At all ages and developmental stages, a speech and language disorder can severely undermine a child’s ability to communicate wants and needs effectively, succeed in social and academic settings and develop relationships. A child’s ability to communicate effectively contributes in no small part to overall mental health. Although there are normal variations in when children begin to acquire language, professional assistance becomes necessary when children are not learning language as quickly as others, are not able to explain themselves or communicate clearly, or are struggling to understand others.
The Speech and Language Service offers evaluation and treatment for children with a range of communication disorders.
Our clinicians are trained to administer a wide variety of evidenced-based and standardized diagnostic tools. These include both structured and unstructured sets of questions and activities designed to assess various aspects of how a child understands, processes and uses speech and language.
A speech and language evaluation may be completed independent of other examinations, but often this assessment will be conducted in the context of a broader educational or neuropsychological evaluation that examines a child’s global cognitive development, including intellectual abilities, academic skills, memory, attention functioning and motor skills. In these cases, the speech and language evaluator works collaboratively with a neuropsychologist in order to provide a comprehensive evaluation.
After completing the speech and language evaluation, families are provided with specific recommendations, which may include speech or language therapy, educational placement, and referrals for related services, such as occupational or behavioral therapy.
Children diagnosed with speech or language disorders require individualized treatment to meet their unique needs. We offer a number of therapeutic services for children from one year of age through adolescence that include individualized speech and language therapy, parent training to facilitate language development in children who are late talkers or stuttering, and interventions to facilitate social communication and pragmatics. Motor speech disorders are also treated. The Speech and Language Disorders Service also partners with a community of experts for additional support.