News and Updates from the Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center

FinFest 2017 Take Me to the River

Did you know we are the only non-profit agency in Northeast Florida accredited for speech-language pathology and audiology services, as well as being certified to assist in providing speech pathology and audiology services for those who are on the autism spectrum? Through the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, partnering organizations and YOU, we are able to provide the highest quality compassionate care and ensure no one is turned away.

In 2016, the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center helped 4,136 both adults and children with speech and hearing disorders in Northeast Florida through professional speech and audiology therapies. For the past 68 years, because of your support, we have provided the life-changing services that allow children with speech or language disorders to start kindergarten ready to learn and on an even keel with their peers, adults who have lost their job due to an inability to hear obtain the hearing aids necessary for them to return to the workforce, and individuals with tinnitus and/or hyperacusis to receive the treatment and counseling which can help them regain peace of mind.

In order to continue providing speech and audiology services to the members of the Northeast Florida community, we invite you to join us for FinFest 2017: Take Me to the River!

jacksonville events finfest

FinFest 2017: Take Me to the River


Date: May 20, 2017

Venue: Timuquana Country Club 

Time: 7:00pm-11:00pm

Entertainment: Top Secret Band

Attire: Island/Tropical Attire

Silent & Live Auction: If you would like to donate to our auction, contact Kristen Dietzen at (904) 717-6934 or

MC: Katie Jeffries 

Event Chairs: Tom and Kathy VanOsdol

Honorary Chairs: Honorable Melissa Nelson and Jason Nelson, and Enola Gay and Artis Gilmore

Tickets to FinFest 2017: Take Me to the River can be purchased online at, or by calling (904)717-6930.

Questions about FinFest or interested in volunteering? Contact Kristen Dietzen at (904) 717-6934 or email her at

Grab Your Tickets Now!

Thank you to our Major Sponsors


Premier Sponsors

St. Vincent’s Healthcare
Florida Blue

Platinum Sponsors

Jaguars Foundation

Gold Sponsors

All Pro Asphalt
Dr. David & Nanette McInnes
Miller Electric

Silver Sponsors

Baptist Health
BB&T Bank
Dr. Bruce & Barbara Maddern
Darrell Hanna & Associates, Inc.
Jacksonville University
JP Perry Insurance
LionsBridge Wealth Management
Lynn & Mary Jarrett
Lynne Elliott & Scott Shober
Merrill Lynch
Mike & Cathy Howland
Mike & Rosa Heard
Norville Realty
Dr. Rick Pepis
Robert Shircliff
Swisher International
The Patsy Family
Urban Partners Construction


Bronze Sponsors

BIB Technologies
Cecil W. Powell & Company
Fran Pepis
Lee & Mindy Hanna
Mary Alice Phelan

speech benefits for autism

Learn the Benefits of Speech Therapy for Autism

speech therapy for autismThere are many benefits of speech therapy for Autism. According to the National Institute of Health, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. ASD includes a wide range, “a spectrum,” of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability.

People with ASD often have these characteristics:

  • Ongoing social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others
  • Repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities
  • Symptoms that typically are recognized in the first two years of life
  • Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life

Autism can affect speech, language development, and social communication in different ways for each individual..

Speech Issues with Autism

A person with autism may:

  • Grunt, cry out, yell, shriek, or make other harsh sounds
  • Not develop the ability to talk
  • Hum or talk in a musical way
  • Use correct phrases and sentences, but with an inexpressive tone of voice
  • Make sounds that sound like words or robotic-like speech
  • Repeat what another person says (Echolalia)
  • Babble with word-like soundstage without coherence

Since autism is on a spectrum, some have trouble producing speech sounds to effectively communicate with others. The the person may have developed language skills, but it may simply be too hard to understand.

Communication Issues with Autism

A person with autism may have one or more of these communication challenges:

  • Memorization of things heard without comprehension of what has been said
  • Not understanding meaning of words outside the context learned
  • Trouble with conversational skills such as eye contact and gestures
  • Using echolalia as the main way to communicate
  • Lack of creative language

Benefits of Speech Therapy for Autism

Because of these communication issues, those with autism must do more than simply learn how to speak. They must also learn how to use language to communicate, including how to hold a conversation and tuning into both verbal and nonverbal communication cues from other people.

