Speech & Language Therapy Program

Lurie Children’s Speech-Language Team specializes in evaluating and treating children from birth to 18 years of age who have difficulty communicating for a variety of reasons, including the disorders explained below.

Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation & Phonological Processes

Children often have difficulty producing individual speech sounds or groups of sounds. This may impact how easily their speech is understood by others. A speech sound disorder occurs when difficulties continue past the typical age at which a sound is mastered. To see the age range during which most children develop each sound, review the Talking Child's speech chart.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder caused by difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary for speech. CAS is not due to any weakness or paralysis of muscles. Often, a child may know what they want to say, but their brain has difficulty planning movements of speech muscles (lips, tongue, jaw, etc.).

Receptive & Expressive Language Disorders

Receptive language refers to a child's awareness and understanding of sounds and language symbols including vocabulary words, concepts, questions, directions, sentence structures, facial expressions and gestures. Expressive communication refers to the use of facial expressions, gestures, sounds, words and word combinations for the purpose of communication. Language delays or disorders may become apparent as a child does not meet their communication milestones.

For more information on childhood speech and language, please visit the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.

What to Expect at Your Visit


Once you have a referral or order for a speech evaluation or therapy from your primary care doctor, please make an appointment for your child’s evaluation with our speech-language pathologists. During your child’s evaluation, a speech-language pathologist will:

  • Talk with you about your concerns and answer your questions as they discuss your child’s medical and development history.
  • Interact with your child using a variety of formal and/or informal tasks.
  • Identify your child’s communication strengths and needs.
  • Review the results of the evaluation and discuss the recommended treatment plan.


The duration and frequency of therapy will be determined by the speech-language pathologist based on your child’s needs. The therapy process is conducted with toys, games and activities that keep children motivated and engaged. Parents are encouraged to participate in sessions to learn therapy strategies to help continue treatment at home.


If you'd like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, visit our Appointments page for more information.