The Speech Pathology Department at Underwood-Memorial Hospital offers evaluation and treatment to children with various speech and language disorders. It is our goal to provide individualized services based on each child's specific needs.
What areas are included in speech pathology services?
- Articulation disorders
- Hearing impairment
- Childhood apraxia of speech
- Language delays
- Voice disorders
- Fluency disorders/stuttering
How do I know speech therapy is needed?
Several 'red flags' in communication development that may warrant a speech-language evaluation include:
- Disfluent speech
- Difficulty producting certain sounds
- Excessive drooling
- Decreased interest in interactions
- Not speaking in simple sentences by age 3
This refers to the production of sounds. A child may substitute one sound for another or delete sounds or syllables in words. A child's speech should be approximately 90% intelligible by age 5.
Children with hearing impairments may demonstrate difficulty correcty producing certain counds or may experience a delay in language development. After audiological evaluation and treatment, the child may be referred for services to improve his/her communication skills.
Apraxia of speech
Apraxia of speech refers to a disorder of motor planning for speech production. Children with apraxia of speech demonstrate difficulty programming movements to produce sounds/syllables in words. Skilled speech therapy can facilitate motor-planning for speech production.
Children with autism have a developmental disability that affects their ability to communicate effectively with others. Speech therapy may include improving social skills, reducing negative behaviors, and enhancing overall language skills.
Vocally abusive behaviors or physiological abnormalities may cause a child's voice to sound breathy, harsh, or hoarse. Skilled speech therapy may incorporate teaching effective speaking patterns and decreasing vocally abusive behaviors.
Fluency disorders, or stuttering, occur when the flow of speech is interrupted by prolongations or repetition of sounds, syllables, and words. Moments of disfluency may be accompanied by behaviors such as eye blinking, lip tremors, or struggle. Speech therapy focuses on increasing fluency and decreasing negative behaviors that may develop.
- Receptive language refers to listening and understanding spoken language. Children may demonstrate difficulty understanding certain concepts like size, location, and 'wh' questions.
- Expressive language refers to the ability to express oneself using speech. The child may not have difficulty correctly producing sounds, but may have difficulty with correct grammar and formulating cohesive sentences.
What do I need for an appointment?
A physician's prescription is required for evaluation and treatment services. Families should contact their insurance companies for eligibility/benefits information prior to the evaluation. Our staff will aide in the insurance verification process. Please contact the Speech-Language Pathology Department to schedule an evaluation.