INDIVIDUALIZED, FAMILY-CENTEREDPediatric Speech Language Therapy

Because every child deserves a voice

The ability to communicate is one of life’s greatest gifts. Our team of Speech Language Pathologists are experienced at helping kids from infancy to age 21 use that gift to their fullest potential. Working with families and caregivers every step of the way, our therapists are passionate about helping kids better understand and communicate with the world around them.

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Family involvement is at the heart of our success

Our master’s level Speech Language Pathologists know that patients progress faster when their families are involved. That’s why we work closely with families to fully understand a child’s strengths and needs. These evaluations may assess:
  • Articulation and intelligibility: the ability to understand and be understood
  • Assistive and augmentative communication: use of tools for communicating without words
  • Auditory processing: interpreting information one hears
  • Receptive language: comprehending and understanding
  • Expressive language: how a child communicates using words, phrases, and sentences
  • Pragmatic language: the use of appropriate language in social situations
  • Fluency disorders: disruptions in the flow of speech (bumpy speech)
  • Oral motor skills: the ability to move muscles of the face including tongue, mouth, jaw, and lips

Life-enriching therapies for children and young adults

Following an evaluation, our team crafts individualized treatment plans for each child, blending evidence-based treatments and state-of-the-art technology with creative, play-based activities. Your child’s care may involve strategies such as:
  • Traditional speech and language treatment
  • Play-based activities
  • Social and conversational skill interventions
  • Oral motor, feeding, and swallowing interventions (pediatric feeding therapy)
  • Collaboration with home and community therapists
  • Caregiver education and training

When should you turn to our Speech Language Pathologists?

Wondering if you need children's speech therapy? Here are some basic guidelines:
  • Multiple errors in speech and is not understood by age 3
  • Inconsistent, unintelligible speech, extremely limited sounds
  • Not making eye contact or taking turns with vocalizations by 6 months of age
  • Not recognizing objects or pictures by age 2
  • Non-verbal or speaking only in single words at 2.5 years of age
  • Inability to produce complete, complex sentences by age 4
  • Difficulties recalling and using new information 
  • Difficulties interacting at an age-appropriate level impacting ability to make friends
  • Voice does not sound right (e.g., hoarse, raspy, breathy) 
  • Inappropriate speech volume, child likes to scream or talk loudly
  • Stuttering
  • Drools beyond the age of 4
  • Inability to manage the transition to table foods
Early detection and early intervention can help your child make faster progress with better outcomes. Please reference our guides below for more information:

Explore Our Cutting-Edge Treatments

For children who are minimally verbal or non-verbal, our Pittsburgh Speech Language Pathologists provide guidance and innovative, practical solutions. Working closely with the families and caregivers, we offer treatment that addresses:
  • Available communication technologies
  • Low-technological forms of communication 
  • Environmental control technology 
  • Strategies and tools to use for improved communication in daily activities
  • Hands-on experience 
  • Activities designed for practicing various communication methods 
  • Sessions held on site for patients and families 
  • Sign language
No matter the cause, when infants and children have difficulty feeding and swallowing, it can create serious health problems. The Children’s Institute is a leader in the treatment of feeding and swallowing disorders. From evaluation to treatment, families are invited to participate in therapy, which may include Speech Language Pathologists, occupational therapists, and/or certified dietitians.

Pediatric feeding therapy is available at all locations including Squirrel Hill, Bridgeville, and Irwin. Feeding evaluations are available via telehealth, but also live and in-person at Squirrel Hill and Bridgeville. Treatment can make a difference for children with feeding issues such as:
  • Delays in oral motor skills: biting, chewing, swallowing, or drinking 
  • Sensory issues such as being unable to tolerate a texture or taste in the mouth
  • Feeding and swallowing disorders associated with medical conditions
  • Social or behavioral problems that impact eating
  • Transition from dependency on total parenteral nutrition (TPN), IVs, or tube feeds
  • Inability to eat new foods, add new food textures, or add new food groups
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Our Speech Language Pathologists are experienced in addressing a wide array of oral motor challenges, including issues concerning the tongue, lips, and chewing, as well as aversion to certain food textures. Range of movement and timing of oral structures also impact speech development. We address many areas including:
  • Limited intake of food groups or textures 
  • Refusal to swallow food
  • Difficulty swallowing food 
  • Food selectivity
  • Delayed feeding development
  • Sound production
  • Intelligibility
For children with articulation disorders, learning to produce sounds can be difficult. SmartPalate, an innovative speech biofeedback system, may significantly decrease the length of treatment time when implemented with other traditional treatment approaches. A customized mouthpiece with up to 124 sensors captures tongue-to-palate contacts, providing immediate feedback to help patients create the proper sounds and build muscle memory. The SmartPalate system may benefit children with:
  • Cleft palates
  • Down syndrome
  • Apraxia
  • Dysarthia
  • Speech disorders

Amazing care for amazing outcomes

Want to learn more about what makes The Children's Institute the best choice for your child's Speech Language Therapy? Contact us today. Our friendly team is happy to answer all of your questions and get you connected to the right resources. If you're ready to schedule an appointment, call 412.420.2400.

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Not sure what the next step is? You can always call our Information Center to speak to a team member who can direct you to the support and answers you need.

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