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Speech Therapy

At ACCESS, speech and language therapy focuses on helping children express their wants and needs as they learn to interact with others by communicating more effectively and understanding spoken language.

Who We Serve:

  • Developmental delays
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Childhood apraxia of speech
  • Hearing and language impairment
  • Down syndrome
  • Articulation disorder
  • Central auditory processing disorder
  • Other learning and developmental disabilities

Meet Our Therapists

The therapists at ACCESS are highly-qualified experts with years of experience with children of all ages.

Meet Our Team

Our Focus

At ACCESS, speech and language therapy focuses on helping children express their wants and needs as they learn to interact with others by communicating more effectively while understanding spoken language. It is important to provide early intervention for speech and language delays. Babies begin to interact with others and communicate long before true words are formed. It is not uncommon to begin providing services in infancy, even before the formation of first words, if a delay in development is determined. Simple games such as “peek-a-boo” are not just fun, but are early forms of interaction. With infants, we address early communication intents such as imitating sounds and interacting with others, as well as feeding and other issues related to the oral musculature.

Research clearly identifies a correlation between the vocabulary of a 3-year-old and early academic success. By providing assistance early, a child makes gains toward functional communication, and frustration is reduced. For the older child, language difficulties or lack of speech clarity can result in personal and academic challenges, reduced confidence and independence and less effective interaction with others. As children age, the impact that solid speech and language skills have on all aspects of life become more obvious.

Vocabulary by age three
is the number one indicator
of academic success by third grade.

Therapist pointing to a worksheet while talking to a young school-aged girl in front of a chalkboard

Speech and Language Foundation

A solid foundation of speech and language skills is vital for future academic development because it is the first building block to reading. ACCESS directly targets reading skill development as young children master phonological awareness, expressing ideas clearly, learning and using new vocabulary, understanding oral and written directions, understanding and retaining details of a story, comprehending oral and written material, recognizing and spelling words, and memory for speech and written text. These are complicated skills for any child to learn.

When children have a delayed or weak speech and language system, reading is a very difficult and complex expectation. Children with, or who have a history of, speech and language delays, often need specialized instruction to master reading and written expression.

  • Specialized Services

    Our speech therapy team uses a variety of tools and techniques to tailor a child's treatment plan to fit their needs.

    • Beckman approach for oral-motor therapy
    • Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)
    • Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)
    • Aided language stimulation
    • Feeding, food chaining
    • Sensory/motor feeding techniques
    • Auditory processing
    • Oral motor impairments
    • Social skills (pragmatic disorders)
    • Therapeutic use of iPad apps and other technology
    • Visual supports
    • Social stories
    • Written expression
    • Reading, spelling and comprehension

    Speech and Language Development Checklist

    • By six months of age, a baby should begin to show signs of communication such as:

      • Reacts to sound and responds to the person speaking
      • Turns head to a sound
      • Produces a variety of distinguishable cries
      • Mouths objects
      • Vocalizes when talked to
    • Between one and two years of age, a child should be able to communicate by doing the following:

      • Recognizes name
      • Says two to three words other than “Mama” and “Dada”
      • Imitates familiar words
      • Uses two objects together in play
      • Understands simple instructions
      • Recognizes words and points to objects like a ball, car, shoe, cup, spoon, etc….
      • Participates and initiates simple games like peak-a-boo, pat-a-cake, tickle games, etc….
      • Responds to “no”
      • Waves bye-bye
      • Makes sounds of familiar animals
      • Points to toes, eyes, nose, foot, mouth, etc….
      • Understands words like “more”
    • Between two and three years of age, a child should be able to communicate by doing the following:

      • Identifies most body parts
      • Asks “what’s that” and “where’s my”
      • Uses combinations of words, at least three words together
      • Has a vocabulary of at least 450 words
      • Uses simple descriptive words; “big,” “little,” “wet,” “dry,” etc….
      • Understands the use of objects
      • Gets attention of adults; “watch me”
      • Holds up fingers to tell age
      • Combines nouns and verbs
      • Uses “me” instead of name to refer to themselves
    • Between three and four years of age, a child should be able to communicate by doing the following:

      • Can tell a story
      • Has a sentence length of at least five words
      • Has a vocabulary of at least 1,000 words
      • Uses and understands words like “more,” “most,” “one” and “some”
      • Knows colors
      • Knows categories such as “all the animals” or “all the foods”
    • Between four and five years of age, a child should be able to communicate by doing the following:

      • Uses past tense correctly
      • Uses the concept of “where” and “why”
      • Begins to understand time concepts like “in the morning,” “next,” and “last night”
      • Asks many questions such as “who,” “where,” and “why”
      • Uses imaginary conditions such as “I hope…” or “what if…”
      • Knows shapes

    Schedule a Speech Evaluation

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    Potential Unlocked: Parent Testimonials

    • Speech Therapy

      Our speech therapist is amazing. Our daughter loves working with her. She is very committed to her success both in the classroom and at home. She always gives us regular updates and feedback. She is also consistently there to lead therapy.

      -ACCESS Parent
    • Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy

      Our son was born with a congenital heart defect, and he spent two months in the hospital fighting for his life. ACCESS has been so supportive of my son and family. He has received years of speech therapy for feeding and articulation, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. All of his therapists have helped him overcome obstacles and challenges during his early childhood development. Most of all, he has experienced guidance, encouragement, and love from ACCESS, and I am brought to tears to think about all they have done for him.

      -Susan Hill, ACCESS Parent
    • Speech Therapy

      Our son received speech, feeding, and occupational therapy from ACCESS on and off since he was a baby. Later, we realized our son needed help for dysfluency (stuttering). Before working with his speech therapist, he shut down and would not try to use any speech therapy strategies to help him get his words out smoothly. Our therapist took the time to get to know him and his interests, and he has improved so much! The thing that is even more exciting than his improving speech is how much Sam's confidence has grown. It is such a gift when someone pours into your child like the therapists at ACCESS have done oer and over for our family.

      -Heather Smith, ACCESS Parent