The Masters Family Speech and Hearing Center diagnoses and treats infants, children and adolescents with feeding/swallowing disorders and communication or learning concerns. Our staff is highly skilled, including audiologists and speech-language pathologists with masters and doctoral degrees. Services may be requested to help diagnose other diseases or disorders.
The Speech Center sees children who:
- Are 1 year or younger who are not making or responding to sound.
- Are older than 1 year of age and do not talk at all.
- Do not talk as well as they should for their age.
- Do not understand what is said to them.
- Have an unusual voice.
- Have difficulty eating or drinking.
Communication disorders take several forms. A child can have a speech disorder, a language disorder or both. Some children have cognition disorders.
Speech is the production of individual speech sounds and their combination to form words. There are various impairments of speech including disorders of respiration, phonation, resonance and articulation. Speech diagnoses include dysarthria, cleft lip and palate, velopharyngeal incompetency, phonologic disorders, articulation disorders, hypernasality, denasality, hoarseness, breathiness, apraxia and stuttering.
Language is the ability to use and understand meaningful symbols. Impairments include disorders of understanding what is heard or read, and disorders of expression, use of gestures or words. Diagnoses include aphasia, developmental language delay, language disorder and phonological disorder.
Cognition is the ability to process information. Impairments may occur which affect communication in the areas of attention, memory, sequencing, concentration and thought organization. Cognitive disorders have a significant impact on language functioning.
What happens at a visit?
Speech and language evaluation:
Prior to the first evaluation, the family is asked to complete a case history form and send any previous communication tests or related results. These forms are reviewed before the evaluation. At the time of the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist sees the child with the parent present. The evaluation is done in a play environment using books, toys and other pictures and objects. The child is asked to listen and follow directions as well as to imitate speech sounds or words if possible. An examination of the mouth is accomplished either by having the child imitate or by observing the child as he uses his mouth for either eating or speaking.
A hearing test also is part of each evaluation. The child is asked to listen for sound and to respond by either looking toward a moving object or, if the child is older, by placing a block in a container.
Feeding and swallowing evaluation:
Before the first evaluation, our clinic will contact you to ask questions about your child's feeding problem. These questions will help to decide if your child needs a clinical feeding evaluation, videofluoroscopic swallow study (x-ray of swallowing), or Feeding Team evaluation. You will be asked to forward any previous feeding evaluations or related results. This information, as well as your child's medical record, will be reviewed before the evaluation. During the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will complete an examination of the mouth by having the child imitate or by observing movements while the child is eating or talking. The child will eat and drink and the speech-language pathologist will work with you and your child to develop plans to make eating and drinking easier.
The speech-language pathologist may make suggestions about other doctors or specialty clinics that could help with the feeding problem. You will also get a plan with ideas to try at home. If therapy is recommended, the child is scheduled to see a speech-language pathologist.
For all evaluation types, if therapy is recommended, the speech-language pathologist will work with you to find the best treatment setting based on the needs of your child and your family. If treatment is completed through Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, your child will be scheduled with a speech-language pathologist on our team. The child may be referred to a school, other agency or hospital. The evaluation report is sent to your child's pediatrician. You can also request to have it sent to other providers. The report includes a summary of findings, treatment goals and other recommendations.
Who will I see?
Nationally-certified, state-licensed speech-language pathologist and audiologists.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin specialty clinics in New Berlin and Brookfield.
To make an appointment, call Central Scheduling at (414) 607-5280 or toll free (877) 607-5280.