Speech therapy techniques might include:

  • Electronic “talkers”
  • Signing or typing
  • Using picture boards with words, known as picture exchange communication systems that start out using pictures instead of words to help a child learn to communicate
  • Using sounds to which a person is over- or under-sensitive to expand and compress speech sounds
  • Improving articulation of speech by massaging or exercising lips or facial muscles
  • Having individuals sing songs composed to match the rhythm, stress, and flow of sentences
  • Some of these techniques are supported more by research than others. Be sure to discuss them thoroughly with the speech-language pathologist and your child’s pediatrician.

For more information on our Autism speech and hearing services, contact us online or call 904-355-3403 to make an appointment.

How to Find High Quality Hearing Aids in Jacksonville, FL

Did you know hearing aids are more sophisticated than simply making noise louder? Not only are there different types of hearing aids for specific types of hearing loss, there are also many styles to compliment lifestyle concerns. Learn how our Audiologists will help you to find high quality hearing aids.

How to Find High Quality Hearing Aids

Need Help? Talk to Our Audiologists

Our audiologists will work with you to select the best hearing aid for your needs. The audiologist will choose the most appropriate amplifier and circuitry for your particular hearing aid needs while keeping in mind any aesthetic and lifestyle concerns you may have.

Need Help with Your Hearing Aids?

In the past few years, advances in hearing aids have been making a significant difference in the lives of millions. The hearing aids of today are highly effective and sophisticated wearable electronics that help those with hearing loss stay actively connected.

Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center conveniently offers many hearing aid services:

➤ Hearing Aid Evaluations
➤ Hearing Aid Sales & Service
➤ Hearing Aid Orientations
➤ Hearing Aid Checks
➤ Hearing Aid Repairs
➤ In/Out of Warranty Service & Repairs

If you have further questions about what type of hearing aids or services we offer, or to schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403‎.

speech hearing issues children

Speech & Hearing Issues in Children: FAQs

Language is the basis of communication. Speech and language skills are essential to many areas in a child’s life, from relationships to academic success. The ability to communicate, both with peers and adults, is essential for a child’s success.

Speech & Hearing Issues in Children: FAQs

Q: Do Speech & Language issues affect learning?

Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. Learning takes place through the process of communication. According to the American Speech, Hearing, & Language Association, there are four major ways in which speech & hearing issues affect children:

  1. It causes delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills (speech and language).
  2. The language deficit causes learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
  3. Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self-concept.
  4. It may have an impact on vocational choices.

Q: Do Speech & Language issues affect performance at school?

Children with speech & hearing issues, or communication disorders, frequently do not perform at their grade level. The most common struggles are displayed in reading, understanding and expressing language, understanding social cues, school attendance, using good judgment, and test taking.

Difficulty in learning to listen, speak, read, or write can result from problems in language development. Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language sounds, syllables, words, sentences, and conversation. Individuals with reading and writing problems also may have trouble using language to communicate, think, and learn.

Q: How do parents and school personnel work together work together to ensure a child gets the necessary speech-language support?

Any student who shows signs of speech & hearing issues or delay should be referred by parents or school personnel to their school-based child study team.

Screening, assessment, and treatment of communication problems may involve cooperative efforts with: parents, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), audiologists, psychologists, social workers, classroom teachers, special education teachers, guidance counselors, physicians, dentists, and nurses.

SLPs work with diagnostic and educational evaluation teams to provide comprehensive language and speech assessments for students.

Services to students with speech-language disorders may be provided in individual or small group sessions, in classrooms when teaming with teachers, or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. SLPs integrate students’ speech-language goals with academic outcomes and functional performance.

Q: How can I detect if my child could have hearing loss?

