Speech-Language & Literacy

Service to the Community Since 1921

Speech-Language & Literacy

Speech-Language & Literacy

At Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, our speech-language pathologists provide comprehensive services to help children and adults develop or regain effective listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

We provide a variety of services to promote effective communication among people of all ages and ability levels. Starting with infants and toddlers, we work to develop speech-language skills that will serve as the child's foundation for all future learning. We assist parents by teaching strategies used to help children build strong listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as they grow. We help adults who have lost communication abilities due to stroke or other neurological diseases, as well as those who want to improve speaking or interpersonal communication skills.

Speech-Language Evaluations

Comprehensive speech-language evaluations involve an in-depth analysis of:

  • Speech production (including sound production, speech fluency/stuttering)
  • Language comprehension (listening and/or reading)
  • Language use (including verbal, written and social communication skills)
  • Voice quality

We also provide evaluations in certain specialty areas. For individuals who are unable to communicate verbally, we can assess their abilities for various augmentative-alternative communication devices (also called speech-generating devices). Our speech-language pathologists can complete a language-learning evaluation for older children who may have language-based learning disabilities. However, some children may benefit from an even more comprehensive assessment by a neuropsychologist. 

Speech-Language Interventions

When the results of an evaluation reveal the need for intervention, we discuss all options with the family. At CHSC, we offer individual or group therapy sessions. We inform consumers of services that may be available through schools and other agencies in the community.

Individual treatment is provided with your input or that of the primary caregiver. An individualized treatment plan is developed to address your long-term goals and short-term objectives. This plan is reviewed frequently and modified as needed based on the client's progress. 

Group treatment is utilized to improve communication skills, provide an opportunity for peer-learning and carry over skills with other communication partners. CHSC offers therapeutic and support groups.  

Additional Services We Provide

  • Community education through lectures in the community and participation in area health fairs
  • Community-based services (screenings, evaluations and intervention) for Head Start programs, schools and day care centers
  • Support groups for survivors of stroke or traumatic brain injury. Click here to learn more about our Speak Easy Support Group
  • Parent training and education
  • Dispensing SpeechEasy Device (anti-stuttering device). Click here to learn more about our Fluency Enhancing Devices
  • Equipment loaning program (you can borrow devices such as voice amplifiers, speech-generating devices, etc.) 

Where You Will Find Us

We offer services at four office locations (University Circle, South Euclid, Broadview Heights, and Westlake). Additionally, we provide services at various schools, daycare centers, and Head Start programs throughout Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. We do provide in-home services on an individual basis pending clinical availability.  

Services for Adults

Services for Adults

Adults with various communication challenges seek our services. The individuals we serve may have developmental delays or communication problems frequently associated with medical conditions such as autism, Down syndrome or other genetic disorders, cerebral palsy, stroke or progressive central nervous system diseases (such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.). 

On the other hand, some adults who have no identified disorder seek our services to help them improve pronunciation of the English language or to improve their public speaking skills, vocal projection and other professional or interpersonal communication skills. 

Common Disorders

There are many different disorders that may be associated with changes in communication abilities. Some, such as apraxia or dysarthria, affect speech-sound production; others, such as aphasia, may affect your ability to understand or use language, making it difficult to understand people or to express your own ideas. Common communication disorders include:

  • Aphasia (language disorders acquired following stroke)
  • Apraxia or dysarthria (speech disorders acquired following stroke)
  • Cognitive-communication disorders (often following traumatic brain injury)
  • Deafness or hearing loss affecting speech production
  • Fluency disorder (stuttering)
  • Nonverbal communication needs (augmentative/alternative devices)
  • Stuttering
  • Voice disorders 

In addition to a variety of treatments and devices to assist with these changes in communication abilities, we also offer these support programs:

Northeast Ohio Adults Communicating Together (NEO-ACT)

NEO-ACT is a one-of-a-kind program developed by Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center for adults with communication disorders related to: 

  • Stroke
  • Brain Injury 
  • Aneurysm 
  • Parkinson's Disease 
  • Dementia 
  • Alzheimer's Disease 
  • Other Neurological Conditions

NEO-ACT is designed to provide individuals with communication difficulties (and their caregivers) an opportunity to improve quality of life through participation in activities that provide enrichment for listening, speaking, reading, writing, and socialization. 

