

As speech and language therapists we provide a wide range of services and in addition to speech, language, and swallowing difficulties, we also provide intervention in the areas of:

  • Cognitive aspects of communication, for example: attention, memory and problem solving.
  • Voice therapy focused specifically on voice production where symptoms include hoarseness, reduced vocal intensity, and/or breathy, strained voice quality, which hinders communication with others.
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication for individuals who are unable to communicate verbally and thereby allow active and meaningful participation within social-communicative interactions.

The practice provides intervention on an individual basis; however, support is also provided for family members and caregivers, as we feel that they are an integral part of the rehabilitation team. We provide services during any stage of the neurological condition, from the acute phase in-hospital, as well as on an out-patient basis following discharge from hospital or the rehabilitation unit.

We are passionate about improving each individual’s ability to communicate effectively and meaningfully and allow for safe oral intake during mealtimes, thereby ultimately improving quality of life through the rehabilitation of these functions.


“Carianne has provided empathetic and insightful support the the rehabilitation process. As a speech therapist, her role in the rehabilitation team has been critical to Eugene’s improvement on more levels than can be seen or measured. In addition to the positive strides in his ability to communicate facilitated by her therapeutic skills, both the patient and his wife looked forward to her therapy sessions for the warmth and genuine interest that she showed in their well-being."

We had the absolute pleasure and honor to have met Carianne in Mei of 2020. She has made such a difference and played a very valuable roll in our lives. After a crainiotomy, my husband (Johan)was not able to speak for 3 weeks. Thanks to all of Carianne's great tips, advice,guidance and patience, he was able to put all of his words back in order, sorting his filling cabinets in his brain. She made the therapy fun and helped us make it part of our everyday lives. This year we unfortunately had to take on the same journey,after another procedure and ince again due to the consistent exercises, support,care and dedication from Carianne, we were again able to communicate so much better and faster. Johan's speech is improving everyday. We are forever thankful that we were able to have met Carianne and take on this challenge together. We just call her ~Simply the Best ❤️

The Cape Rehab Team was our life line and our only hope when the unthinkable happened and my husband (Roelof) suffered a massive stroke at the age of 52, losing the ability to speak and read and write, as well as losing control of the right side of his body. Fortunately for us we were put in touch with this team of professionals when Roelof was released from the Vincent Palotti rehab centre after a few months, still unable to speak, but at least with some mobility. I was so relieved to see how dedicated and knowledgeable the therapists at the Cape Rehab centre were, giving us hope of further recovery. It was a long and difficult road for Roelof to learn to speak again - the severity of his brain injury made speech unlikely to ever happen - and it took utter dedication from both Roelof and his speech therapist Carianne Vermeulen to keep going when it seemed impossible. Carianne and her team had to keep finding new methods that would work for such a severe case, to break through every ceiling that was reached, to stay patient, and to not give up on us. And now, looking back on the past 2.5 years with the Cape Rehab Team, it is incredible to see how far Roelof has come, how much work went into his rehabilitation, and how he steadily got his confidence and quality of life back again. I also found great value in the support group meetings that they offered for us, the families of stroke survivors, providing emotional support and information on how to deal with a life event that strikes out of the blue and for which no one is ever prepared. We are truly fortunate to have had access to such a professional rehab facility and their dedicated team of therapists. Thank you all!

Carianne qualified cum laude as a Speech-Language Pathologist from the University of Stellenbosch in 2005. She completed her community service at Witrand Care and Rehabilitation Centre in Potchefstroom where she gained experience in treating patients with a range of congenital and acquired neurological communication disorders and dysphagia.

With a passion for neurological rehabilitation, she completed her master’s degree cum laude at the University of Stellenbosch in 2010, as well as her basic neuro-developmental (NDT) training, while establishing her private practice part time. In 2011 Carianne went into private practice full-time, working at various hospitals and private rehabilitation centers in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. With a keen interest in further expanding her knowledge and skills, she went on to complete various post graduate certifications in the treatment of neurological conditions, including Introduction to Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets [PROMPT Therapy] (2015), VitalStim: Neuro-Muscular Electrical Stimulation for the Treatment of Dysphagia (2016), Bridging PROMPT Technique to Intervention (2016), and Lee Silverman Voice Treatment [LSVT] (2020). Carianne has also attended various courses in the treatment of adults with neurogenic communication disorders and dysphagia, and continues to do so.

Carianne has been in private practice on a full-time basis since 2011 and currently works in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, treating patients at various stages of their recovery and rehabilitation. She continues to have a special interest working to prevent, assess, diagnose and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders/dysphagia in adults. Her practice works at various private hospitals and institutions in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. She goes by the philosophy of working in a team in order to treat all patients holistically. She also strives to treat each patient with her utmost effort and to the best of her ability, using evidence-based research.


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