Speech & Language Therapy

small girl touching her dad's nose

At Nemours, our pediatric speech and language therapy programs treat children with hearing impairment, cochlear implants and birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. Our specialists also work with children who have other general speech and language disorders or delays. We also work directly with you, the parents, to help transition your child's newly learned skills into your family’s home for quicker, longer-lasting results.

 
More Information About Speech and Language Therapy

A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.

Speech therapy programs also work with children who have other general speech and language disorders or delays, including:

  • articulation disorders, which are difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that other people can't understand what's being said
  • fluency disorders, which include problems such as stuttering
  • resonance or voice disorders, which include problems with the pitch, volume or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what's being said
  • dysphagia (swallowing disorders) or other oral feeding difficulties relating to weak oral muscles
  • receptive language disorders, which refer to difficulties understanding or processing language
  • expressive language disorders, which include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way (pragmatic language skills)
  • auditory neuropathy

Speech therapists can facilitate sign language development as a means of communication in children who are not verbal due to developmental delay or hearing loss. They also offer coping and compensatory strategies for children with auditory processing disorders.

Jacksonville

Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville

807 Children’s Way
Jacksonville, FL 32207
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Phone: (904) 697-3600

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
Resources for Patients & Families

Support Services & Helpful Information


At Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville our speech language pathology team provides evaluation and treatment for children with hearing loss, communication or feeding disorders. We believe that early intervention can help us better determine your child’s needs and create a personalized treatment plan. Children younger than 3 years old who are enrolled in therapy early in their development often have improved outcomes.

Pediatric Speech & Language Therapy at Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville

The speech language pathologists at Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville can address all of your child’s communication and feeding needs from newborn to age 18. We’re leading team members in the areas of hearing loss, cochlear implants and birth defects such as cleft and craniofacial anomalies, and we also work with children who have other general speech and language disorders or delays.

 
Services We Provide

Some of the services we provide:

  • comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment
  • speech and language development with Hanen-certified specialists
  • voice and cleft palate therapy
  • auditory habilitation for hearing loss with LSLS-certified specialists
  • swallowing and feeding therapy with Vital Stim-certified specialists
  • autism and social communication
  • oral motor and articulation therapy
  • auditory processing assessment and remediation
  • modified barium swallow studies
  • fiber optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing
  • parent education and training

Signs that Your Child May Need Speech or Language Intervention

You should consider having an evaluation if your child is:

  • not saying any words by 1 year of age
  • not putting words together by 2 years of age
  • hard to understand, repeats words or seems to stutter
  • having trouble following directions or thinking of words

Expert Speech and Language Care For Your Child

Nemours speech language pathologists are experts in the study of human communications and each holds at least a master's degree and state certification/licensure in the field, as well as a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Just as importantly, we also know kids: how to work with them, encourage their cooperation and make learning new skills fun.

Parents Play an Important Part in Therapy

As a parent, you’re encouraged to participate in your child’s therapy, and will often be given at-home stimulation activities to ensure continued progress and carry-over of newly learned skills. In fact, kids whose parents are involved in their therapy are typically the ones who experience the quickest and most lasting results.

 

Providing Specialized Speech and Language Services for Children

Our speech language pathologists are certified to provide specialized services for children, such as the programs listed below.

Some of our services include:
 
Vital Stim® Therapy for Dysphagia (Swallowing Disorders)

VitalStim® therapy is a safe and effective treatment for children with difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia. VitalStim® therapy is a non-invasive, external electrical stimulation therapy. It is approved by the FDA and is backed by comprehensive clinical data. VitalStim® is used while simultaneously working with the patient on swallowing exercises.

 
Auditory-Oral Therapy or LSLS™ (Listening and Spoken Language Specialists) Based Therapy

Auditory oral therapy helps children who are deaf or hard of hearing develop spoken language and literacy primarily through listening. Our therapists focus on education, guidance, advocacy and family support. They also work on the rigorous application of techniques, strategies and procedures that promote optimal acquisition of spoken language through listening by newborns, infants, toddlers and children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Auditory oral therapy guides families in helping their children develop spoken language through listening and coach them in advocating their children’s inclusion in the mainstream school. Ultimately, parents gain confidence that their children will have access to the full range of educational, social and vocational choices in life (adapted from the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing).

 
VPI (Velopharyngeal Insufficiency) Clinic

Velopharyngeal Insufficiency (VPI) occurs when the soft palate muscle in roof of the mouth (velopharyngeal sphincter) fails to close off airflow during speech, allowing air to escape through the nose instead of the mouth. This can cause a resonance disorder or “nasal” speech. In our VPI Clinic, ENT doctors and speech therapists use state-of-the-art voice and swallowing equipment to evaluate and treat children with VPI. Treatment may include speech therapy, surgical correction, or both. If surgery is needed, speech therapy is usually required after the procedure to help your child learn how to correctly produce sounds.


Types of Speech and Language Disorders We Treat

  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) and articulation disorders, which are difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words correctly to the point that other people can't understand what's being said
  • fluency disorders, which includes problems like stuttering
  • resonance or voice disorders, which include problems with the pitch, volume or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what's being said
  • dysphagia (swallowing disorders) or other oral feeding difficulties relating to weak oral muscles
  • behavioral feeding challenges, including picky eaters
  • receptive language disorders, which refers to difficulties understanding or processing language
  • expressive language disorders, which include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way (pragmatic language skills)
  • auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder

In addition, our therapists facilitate sign language development in children who are not verbal due to developmental delay or hearing loss, so that they can learn how to communicate. We also offer coping and compensatory strategies for children with auditory processing disorders.

All of Your Child's Team Members Under One Child-Friendly Roof

Our therapists generally see children individually in a kid-friendly setting in our clinic where your child will not be distracted and we can conduct accurate assessments. These assessments are often done in collaboration with specialists from various clinical areas, such as otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat), audiology and hearing and neurology, to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Through this coordinated approach, our speech language pathologists have the resources to address the communication needs of newborns to high school-aged children. And with all our experts under one roof, your child can often see multiple specialists in one visit. You can also schedule appointments at Nemours Children’s Clinic Jacksonville South located on Jackosnville's south side.

Nemours is a Center of Excellence for Otolaryngology in the Southeast

Speech language pathology services are provided through the division of otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat, or ENT), a recognized leader in providing state-of-the-art ENT programs including:

  • cochlear implantation and auditory rehabilitation
  • craniofacial plastic surgery, including cleft lip and cleft palate repair, rhinoplasty (nose) and otoplasty (ear)
  • rhinology and sinus disease center
  • balance and vestibular disorders lab
 
Electronic Health Record: Keeping Track of Your Child’s Progress

No matter where your child receives care at Nemours, your medical team (including your primary care provider) can access your child’s medical history, test results and visit notes anytime through our award-winning electronic health record system.

You can also view parts of your child's health records, communicate with your Nemours care team, make appointments, request prescription refills and more through our MyNemours online patient portal.

Learn more about MyNemours »

The Nemours Commitment to Family-Centered Care

At Nemours, we recognize the importance of the family in the care and healing process. Because many of the children we see have chronic illnesses that require repeated visits, we build strong relationships with our families that foster respect, dignity and collaboration. We’re also committed to educating children and families about the medical condition, and how best to manage it. Our goal is to get your child back to the business of being a kid as quickly as possible.

Learn more about the Nemours commitment to family-centered care »