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pediatric speech therapy jacksonville fl

Pediatric Speech Therapy Jacksonville, FL

Pediatric Speech Therapy Jacksonville, FLPediatric speech therapy is important for the youth of Jacksonville. Children connect with each other through communication. When the ability to speak and hear is affected or does not exist, the isolation and long-term effects can be profound. This is especially true in children, as hearing, speaking and understanding spoken language is an essential component to their growth and development.

When Pediatric Speech and Hearing issues go untreated, disorders in hearing and speech/language develop. This causes problems both at home and at school by impacting the child’s ability to learn. Poor self-esteem and behavior problems can lead to a lifetime of isolation. As adults, untreated communication disorders make it difficult to hold a job and be a contributing member of the community.

Pediatric Speech Therapy Jacksonville, FL

Early childhood success depends on a strong base of language and speech. The Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center (JSHC) is a non-profit agency and one of very few agencies that provides Pediatric Speech Therapy to underprivileged children and families in our community. For the past sixty years, the JSHC has provided the highest quality professional care to anyone with hearing, speech and/or language disorders.

WATCH with CC: Learn about pediatric speech and hearing disorders from Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center President & CEO Mike Howland

Certified Autism Center in Jacksonville, FL

Certified Autism CenterJacksonville Speech & Hearing Center is proud to be a Certified Autism Center in Jacksonville, FL specially trained to provide a high level of service to patients with autism and communication challenges.

A Certified Autism Center provides a patient-friendly environment that includes:

  • 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

If you are looking for Pediatric Speech Therapy in Jacksonville, FL, please contact us TODAY to schedule an appointment at (904) 355-3403.

fund a child

Fund a Child

Give the Gift of Communication to a Local Child

What would it feel like if you could not tell someone you love them? For many children, saying simple words like “I love you” is not possible.

Identifying a preschooler with a speech and /or language delay and providing him/her with the intensive therapies needed to be ready to start kindergarten able to communicate, on par with other classmates, free from any impediments that is going to make him/her different, is one of the most valuable contributions we can make.

Since 1949, the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center has been providing speech therapy for children with communications disorders.

A typical child requires 24-48 therapy sessions to overcome such a communication disorder. That’s six to 12 months of intensive weekly therapy sessions. Some require more.

Will you please make a difference in the life of a child and give them the gift of communication by donating to the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center?

Our Fund a Child program makes it simple and easy to give.

  • $2500 provides evaluation and 22 therapy sessions
  • $1000 provides evaluation and 16 therapy sessions
  • $750 provides evaluation and 12 therapy sessions
  • $500 provides evaluation and 8 therapy sessions

Thank you in advance for your support and for making a difference in the life of a local child.




Speech and hearing

Dianesia’s Story with Speech Pathology Treatment

“Mind of a Sponge”

Dianesia's speech therapy storyDiane Morgan clearly does not look her age but she is a grandmother with seven grandchildren. She regularly takes granddaughter  Dianesia, age 7, for speech pathology treatment at Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center.  Dianesia’s older sister, Tavaria, also came to Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center when she was younger.

“Dianesia started attending Christ the King school this year and her teacher recommended the speech pathology treatments to help her,” Diane said.  “She has been attending treatments since the start of school and we’ve all noticed an improvement.”

Young Dianesia likes to visit Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center and thinks of it as fun. She also likes reading, is a quick learner and good with math.

Speech and hearing“It’s important to get the help when they are young,” explains Diane.  “This will help her through school and life. It’s doing it the right way.”

“I hear her sit and play with her dolls and I can hear what she is learning,” Diane added. “It’s a big change.”

“As my daughter says, they have a mind of a sponge when they are young.,” Diane said. “You have to grab them and teach them early in life.”

If you know someone struggling with their speech and is looking for a solution, please tell them about the Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center.

Ava's journey with apraxia

Ava’s Journey with Apraxia Speech Therapy

Ava speech therapy“I did my research”

Lindsay Thomas is the mother of two young children. Lately she has been spending lots of time in the car seeking help for her younger child, Ava, who is three-and-a-half.  Ava has been diagnosed with apraxia of speech, a very rare disorder.

“Childhood apraxia of speech is different from some other children’s speech disorders,” explains Lindsay. “It’s not a problem with muscles in the face or mouth but a neurological disorder. Children know what they want to say but have a problem getting the words out.”

When Ava was diagnosed, Lindsay did her research on Jacksonville-area speech pathologists. When she visited the website of Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center and read all the positive reviews, she knew that she had found help.

Apraxia speech therapy“Ava is shy but immediately loved her teacher, Katy,” said Lindsay. “Katy makes it fun and Ava loves coming here. Katy even knows that Ava loves the Disney Princesses and has used that in the treatment.”

“Ava will work hard for Katy.” Lindsay adds.  “She makes it so fun and is so patient with her.”

The treatment involves starting with consonant sounds and then connecting that to the different vowels. There is a lot of repetition and Ava is likely to be in long-term treatment for up to five years.

“When we started here she was only saying about 20 words,” Lindsay explained. “This treatment has boosted her confidence to where she is starting to put sentences together and adding words to her vocabulary.  It is great progress.”

Ava’s story was also featured on Jacksonville.com.

Ava's journey with apraxia

If you know someone struggling with their speech and is looking for a solution, please tell them about the Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center.

Onset adult hearing loss

Adult Speech Disorders and Hearing Loss

An interview with Mike Howland, CEO

Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center

What can cause onset speech impairment in adults?