  • Do they seem to hear fine some of the time and then not respond at other times?
  • Do they want the TV volume louder than other members of the family?
  • Do they say “What?” or “I didn’t hear you” more often than normal? Don’t always assume they are not paying attention as it may be an indication of an unidentified hearing loss.
  • Do they move one ear forward when listening, or complain they can only hear out of a certain ear?
  • Has their grades fallen or has their teacher noted they do not seem to hear or respond as well in the classroom as other children?
  • Does it often seem as though your child is just not paying attention?
  • Has your child started to speak more loudly than previously?
  • Does your child look at you intensely when you speak to them, as if concentrating? They may be depending more on visual cues for interpreting speech.
  • Do you just have a feeling, but you can’t put your finger on what your concern is? Don’t let that stop you. Ask your doctor for a referral to ease your mind.

Q: What should I do after a hearing problem is noted?

After recognizing that a problem exists, a hearing evaluation is the next step. This evaluation should be performed by a licensed, certified clinical audiologist who specializes in evaluating and treating people with hearing loss, such as those at Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center. After the type and severity of hearing loss is identified, the audiologist will determine if the loss requires referral to a physician or can be managed with hearing aids.

Q: What kinds of speech and language disorders affect school age children?

Speech sound disorders – difficulty pronouncing sounds
Language disorders – difficulty understanding what they hear as well as expressing themselves with words
Cognitive-communication disorders – difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination
Stuttering fluency disorders – interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words
Voice disorders – quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume (too loud or soft)

Q: What can I do to prevent hearing loss in my child?

Learn about the causes of hearing loss in children, such as exposure to loud noise, trauma to the head or ear, and diseases that affect hearing in order to eliminate or minimize risk. Make sure to have their hearing regularly tested by an audiologist.

Hearing loss can affect people of all ages and in many different ways. Early detection and appropriate intervention are essential to avoid or minimize long-term disability and to enhance communication.

If you have further questions about our audiologists, services, events or volunteer opportunities, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403‎.

make a difference

Make A Difference!

Everybody wants to make a difference. At Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center, we understand that everyone’s gift or what they are able to give is different. Some have more time, others have more money, some even have both! If you want to give the children in our community the ability to communicate free from stigma, find the options to give that work best for you.


Volunteering reflects the power of the human spirit and proves that by working together, we can build a better world. If you have extra time and are more of a hands on kind of person, our volunteer program is for you. Our volunteers come from all walks of life within the First Coast community. From public relations to administration, we have a need your time and experience can fill.

Learn more about our Volunteer program.


As the only non-profit agency in Northeast Florida accredited for both speech-language pathology and audiology services, we provide the highest quality, compassionate care through the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and partnering organizations ensuring that no one is turned away. When you donate to JSHC, you help us provide these services to our community.

Learn more about how to Donate.


Did you know we are very active in the Jacksonville community? You can join us at a variety of events such as Health Fairs, Hearing Screenings, Fundraisers, and even Jaguars Games!

Learn more about when and where our next events are taking place.

Planned Giving

Planned giving is a contribution arranged in the present and allocated at a future date, commonly donated through a will or trust.

Placing the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center in your will can insure increased access to services for our clients. Gift planning uses tax laws to enable you to pursue your philanthropic goals while minimizing your cost of giving and maximizing the benefits to yourself and your family.

Learn more about Planned Giving to Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center.

No matter how you give, the important thing is that you do! We appreciate all contributions, and know how even the smallest ones can make a difference. Keep in mind that not only will you feel good, your gift will make a positive difference in someone’s life.

If you have further questions about our audiologists, services, events or volunteer opportunities, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403‎.

jacksonville youth

The Results of Your Support- Our Fiscal Year Summary

Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center is pleased to announce our 2015-2016 Fiscal Year Summary. It was a fantastic year serving our community!

 2015-2016 Fiscal Year Summary

JSHC Fiscal Year Results

If you have further questions about our audiologists, services, events or volunteer opportunities, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403‎. If you would like to WATCH Trey’s interview, visit our YouTube channel.

FinFest: Rolling on the River Results & Recognition

Over $131,000 raised to benefit those in need of speech and hearing services

Once again, thanks to our sponsors, our volunteers, and you, FinFest: Rolling on the River  2016 was a great success!

As the only non-profit agency in Northeast Florida accredited for both speech-language pathology and audiology services, we provide the highest quality compassionate care through the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and partnering organizations ensuring that no one is turned away.

A Word from our Chairs


A great time was had by all at FinFest!

