Speech and Language Services
Both speech and language evaluations and therapy are available at Marion Downs Center. An evaluation is often the first step for individuals with speech and/or language concerns. If the evaluation reveals a speech and/or language disorder, therapy may be recommended. The therapy addresses the specific areas of concern that affect the individual’s ability to communicate with others in the home, at school, and in the community. The therapy is provided by a Certified Speech-Language Pathologist.
The MDC speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat speech or language difficulties in individuals of all ages. One-on-one speech/language evaluations and therapy for people with any communication challenge, including hearing loss, are available.
Consultations about technology and communication options allow consumers to get unbiased information to make decisions about optimal treatment options.
Evaluating Children and Adults
MDC clinicians will carefully evaluate children to determine if a child is meeting expectations for typical speech and language development. If therapy is recommended, services are tailored to the age and interests of each child.
MDC clinicians also can evaluate and treat adults who have had a stroke or traumatic brain injury or present with cognitive challenges. Therapy is customized for each adult patient.
Speech disorders can include:
- Problems with articulation or how we make speech sounds with our mouth, lips and tongue. If a child does not say the correct speech sounds by the expected age, an evaluation is recommended. If there are a number of speech sound errors, or phonological errors, the child may be at risk for later problems with literacy.
- Problems with fluency or with the rhythm of speech can result in stuttering.
- Childhood apraxia of speech - this is a motor speech disorder where a child has difficulty planning the complex and precise movements needed for clear speech. It is not due to muscle weakness. This has also been called developmental apraxia.
- Problems with voice, such as talking out of the natural pitch range, too loud or too soft, can result in hurting our voice.
Learn more about developmental milestones here.
We assess receptive language (understanding what others say, gestures they use or facial expressions) as well as expressive language (talking, sharing ideas, thoughts or feelings) and social/pragmatic language.
Early intervention minimizes detrimental effects on later literacy development.