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Speech Language Pathology

Speech Langauge Pathology

Speech Therapy services at Starfish will be provided by our Speech-Language Pathologist that holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed by the Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology-State of Oregon to practice in Oregon.  They have a master’s degree and have completed a supervised postgraduate professional experience and have passed a national examination.  They have the appropriate certification, training, and experience to perform their responsibilities.  At Starfish, Speech Therapy may also be provided by a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant who is also licensed by the Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology-State of Oregon to practice in Oregon.  The SLP-A will be under the direct supervision of the SLP.  In general, Speech Therapy is practiced with individuals from birth through the life span.  Speech Therapy provides a communication or swallow diagnosis, individualized treatment, and counseling for many areas within our scope of practice. Besides, treatment and counseling we provide a collaboration culture with other professionals, such as Occupational Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis.  In a framework of individualized goals, we try to maximize progress by including the family/caregivers into a variety of environments.   At Starfish our Speech Therapy program will focus on servicing clients that have a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder that are between 3-21 years of age. The following is a list of Speech Therapy services available through our Speech / Language Pathologist at Starfish: 


Receptive and Expressive Language
Speech Production- Articulation and Phonology
Apraxia of Speech
Speech Fluency/Stuttering
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Functional Social Communication / Pragmatic Language
Vocal Hygiene
Hearing- Functional Listening Behaviors



All aspects of Swallow/Dysphagia and Related Feeding behaviors


The goal of Starfish Speech Therapy is to provide current, high quality researched based evidence practices.  This form of practice will move us forward to increase our client’s quality of life in the areas of communication, feeding and swallow skills.


The Starfish Speech-Language Pathologists has the training and experience in differential diagnosis of disorders of feeding/swallow and communication.  A Speech-Language Pathologist does not diagnose a medical condition, although they do diagnose a communication or swallow disorder.

With parent consent, the Speech-Language Pathologist will provide the necessary screening of areas of concern followed by a full evaluation.  They will identify potential communication, feeding and/or swallowing disorders and they will note the strengths and weaknesses within an area.  The screening and evaluations will be conducted in a comfortable, quiet room to produce valid results.
During the evaluation process, the Speech-Language Pathologist will rule-out or confirm a specific disorder, delay, or difference.
The Speech-Language Pathologist will select the most appropriate assessment tools possible to enable the clinician to diagnose the disorder.
The Speech-Language Pathologist also evaluates as part of a collaborative team.
The assessment may include observations, case history, family interview(s), standardized and/or criterion-referenced tools, referrals for instrumental evaluations, observational assessments of function, review of medical and/or educational records, prior assessments, assessment, and trials of AAC/speech generating devices, and noted family concerns.  All assessment protocols will be culturally and linguistically appropriate.


Accompanying your Child

Parents are welcome to attend the evaluation session to provide data to the evaluating clinician about your child’s medical, challenges during your daily routine, developmental history, etc.   Parents are asked to refrain from comments while the clinician and child are interacting.
Alert the clinician to any precautions or limitations that your child has in relation to physical activity, swallow, nutrition, behavior, etc.
The parents are usually required to independently complete questionnaires during this evaluation session.
Portions of the evaluation session will contain structured and unstructured activities.
Depending on the age of your child, the clinician may be sitting in a chair or on the floor with your child.

Areas Evaluated

The anatomic and physiologic ability of the oral motor, coordination, rate, and effectiveness.  The oral motor function in relation to articulation skills, speech intelligibility skills, and speech fluency.
The client’s ability to understand language that is written, signed, spoken, etc.
The client’s current expressive communication mode, ability, and overall syntax, morphology, and semantic skills.
The client’s social skills and ability to interact individually and in groups.
A feeding/swallow screening may also be conducted. The clinician will evaluate the client’s feeding and/or swallow skills if signs or symptoms are noted that suggest possible aspiration or inadequate nutrition and/or hydration.  Feeding and swallow to include intake, oral cavity, oropharyngeal and overall swallow skills before, during, and after the swallow.
A hearing screening questionnaire will be provided.  If there are a parental or clinician concerns a referral to an Audiologist will be provided.
The client’s vocal quality based on their age.
The cognitive/mental function of the client to include the client’s behavior, attention and listening skills.


Evaluation Conclusion

At the conclusion of the Speech Therapy evaluation session, the clinician will give you a clear idea if your child’s eligibility or ineligibility for Speech Therapy services.  If your child qualifies, goals will be discussed, and your child’s first therapy session will be scheduled.
During the next session the entire report will be reviewed, and any questions will be answered.  After this discussion, then your child’s first therapy session will begin.