Speech & Language Therapy

Speech language therapy and assessment can help children struggling with oral motor/feeding, articulation, receptive/expressive language, stuttering, and pragmatic language difficulties.

Our speech language therapy services in Nashville are here to help.

Speech-language therapy, also known as speech therapy or speech-language pathology, is a type of therapy that is designed to help individuals who have difficulty with communication or swallowing. It focuses on improving speech, language, and communication skills, as well as enhancing the ability to swallow safely and effectively.

Our speech-language therapy team in Nashville can help children struggling with oral motor/feeding, articulation, receptive/expressive language, stuttering, and pragmatic language difficulties.

What to Expect

Testing & Assessment Services

Oral Motor/Feeding Assessment & Treatment

An oral motor feeding assessment is a type of test that is meant to look at a person's oral motor skills to see if there are any issues with their ability to eat and swallow. For instance, parents may have a concern about a child being a messy eater. The child may have difficulty tolerating different consistencies (crunchy, puree, mixed consistencies), or holds food in their mouth for an extended time, or has liquids escaping from the lips while trying to swallow. Children who have had trouble transitioning from breast to bottle, from bottle to sippy cup, may also receive this assessment, typically conducted by a speech-language pathologist with specialized training in feeding and swallowing disorders.

During an oral motor feeding assessment, the therapist will observe the patient as they eat and drink—looking for signs of difficulty like coughing, choking, gagging, or excessive drooling. Additionally, the therapist may use instruments like a tongue depressor or flashlight to examine the structures of the mouth and throat and assess the patient's capacity to move their jaw, lips, and tongue.

The individual's ability to safely and effectively suck, chew, and swallow food and liquid may also be assessed through a series of exercises and activities. In order to assess the patient's capacity to deal with a variety of textures and consistency, the therapist may offer a variety of liquid and food options.

The therapist will make a treatment plan that is specific to the person's needs and goals based on the results of the assessment. Strategies to alter the texture or consistency of food and liquid in order to make them easier to swallow, techniques to improve swallowing coordination, or exercises to strengthen oral motor muscles are all options for treatment. 

Articulation (Speech Sound) Assessment & Treatment

A speech-language pathologist uses an articulation assessment to determine a patient's capacity to correctly produce speech sounds. This assessment is for people who have trouble saying words or sounds, which might make it harder for them to communicate, such as a child who has trouble being understood by all family members or school personnel. (See normal developmental speech guidelines).

The speech-language pathologist will first gather information about the child's speech and language history as well as any other pertinent medical or developmental history before beginning an articulation assessment. In order to get an initial sense of the child's articulation abilities, they may also ask the child to utter particular words or sounds.

The individual's ability to produce various speech sounds, both in isolation and in words and sentences, will typically be evaluated through a series of standardized tests or tasks. For instance, the individual might be approached to deliver the "s" sound in various settings, for example, toward the start of a word, in a word, or at the end of a word.

After the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will create a treatment plan that is custom-made to the child's particular necessities and goals. Treatment might include various methods and techniques, for example, articulation exercises, visual and auditory feedback, or the utilization of assistive technology to help with speech production.

In general, an articulation assessment is a useful tool for determining the presence of speech sound disorders and addressing them. It can also assist individuals in improving their capacity for effective communication. 

Receptive/Expressive Language Assessment/Treatment

A speech-language pathologist uses a type of assessment called a receptive/expressive language assessment to figure out how well a person understands and uses language. This type of assessment is usually for people who have trouble understanding or making sense of language, which can make it hard for them to communicate well. This assessment is often done for the child that has difficulty understanding directions or information told to them orally. The assessment would also include children that are "not speaking much," or described by parents as "very quiet." 

The speech-language pathologist will first gather information about the child's language history as well as any other relevant medical or developmental history before beginning a receptive/expressive language assessment. They might also observe the child's interactions with other people and ask them to complete a variety of tasks related to language.

The child's ability to comprehend and produce language at various levels, such as words, sentences, and speech levels, will typically be evaluated through a series of standardized tests or tasks. The individual might be asked, for instance, to retell a story or respond to questions about a passage they have read or heard while also pointing to pictures that correspond to particular words or phrases.

The speech-language pathologist will then create a custom treatment plan that may include language-based exercises, the use of visual aids, and strategies to improve social interaction and communication.

Fluency (Stuttering) Assessment & Treatment

This assessment is for a child that has disturbance in their fluency that interferes with social communication and the development of complex language. Everyone has dysfluent speech. The average disfluent child occasionally repeats syllables once or twice. A child with true dysfluent speech repeats sounds more than twice. The pitch of the voice changes and the child experiences a "block" where no airflow or voice is present for a couple seconds.  

During a fluency/stuttering assessment, the speech-language pathologist will first collect information about the child's speech and language history, as well as any other relevant medical or developmental history. They may also ask the individual to speak in a variety of contexts, such as in conversation or when reading aloud.

The assessment will typically involve a variety of standardized tests or tasks that are designed to evaluate the individual's fluency of speech and the presence of any speech disruptions or disfluencies. For example, the individual may be asked to read a passage or speak about a specific topic while the speech-language pathologist records and analyzes their speech.

Based on the results of the assessment, treatment may involve a variety of techniques and strategies, such as breathing exercises, speech rate control, stuttering modification techniques, and strategies to reduce anxiety and improve communication confidence.

Pragmatic Language Assessment & Treatment

The pragmatic area of language has to do with how language is used in actual conversations, discussions, or messages. Pragmatics includes the organization of the message, the appropriateness of the information, and changes in the style according to partners and situations. (i.e., tone of voice, eye contact, social language). A pragmatic language assessment may include standardized tests and tasks designed to evaluate a child's ability to use language in a socially appropriate and effective manner. Treatment may include social skills training, use of visual aids, and role-playing scenarios to improve social communication and interaction.

Meet our speech therapist at Nashville Child & Family Wellness Center.

Meet Stefanie Murphy, M.S.,  CCC-SLP, our licensed speech pathologist at NCFWC.

Speech Language - Ages 2+Pathologist
Completes Speech/Language Assessments and Therapy, and Executive Function Coaching


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Speech & Language

Our speech language therapy and assessments can help people struggling with a variety of oral, expressive, and pragmatic language difficulties.

Learn more about our speech therapy services in Nashville right now.

NCFWC offers a wide range of services to help clients achieve their objectives. All necessary services are incorporated into the wellness treatment regimens of clients.

We provide clients with the highest quality psychiatric, psychological, and educational tests and diagnostic services, and then convert this information into a structured treatment plan that is effectively and efficiently performed by an excellent team of multi-disciplinary specialists.

If you feel your child or someone you know could benefit from sessions with a Franklin or Nashville speech-language pathologist, contact us today at 615-238-9100.