Click here to learn more about our NEO-ACT program.

Services for Children

Services for Children

As a community-based agency, we strive to serve as many people as possible. Given the broad scope of practice, our consumers span all ages, ability levels and medical diagnoses. Children (infant to 17 years) are regularly seen at CHSC offices, in schools, day care programs, and Head Start programs.

Common Pediatric Communication Disorders

  • Apraxia of speech
  • Articulation or phonological disorder
  • Dysarthria (slurred speech)
  • Language delay or disorder
  • Language-learning disabilities (language-based reading and writing differences)
  • Nonverbal communication needs (augmentative/alternative devices)
  • Social skills impairments
  • Speech, language or reading difficulties associated with deafness or hearing loss
  • Voice or resonance disorders (including those common with cleft palate)

Treatment of Pediatric Communication Disorders

When therapy is recommended, following an evaluation, the clinician will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is based on your child's individual goals. You will participate in developing the plan and be active in the treatment process as you work to help your child develop effective communication skills.

Treatment may be conducted in individual or group sessions, depending on your child's goals and the best practices in treating the communication difficulties. We strongly encourage family involvement and enjoy working with you and the people with whom your child interacts most frequently. With your permission, we will include training and education for family members, caregivers and others as needed.

Treatment sessions may be 30 to 60 or 90 minutes and may occur once to three times weekly, depending on the treatment program. The overall duration of treatment is estimated after the initial assessment and adjusted as your child progresses through the program.

NEW! Ultrasound Speech Therapy

Ultrasound speech therapy is a new, noninvasive method that helps children and adults who still have trouble with certain speech sounds, most commonly “r” and “s”. This state-of-the-art speech therapy uses ultrasound to visualize tongue position and offers immediate feedback to the client. Intensive summer sessions now available – click here.

Toys to Talk

Bring your little one (and all your communication questions) for a week of play and language growth!

We will provide the toys, and more importantly, the tools, to support your child’s language development. From blocks to Potato Head, to puzzles and books, you will discover the endless possibilities that these simple yet classic toys contain that support language and speech development.

At each session you and your child, along with up to two other families, will work with one of our Speech-Language Pathologists to customize service to your individual needs.

On the last day of the session, each child will be happy to learn that they get to take all the toys they have been playing with home. From there, you can continue to support your child’s communication skills in the comfort of your own home or, if necessary, you may consider having your child’s communication skills further supported with individual speech therapy.

For more information contact Rebecca Mental at rmental@chsc.org or 216-325-7541.

Preschool Language and Literacy Classrooms (PLLC) Remote Edition

PLLC Research

PLLC Videos for Parents & Children


A child’s first five years are critical for language and literacy development. Yet during the pandemic, so many parents find themselves juggling both work and preschool for their little ones from home. CHSC’s Speech-Language Pathology team has you covered with engaging video lessons. Our Preschool Language and Literacy Classroom “Remote Edition” builds on our popular program at local preschools and Head Start sites. 

Through a fun shared book-reading activity, our team will introduce your child to  early language and literacy skills—all while helping your kiddo develop a love of books!
Our PPLC Remote Edition videos will introduce early literacy skills, such as:

  • Print Knowledge
  • Alphabet Sound (Phonological) Awareness
  • Rhyming
  • Vocabulary
  • Reading Comprehension
  • …and many more!

Early exposure to a variety of language concepts and literacy themes can prepare your child for success in preschool and ensure they have adequate time to master skills that will help them to thrive in kindergarten.

For Teachers: We know remote teaching is a challenge, especially with preschoolers. At CHSC, we want to support you as you use these videos with your class. Click below for our special teacher’s strategy videos to help you engage you students with the Lesson Videos. 

