Services

Service Descriptions

We provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for children and adults with speech and language disorders supervised by ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologists. Therapeutic options at the University of South Florida Speech Language Hearing Center (USF-SLHC) are individualized to each individual's specific needs and currently include individual and group therapy. Additionally, the USF-SLHC has several bilingual faculty members who can provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for Spanish-speaking individuals and families.

Accent Modification
Acquired Neurogenic Disorders
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Aural (Re)Habilitation
Language Disorders
Social Communication Disorders
Speech Sound Disorders
Voice and Resonance Disorders

ACCENT MODIFICATION

Accent Modification
Accent modification sessions are designed to help non-native speakers who wish to reduce their accent, improve oral communication, build vocabulary and learn more about American culture. Also, therapy may be provided for native speakers who want to reduce or eliminate a dialect. These sessions are focused around mastery of American speech sounds but also mastery of non-verbal communication skills including gestures, posture, and eye contact.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/development/accent-modification/

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ACQUIRED NEUROGENIC DISORDERS

Aphasia
Aphasia is a group of acquired language disorders that are a result of an injury to the brain.  Aphasia affects language comprehension and expression, both spoken and written. Treatment programs for Aphasia at the USF Speech Language and Hearing Clinic consist of both individual and group sessions, as well as support group offerings. Evidence-based treatment approaches are used that are designed to improve functional communication skills. Intervention is individualized based on the patient's needs and may include language-oriented therapy, melodic intonation therapy, computer-based treatment, augmentative and alternative communication training (AAC), reading treatment, writing treatment, and word finding treatment. USF Aphasia Clinic information here.

More information: www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Clinical-Topics/aphasia/

Apraxia
Acquired apraxia of speech is an oral motor disorder affecting an individual's ability expression which results in limited and difficult speech ability. In adults, apraxia is usually caused by illness or injury to the part of the brain that is responsible for speech production. Illness or injury to this part of the brain results in a loss or impairment of existing speech abilities.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/apraxiaadults/

Cognitive Linguistic Disorders
Cognitive linguistic disorders is a category of disorders that result from damage to the brain. The damage can result a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or from disorders that affect brain processing like dementia and Alzheimer's.  These disorders can affect a person's attention, memory, and reasoning ability. These disorders nay also affect how a person understands and communicates.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/dementia/

Dysarthria
Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder. In dysarthria the muscles of the mouth, face, and respiratory system become weak following a stroke or related brain injury. The type and severity of dysarthria depend on the part of the brain and nervous system is affected. Individuals with dysarthria might have related diagnoses of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, or Cerebral Palsy. The USF clinic provides comprehensive diagnostic and treatment  sessions which are focused around increasing the functionality of the client. We also offer a specialized treatment, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, for those affected by Parkinson's Disease. For more information on this treatment, see below.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/dysarthria/

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment
The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) is a voice treatment program for adults with neurological disorders, particularly Parkinson's Disease. The goal is to increase vocal loudness to improve speech production and for the patient to be better heard by others. Completion of this program is rigorous and includes sessions at either four times per week for 4 weeks or twice a week for eight weeks.

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AUGMENTATIVE AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION (AAC)

AAC is a specialized program that uses symbolic and computerized communication for individuals who have difficulty expressing what they want to say as a result of a motor, cognitive, or intellectual disorder. AAC sessions are focused around helping the child adapt to and learn to use their AAC device for functional communication.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/AAC/

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AURAL (RE) HABILITATION

AR emphasizes auditory detection, discrimination, identification, and comprehension using audition and visual cues to facilitate understanding of the sound signal. AR also focuses on  assessment and treatment for children and adults with hearing loss. Intervention focuses on auditory (re)training through the use of amplification (hearing aids or cochlear implants) to improve listening skills. USF also offers a variety of communication options, including oral/aural, total communication, and/or cued speech. Sign language interpreters and Cued Speech Buddies are provided through USF's Interpreter Training Program and the Cued Speech Initiative at USF.

For children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, USF offers individualized therapy, and the Little Bulls Preschool Program, which is a family-centered approach through modeling and scaffolding of language using a family-centered approach. It meets twice weekly during selected semesters, and is a joint effort of the USF-SLHC and the Bolesta-USF Center.

