Department of Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists at the Center for Childhood Communication at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) evaluate and treat children who have difficulties with communication and swallowing. Our patients range in age from birth through adolescence.

We work closely with families and referring physicians to better understand a child’s communication strengths and needs, and provide information to help families make decisions about available services.

For every patient, a comprehensive, individualized evaluation is performed, after which the SLP will develop a plan that can be used to pursue treatment through early intervention, in school, or with a provider close to the family’s home. Speech-language therapy may be recommended to help a child understand language, communicate effectively and/or speak clearly.

What we evaluate and treat

  • Language – Children with language impairments or delays may struggle with understanding spoken or written messages (receptive language), using words or symbols to communicate (expressive language), and/or using language in a socially appropriate manner to interact with others (pragmatics). Developmental delays and certain medical conditions place children at risk for language difficulties. These conditions include autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, hearing loss, genetic syndromes, traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome and others.
  • Speech – Children with speech disorders have difficulty producing sounds, words and phrases clearly and fluently. This can be due to immature development, neurological impairment or a structural difference, such as cleft lip/palate. Common speech disorders that we diagnose and treat include: articulation impairment, stuttering, apraxia of speech, dysarthria, phonological process disorders and voice disorders (e.g., hoarseness).
  • Feeding and swallowing – Children with feeding or swallowing difficulties require a team assessment.

Interdisciplinary clinics

Our staff evaluates and treats children at the following interdisciplinary clinics and programs at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:

About our staff

Our speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are certified through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed by the state in which they work. We deliver family-centered clinical care, teach families and professionals, and conduct innovative research to advance the field of pediatric speech-language pathology.

Education programs for healthcare professionals

We collaborate with the Department of Continuing Education and other interdisciplinary programs at Children's Hospital to train and educate professionals. Conferences cover a variety of speech, language, and swallowing/feeding topics for the pediatric population. Healthcare professionals can visit the CME site for information on current continuing education events.