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Speech Language Therapies

Hearing Impairments_websiteAt the Children’s Developmental Center, licensed pediatric speech-language pathologists (SLP) provide stimulation for children who need assistance with receptive and/or expressive language, articulation, oral-motor function, swallowing and auditory processing.  SLPs also assist hard of hearing and deaf children to learn to listen and develop their speech and language skills. We coordinate with Seattle Children’s, Spokane ENT and multiple local agencies.

We have SLPs with specialized training and extensive experience in:

  • Working with children that have been diagnosed with autism
  • Building the auditory skills of children that use hearing aids/cochlear implants
  • Auditory processing disorders
  • Swallowing or feeding difficulties
  • Augmentative communication (e.g., using a communication device)
  • Working with children with significant needs due to the severity of a neurological disorder.


Top 5 FAQs for Speech-Language Pathology


What are the reasons SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist) would work with a child aged birth to 3 years?

A child acquires many skills prior to being able to speak.  Ninety percent of a person’s brain is developed by age 3 years.  This period of time is referred to as the “critical window of opportunity” for speech and language development.  A child may develop a delay in their speech and language skills for a variety of reasons – a neurological disorder (e.g., Down syndrome, Cornelia de Lange, etc.), frequent ear infections, hearing loss, intrauterine stroke, autism, etc.
SLPs are trained to facilitate a child’s development in the areas of speech, receptive and expressive language, vocabulary development, auditory development and learning to safely consume a variety of foods and liquids orally for those children that currently receive their nutrition through a feeding tube or have difficulty eating a variety of textures (to name a few).

What are age appropriate speech sounds?

By 2 years of age a child should be able to produce: /b, p, m, n, d, h/.
By 3 years of age a child should be able to produce: /t, g, k, w, f/.

How many words should my child have by 2 years of age?

By 2 years of age a child should be able to verbalize at least 50 single words.  The words may not be perfectly articulated and are more likely to be approximations.  As long as the child consistently uses the same sound combination for a word, it counts as a word (e.g., /ba/ = ball).

When should I start reading to my child?

A child should be read to from the time he/she is born.  The research shows that a typically developing child needs to hear 48 million words by age 4 years in order to have language and vocabulary skills that are within normal limits.  Reading to your child is an excellent way to reach that goal as you also build your child’s vocabulary and reinforce the bond you have with your child.

How well should I understand my child?

A typical 2 year old’s speech is described as “intelligible (the ability to be understood) with very careful listening”.  People that interact with the child on a daily basis will understand the child better than others that do not see the child often.


A guideline that can be used to determine the expected intelligibility level for a typically developing child, talking to an unfamiliar listener, is to divide the child’s age in years by four and convert that number into a percentage (Coplan & Gleason, 1988, Flipsen; 2006):

—– 1 year:  25% intelligible  
—–  2 years:  50% intelligible  
—–  3 years:  75% intelligible  
—–  4 years:  100% intelligible