PLLC Videos for Teachers


This program is generously funded by The Thomas H. White Foundation and The Stocker Foundation. For more information on the Preschool Language and Literacy Classrooms (PLLC) program, or other resources for your preschooler, please call 216-231-8787 or email svondra@chsc.org.

Reading, Writing & Dyslexia Services

CHSC provides assessments, therapy, and enrichment services to children with delays or disabilities with reading and writing skills. This includes therapy services for children with dyslexia, as well as enrichment services for children who may not have a diagnosed disorder but who need extra help with reading and writing.  Reading and writing services may be covered by insurance.

We provide multisensory, structured language support. This means that we use a child’s relative strengths to help them learn to read and write, and that our methods are evidence-based. Our team includes a Certified Wilson Practitioner.

A child will start by completing an assessment with a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). After the assessment, the SLP will recommend services based on the results.  If your child has had a reading, writing, or language assessment completed in the past year, he/she may qualify for therapy or enrichment services without need for an assessment at our office.

Some children qualify for intensive services, which may include several sessions each week.  We offer our services in individual (one-on-one) and group settings, depending on what will work best for you and your family.  We offer pre-literacy services for preschool-age children and we offer structured reading and writing services for children starting in Kindergarten, through adulthood.

Currently, CHSC offers both in-person and remote services.  For more information or to schedule an appointment call 216-231-8787.

Parent-Toddler Therapy Group

The Parent-Toddler Therapy Group is designed for toddlers who have a delay in speech-language development. This 90-minute weekly session uses family-friendly and natural language strategies based on the Hanen Centre’s principles.

Between the ages of 12 months and 3 years, children develop rapidly. When there is a delay in speech-language development, therapy can be helpful. Since young children spend most of their time with parents or caregivers, the most effective therapy includes the adults in their life in the process.

Parents and caregivers provide important input regarding their child’s communication needs at home and treatment goals are developed accordingly. In addition to working directly with the child toward developing vocabulary and communication skills, parents are coached to feel comfortable communicating with their child in a way that helps to develop his/her skills. Parents feel more confident in understanding their children and in using effective strategies for developing communication skills in their children.

Parent-Toddler Therapy Groups are facilitated by Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) who are effective at teaching the adult caregiver(s) successful strategies for improving language in their toddlers at home. The group is staffed by a licensed, certified, speech-language pathologist with some assistance by graduate students from Case Western Reserve University. Four to five toddlers and their parents participate in a group. The format of the group is 90 minutes of child-directed, free-play, structured group activity, song time, and group snack time. 

Through play and structured learning activities, children are exposed to vocabulary and simple sentences to communicate their wants and needs. Parents learn how to help their child use words and phrases. SLPs work directly with the children to provide models for parents to observe, and then coach the parents in using the targeted strategy. Suggestions for using these strategies in the home and community are also provided for parents.

This group is offered at the University Circle location on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Please call Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center at 216-231-8787 for more information.



Program for Pre-Teens and Teens Who Stutter

CHSC offers a year-round therapy program called FACEtime: Fluency, Attitude, and Communication Effectiveness. FACEtime is designed for older children and young teens who stutter and want to communicate more fluently and confidently.

Children and teens in the FACEtime program participate in three individualized therapy sessions per month targeting their individual goals. At the end of the month, they attend one group session with everyone enrolled in the FACEtime program. The group session allows participants the opportunity to practice their fluency strategies in real-life situations. The group will take outings to restaurants and Cleveland area attractions as a way to practice their skills in real-life situations.

Teens who have been involved in FACEtime said: “It is so much fun… I have learned a lot from the group and love meeting other kids who stutter… I feel more confident when I talk and I’m not afraid to stutter anymore.” 

FACEtime Summer Camp Flyer

Please contact CHSC at 216-231-8787 if you know an older child or teenager who may benefit from some FACEtime!

Additional Resources

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