More information: www.asha.org/public/hearing/adult-aural-rehabilitation/

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LANGUAGE DISORDERS

Early Intervention
USF offers various types of early intervention services aimed at helping infants and toddlers with various communication difficulties. The USF Speech Language Hearing Clinic (USF SLHC) offers both individual and group treatment options using a family-centered approach. USF staff works collaboratively with caregivers during all aspects of the intervention.  Session activities are developmentally supportive and provide the child opportunities to expand speech, language, and emergent literacy skills. The USF SLHC offers a "preschool" program that meets twice weekly for infants and toddlers and their families where language stimulation and interventions are provided. For children who have developmental delays, who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, or who have varying exceptionalities, USF offers the Little Bulls Preschool Program during select semesters.

More information: www.asha.org/slp/clinical/EarlyIntervention/

Pediatric Language Disorders and Delays
Pediatric language disorders and delays involve difficulties with comprehension and/or use of spoken or written language. Children might have difficulty with one or more areas of language, including speech, grammar, word order, and/or social skills. Both individual and group treatment sessions are offered. Current group treatment includes early intervention (birth to three years), preschool aged (3 - 5 years), and school-aged groups. All groups include a focus on both spoken and written language development and towards increasing functional social communication for home, community and academic environments.

More information: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Preschool-Language-Disorders/

Language-based Reading and Writing Disorders
Language disorders involve difficulties with comprehension and/or use of spoken or written language. Children with speech and language disorders are at greater risk for developing literacy disorders. Spoken and written language are strongly connected, and therapy targeting spoken language increases written language and vice versa. The USF Speech Language and Hearing Clinic provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for language and literacy disorders. Language and literacy therapy within the clinic includes a focus on both spoken and written language, including all aspects of language, reading, spelling, and writing. Children served in the clinic might include those diagnosed with Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders, Specific Language Impairment, Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities, and Auditory Processing Disorder. The USF SLHC provides both individual and group intervention sessions. During the summer, intensive language and literacy groups are formed based on client needs within a small group/simulated classroom environment. Interventions are individualized based on the child's specific needs and often focus on one or more of the following areas: increasing listening comprehension skills, reading comprehension, phonological awareness skills to support reading and spelling development, application of learned strategies to listening and reading of academic material.

More information: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/LBLD/

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SOCIAL COMMUNICATION DISORDERS

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which individuals struggle to varying degrees with social interaction, communication, and restricted, repetitive behaviors and interests. Early diagnosis and treatment for children with ASD is crucial in helping to make significant gains in language and social skills. Therapy sessions for individuals with ASD focus on addressing the child's specific social communication needs using developmentally appropriate activities to encourage and foster the child's language and social skills. Evidence-based interventions that are utilized might include play-based interventions, joint attention intervention, video-based instruction, literacy interventions, naturalistic teaching, relationship-based interventions, parent training, visual supports, augmentative and/or alternative communication training (AAC; see more information above), and treatment aimed at increasing self-management/regulation.

The USF Speech Language Hearing Clinic offers a variety of treatment options, including individual therapy and group therapy. Therapy is provided to children of all ages, including ongoing preschool groups and school-age Social Skills groups. During the summer, additional programs are offered, including an intensive Social Skills group.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/autism/

Selective Mutism
Selective Mutism (SM) is a childhood communication disorder characterized by an inability to speak in select social situations, such as at school or around new, unfamiliar people. SM is linked to childhood anxiety disorder as well as social phobia. Children with selective mutism talk openly in settings where they are comfortable and relaxed (e.g., at home). However, in certain settings & social environments, children with SM display "hiding" behaviors such as reduced eye contact, avoidance of communication, uncomfortable body language, and/or frozen facial expressions. Children and adolescents with SM have a strong fear of speaking and interacting socially where there is an expectation of speech. Because of the potential long-term, negative effects on children's social & academic outcomes, early intervention for selective mutism is highly recommended.

