Our master’s level speech-language pathologists are experienced in evaluating and treating a wide range of speech and language delays in children of all ages, including infants.
We provide a variety of evidence-based treatments to help develop your child’s speech and language skills, and tailor your child’s treatment plan to his or her individual condition and needs.
Parent training is an important part of our program. We will teach you exercises and activities that you can do with your child at home to help their speech and language development between sessions. We also have observation rooms so you can observe your child’s therapy.
Approximately 6-10% of children have some form of speech and language delay. Early evaluation and treatment can make a difference in helping your child develop the skills they need to communicate to the best of their ability at home, school and in the community.
Conditions we treat include:
- Apraxia of speech
- Articulation disorder
- Dyslexia and other reading delays
- Fluency (stuttering)
- Hearing loss
- Orofacial myofunctional disorder, including tongue thrust
- Receptive and expressive language delays (delays in what your child understands and/or how they communicate, based on age-appropriate milestones)
- Speech and language delays caused by traumatic brain injury
- Voice and resonance disorders
- Vocal cord dysfunction
Evaluation and treatment
Identifying a child’s difficulties and strengths through an evaluation is the first step to helping his or her communication problems. Our therapists are skilled in administering formal tests, as well as observing play, interaction and conversation to assess your child’s speech and language skills.
Your child’s initial speech-language evaluation appointment will take up to two hours. When you bring your child for his or her evaluation, please bring a completed patient history form. You can find the form online here (en Espanol) or call our office at 727-767-4141 to receive a copy.
Parents will stay in the room during the evaluation. The speech-language therapist will first help your child feel comfortable with the evaluation room through play. If your child has a special toy that would help him or her feel comfortable during the evaluation, please feel free to bring that with you.
Results and recommendations will be reviewed at the time of the evaluation with a full comprehensive report to follow. If treatment is recommended, the evaluating therapist will provide information regarding locations for therapy and scheduling options.
In addition to one-on-one speech-language therapy sessions, some of the specialized treatments and services we offer include:
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Alternative communication options for children with medical conditions that impact their speech and language, including no-tech, low-tech and high-tech methods.
- Bilingual language evaluation: Children who grow up in a bilingual home may develop language differently than children who are exposed to only one language. Our bilingual therapists are trained to evaluate a child’s speech and language skills while considering cultural differences and all languages to which the child is exposed. Assessment will determine if he or she has a true delay, or if communication difficulties are related to your child learning more than one language.
- Preschool language class: A group for children ages 2-4 with language delays to help them develop their speech, language, play and social skills.
- Social Skills Groups: Groups for children and teens age 5-17 with conditions such as autism or social communication disorder to help them develop their social communication skills.
- X-ray speech studies: Evaluations to accurately diagnose children with resonance and speech sound disorders.
While every child is different, there are some common signs that your child may need a speech-language evaluation. These include:
- Articulation is unclear
- Delays in acquiring new sounds or words
- Difficulty being understood by parents and caregivers
- Difficulty using different language concepts or putting words together in sentences (as appropriate for his or her age)
- Frustration due to inability to communicate
- Inappropriate volume or poor vocal quality
- Lack of imitation skills
- Limited vocabulary for his or her age
- Poor social skills
- Rapid rate of speech
Some examples of developmental milestones according to age are:
At 6 months old:
- Make different, playful sounds (called babbling)
- Laugh, gurgle or coo with familiar people and react to loud voices (friendly or angry)
- Turn and look at new sounds
At 8 months old:
- Respond to name
- Produce four or more different sounds and use syllables like ba and da
- Listen to their own vocalizations and those of others
At 10 months old:
- May say “mama” and/or “dada”
- Uses jargon, which is babbling that sounds like speech
- Repeats certain syllables or sequence of sounds
At 12 to 17 months old:
- Understands “no” and simple instructions
- Uses “mama” and “dada” and several other words, typically nouns, and imitates familiar words
- Points and gestures communicate wants or call attention to an event
At 2 years old:
- Understands simple questions and instructions
- Asks simple questions like “what’s this?” or “what’s that?”
- Uses sentences or phrases of about two to three words
For your child's first visit, we'll ask you to fill out a completed patient history form. You can find the form online here (en Espanol) or call our office at the phone number below to receive a copy. Please bring the completed form to your child's appointment. Medical records may be faxed to 727-767-8847.