Emergency Department

202 S. Park St.
Madison, WI 53715

7 min Average
UnityPoint Health - Madison

Speech Therapy

Speech-language pathologists (informally known as speech therapists) evaluate and treat children who have problems with communication or swallowing.

Children should typically be seen by a speech pathologist if they have been diagnosed with a condition that may affect speech and language development (such as Down Syndrome), or if the parent has concerns that their child is not developing speech at a rate that is similar to his or her peers.

Speech therapists typically use age-appropriate play activities to stimulate language development. The therapist may also model correct pronunciation of target sounds and use repetition to build speech and language skills.

Overcoming a speech or language delay takes time and effort, so parental involvement is crucial to a child's progress in therapy. Families are directly involved in setting goals, working with the child in therapy sessions, and continuing therapy at home.

Conditions That Can Affect Speech

Some of the conditions that can affect speech and language development include:

  • Hearing Impairments
  • Developmental delays
  • Weak oral muscles
  • Birth defects such as cleft lip and palate
  • Motor planning problems (apraxia of speech)
  • Respiratory (breathing) problems
  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
  • Psychological disorders
  • Speech & Swallow Therapy
  • Autism spectrum disorders

The Speech Therapists provide diagnostic and treatment services to inpatients and outpatients with speech, language, cognitive or swallowing problems. Our experienced staff has specialized training in their areas of practice. We value patients and families as partners in the treatment process and place a strong emphasis on patient and family education.

We offer specialized services in the following areas:

  • Infant and child feeding and swallowing problems
  • Pediatric speech and language delays and disorders
  • Stuttering or fluency disorders
  • Acquired speech/language disorders such as aphasia, dysarthria and apraxia of speech
  • Cognitive disorders associated with a neurological event such as stroke, head injury or tumor
  • Post-concussive cognitive disorders
  • Vocal fold dysfunction
  • Tongue thrust
  • Pragmatic Language Disorders
  • Craniofacial abnormalities
  • Voice disorders
  • Modified Barium Swallow Study