There are a variety of reasons why an adult may have onset speech impairment. The onset of speech, swallowing, and/or language disorders in adults may be caused by a stroke, traumatic brain injury, a disease that affects motor skill (ALS, Parkinson’s Disease), cognition (Alzheimer’s Disease), hearing loss, and/or anatomical/structural deviation of the oral cavity (e.g., vocal nodules, polyps, cysts, oral cancer).

How can family members best help a loved one that has a speech impairment?

It can be very difficult to come to accept that there is a disorder. A speech and language pathologist can be a partner who guides the patient and family to identify goals to work on together in order to foster communication and understanding. A few tips we would offer for adult speech disorders and hearing loss include:

Onset adult hearing loss

Onset adult hearing loss can lead to social anxiety and frustration. If you or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss, please call the professionals at Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center to schedule a hearing test.

• Maintain a natural conversational manner appropriate for an adult.

• Minimize distractions, such as a blaring radio, whenever possible.

• Include the person with a speech or language disorder in conversations.

• Ask for and value the opinion of the person especially regarding family matters.

• Encourage any type of communication, whether it is speech, gesture, pointing, or drawing.

• Avoid correcting the individual’s speech.

• Allow the individual plenty of time to talk.

• Help the individual become involved outside the home. Seek out support groups.

How can hearing loss impact an adult person’s quality of life?

Having a hearing loss can significantly impact a person’s ability to communicate with others, and lead to a reduced quality of life.  The most common ways hearing loss can manifest in a person’s life is through:

  • increased anxiety,
  • social isolation and withdrawal,
  • frustration,
  • anger,
  • depression,
  • self-criticism,
  • panic disorders,
  • social phobias,
  • difficulty concentrating, especially when communicating with others.

How can I tell if my parent has hearing loss?

Hearing loss is rarely sudden or total, unless you are exposed to an exceptionally loud noise. It’s usually gradual – sometimes so gradual that your family and friends may notice the problem before you do. Here are ten questions that will help you determine whether friend or family member is suffering from hearing loss.  If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, you may want to schedule a professional hearing evaluation with an audiologist.

1. Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone?

2. Do you have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time?

3. Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?

4. Do you have to strain to understand conversation?

5. Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy background?

6. Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves?

7. Do many people you talk to seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?

8. Do you misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?

9. Do you have trouble understanding the speech of women and children?

10. Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say?

How can family members help a loved one that has hearing loss?

Set Your Stage

1. Face person directly.

2. Avoid noisy backgrounds.

3. Get attention first.

Get the Point Across

1. Don’t shout.

2. Speak clearly, at moderate pace, not over-emphasizing words.

3. Re-phrase if you are not understood.

4. Use facial expressions, gestures.

In closing, the most important thing a family member can do to help a loved one with onset hearing loss is to get a hearing test.

children with hearing problems

Speech and Language Disorders in Children

An Interview with Mike Howland, CEO

Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center

What are the main causes of speech and language disorders in children?

Speech and Language disorders may be the result of a variety of etiologies and many disorders have no clear cause but they may include:

  • a motor speech disorder (Apraxia),

    children with hearing problems

    Hearing and speech disorders in children may be caused by a variety of issues. If you think that your child may have a hearing, speech or language disorder, please contact your primary care physician to ask for a referral to the speech & hearing professionals at Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center.

  • a physical/ structural cause (cleft palate, overbite, short frenulum),
  • be a symptom of a syndrome (Down syndrome, Fragile X),
  • a neurological problem (Cerebral Palsy),
  • a traumatic event (traumatic brain injury, lack of oxygen at birth),
  • a sensory deficiency (hearing impairment),
  • Auditory Processing Disorders,
  • intellectual disability,
  • developmental delay,
  • language based learning disability,
  • Autism,
  • environmental deprivation.

In short, there are hundreds of possible causes that can facilitate the need for speech and/or language therapy.

What is the first step I should take if I notice my child’s speech is delayed?

Speak with your Primary Care Doctor about getting a referral for a Hearing Test, if one has not already been completed, as well as a referral for a Speech & Language Evaluation.

How can I tell if my child’s speech and language is on track?

There are expected language behaviors for different ages.  For example, by 1 year of age, a child should use one or two words, follow simple requests (ie. “Come here”), and understand simple questions (ie. “Where are your shoes?”).  By 2-3 years of age, the child should be using two or three words sentences to talk about and ask for things and following two requests (ie. “Get the ball and put it on the table”).  Parents should also understand the child’s speech most of the time. Children are individuals and do develop at slower or faster rates than expected.  What is most important is that the child shows continuous language growth.

For more detailed look at the developmental milestones at each age refer to www.asha.org for the following:

What is the difference between a speech disorder and language impairment?

When a person is unable to articulate or produce speech sounds correctly or fluently (ability to speak without stuttering), or has problems with his or her voice (e.g., hoarseness, vocal nodules), then he or she has a speech disorder.

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), or interacting and having appropriate social skills with others (pragmatics), then he or she has a language disorder. Both children and adults can have speech and language disorders. They can occur as a result of a medical problem or have no known cause.

How can I help my child with a hearing problem cope at school?

Federal law allows students with hearing loss to have a free and appropriate public education alongside non–disabled students, to the extent possible, up to 12th grade. Even though a child may have a hearing aid or cochlear implant they will probably still need assistive technology, modified acoustics, and accessible teaching strategies to participate fully in noisy classrooms. In post-secondary institutions students must advocate for accessibility through the school administration. Many schools have disabled student offices that can coordinate accessibility requests.

Happy Child! Happy Mom! Speech Therapy Helps Jalen.

Jalen was just three years old when he first came to the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center (JSHC) with his mother.  His language abilities left Jalen frustrated; he had no way to communicate with his peers or express his needs.  His mother persevered, working diligently with Jalen week after week at home and JSHC on speech therapy.

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