Treatment programs for selective mutism at the USF Speech & Language Clinic consist of individualized and small group/simulated classroom sessions. We utilize an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy model designed to improve emotional awareness, self-regulation of emotions, and social communication skills. Session activities center around high-interest art/crafts, storytelling, and technology experiences that incrementally support development of social speech. Treatment typically begins with a focus on body awareness, mindfulness, and nonverbal communication as a foundation for building greater communication confidence & competence in a variety of social situations.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/SelectiveMutism/

Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder
This disorder includes difficulties with the functional use of verbal and nonverbal communication in social settings. Individuals might have decreased social cognition, social interaction, and pragmatic language skills. This may be a separate diagnosis or might also occur within the context of related disorders, including more generalized Communication Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), developmental disability, language learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and traumatic brain injury. Treatment is provided in both individual and group settings to a wide variety of ages. During the summer, additional programs are offered, including an intensive Social Skills group.

More information: www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Clinical-Topics/Social-Communication-Disorders-in-School-Age-Children/

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SPEECH SOUND DISORDERS

Speech sound disorders occur when a child mispronounces a sound at an age when he/she should be able to make that sound. Even though speech sounds are acquired in a general developmental order, the primary concern should be speech intelligibility. A child should be intelligible by the age of 3 years. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (sound production) and phonological processes (sound patterns).  The USF clinic provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for speech sound disorders. Therapy sessions are focused on increasing correct production for speech sounds and sound patterns. Treatment is individualized based on the child's needs and the overall goal is to increase speech intelligibility and communication effectiveness.

More information:  www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/SpeechSoundDisorders/

Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor planning disorder in which children have trouble saying sounds, syllables and words. In CAS, the brain has difficulty planning the correct movement of the mouth and face in order to produce speech. The child is capable of thinking of what he/she wants to say but does not have the proper muscle movement planning required to produce speech. Treatment programs are designed to meet the individual needs of the child are focused around increasing motor planning abilities and increasing functional ability in children with CAS. Both individual and group intervention is offered.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/

Stuttering/Cluttering/other Fluency Disorders
Stuttering, cluttering and other fluency disorders are marked by an interruption in the forward movement of speech often accompanied by struggle. The USF clinic provides comprehensive evaluation and therapy for a variety of stuttering and fluency disorders. Therapy for stuttering and other fluency disorders focus on decreasing the number of disfluencies, promoting acceptance, and creating positive attitudes about speech production. We offer weekly interventions and a summer program, PATS, for children and adolescents. For more information, please see the link below.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering/#a

Program for the Advanced Treatment of Stuttering (PATS)
PATS is a dynamic program that helps clients gain control over fluency and stuttering. Conducted over the summer months, this program challenges clients to establish new speech tools and meet new speech targets each day, in an intensive-yet-supportive environment. Participants also learn how to strengthen and maintain their speech tools over the long term. PATS participants learn about speech anatomy, speech sound formation, and behaviors that define stuttering; dissect their stuttering to understand exactly how and why speech gets interrupted physically; begin to take control of stuttering by modifying it; learn how to speak with greater fluency through careful planning, shaping, and highlighting of utterances; and learn how to maintain new skills by setting realistic goals, understanding how stress affects speech tool use, and learning to conquer fear in speaking. A refresher course is also offered for past clients seeking a review.

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VOICE AND RESONANCE DISORDERS

Voice disorders are a broad category of conditions that affect a person's vocal quality. A vocal disorder can result for a  variety of reasons ranging from long term hoarseness (i.e,. over two weeks) to vocal fold paralysis. Depending on the cause of the voice disorder, the vocal quality can be affected temporarily or permanently. The USF clinic provides evaluation and treatment for voice disorders. Therapy sessions are focused around improving overall quality of voice and learning proper vocal habits.

More information: www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/voice/

Tampa Bay National Spasmodic Dysphonia Support Group (Tampa Bay NSDA)
The Tampa Bay NSDA support group was founded on our campus in 2003 and currently meets quarterly to increase awareness and to educate patients, students, professionals and the community about spasmodic Dysphonia.  Spasmodic Dysphonia is a neurological voice disorder that affects over 50 million individuals in North America.  Primarily women between 30-50 years old, the etiology is yet to be determined.  This group serves as a vehicle for those diagnosed with spasmodic Dysphonia to meet and discuss current research and treatments.

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