“As chairs of FinFest2016: Rolling on the River, benefiting Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center and the thousands of people they serve, we want to thank our sponsors, donors and all who attended.

We raised a net amount of more than $131,000 to benefit children and adults, including veterans who are in need of speech-language pathology and audiology services.

Our list of sponsors is long, and we are grateful to all of them. But we especially thank the Delores Barr Weaver Forever Fund — which has given us a major financial and morale boost — and Haskell, our premier sponsor.

With generous support, Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center maintains our 67-year commitment of service to those in Northeast Florida with limited capacity to afford competent, compassionate speech and audiology services.”

-Myron and Amanda Pincomb, Jacksonville

Click to View Event Photos

FinFest would not be possible without the support from our amazing Sponsors & Patrons.

FinFest Sponsors

FinFest Sponsors

Thank you to everyone who helped to make FinFest: Rolling on the River 2016 a success. Your support allows us to continue to provide speech and audiology services to the members of the Jacksonville community.

FinFest supporters


autism awareness

April is Autism Awareness Month

Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center would like you to join us in celebrating National Autism Awareness Month. There are many excellent opportunities to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to those facing an autism diagnosis each year.

Autism Awareness

What is Autism?

“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes.” – Autism Society. You can learn more about Autism at the Autism Society website.

Why use a Certified Autism Hearing Center?

A Certified Autism Center provides a patient-friendly environment that includes the environment and tools necessary for those with Autism.

  • no sensory overload
  • patients ushered to quiet rooms
  • treatment that is minimally disruptive to the patient
  • communication with family members regarding diagnosis and treatment
  • a focus on “yes” or “no” questions to patient
  • allowing patients to see and touch materials
  • a health care professional manner that is direct and factual

Did you know we recently earned our Certification of Autism Care from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES)? Read more about it!

Want to make a difference and support our programs? Join us at JSHC FinFest 2016: Rolling on the River!

For more information on our Autism speech and hearing services, contact us online or call 904-355-3403 to make an appointment.

speech and hearing jacksonville

Communication Disorders

Speech and hearing disorders in both the young and old can result in a diminished ability to effectively communicate. Not being able to speak or hear clearly can impact a person’s personal relationships, the ability to fulfill their potential in both school and work, and ultimately their sense of self. Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center shares insights on how communication influences us, why communication skills are important, and solutions for improving communication disorders.

Communication Disorders Influence Us

speech and hearing jacksonvilleEveryone shares a basic desire to communicate. Communication has been defined as “the process of understanding and sharing meaning”. A diminished ability to communicate can influence your interests, what you believe you are good at, your confidence, even your sense of self. Those with difficulty hearing may shy away from learning or activities in which their ability to perform is affected. Those with difficulty speaking clearly may incorrectly think others don’t listen to them because they aren’t very interesting or that they are too often misunderstood. Whether you have difficulty understanding others or others have difficulty understanding you, your ability to communicate is central to your self-concept.

Communication Skills Are Important

We start learning effective communication skills at a very young age. Babies instinctively learn to communicate everything from when they are hungry to when they crave attention. As we grow and our emotions and needs become more complex, our speech and hearing has a greater role in the effectiveness of our communication. Healthy, functional family relationships rely heavily on effective communication skills. In school, hearing & speech is an integral part of the learning process as well as important to forming relationships with peers. Communication skills are especially important in our professional lives, from job interviews to promotions, even what career field we excel in.

Improving Speech and/or Hearing in Northeast Florida

communication disordersThe professionals at Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center understand how communication disorders greatly impacts quality of life. Many of our staff members have either experienced communication disorders personally or have a close family member who has experienced it. We have designed our patient care experience to be how we would like to be treated. We take great pride on being at the forefront of the speech and hearing health field. Our licensed Clinical Audiologists provide the most technically accurate Hearing/Audiology services such as hearing evaluations and care recommendations for both children and adults. Our licensed Speech and Language Pathologists (SLP) provide quality Speech & Language services such as diagnostic evaluations and treatment of speech and language problems for children and adults.

If you have further questions about speech and hearing disorders in children or adults, our audiologists, speech pathologists, services, events, or volunteer opportunities, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403‎.