Duke’s pediatric speech-language pathologists work closely with children from birth through adolescence who have communication disorders and swallowing disorders. We have expertise in diagnosing uncommon conditions and needs that may be unfamiliar to community- or school-based speech pathologists. Our goal is to provide each child with a unique plan that supports growth and development and can be incorporated into their daily life. We are committed to helping your child thrive.
Your child’s initial speech-language pathology appointment will be focused on interviewing and testing. To start, the speech therapist will spend time listening to you -- the caregiver. We’ll ask about your child’s medical and developmental history. We will also address your questions and concerns and discuss goals for your child. This allows time for your child to become more comfortable in the environment and with the speech therapist, and the information you share will help guide the evaluation.
Next, we’ll spend some time observing and interacting with your child. We’ll evaluate your child’s strengths and needs using carefully chosen, up-to-date, and evidence-based tools and measures.
Finally, the speech-language pathologist will talk with you about next steps, additional testing, and treatment plans. Altogether, this appointment lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Additional tests your child’s speech-language pathologist may request include:
A thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end (called a nasopharyngoscope) is inserted through your child’s nose to the back of the throat. This helps the provider see how parts of the mouth move during speech.
Your child wears a headset equipped with microphones and is asked to read or repeat phrases. The audio is recorded and analyzed by a computer program. This test measures the velopharyngeal opening, which connects the oral and nasal air passageways.
Respiratory Pressure Manometry
Your child is asked to exhale and inhale into a device to help the speech therapist understand their respiratory strength for speech and/or swallowing and to direct therapy recommendations.
Our specialists use tests like videofluoroscopic swallow studies and fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing to diagnose swallowing disorders.
Why Choose Duke
A Team Approach
Our team of speech-language pathologists is large and part of a renowned health care organization. This gives us access to the most recent advances in the field of speech pathology. We collaborate with you, other members of your child’s care team, and schools to provide the best-possible care.
We use sophisticated instruments, equipment, computer software systems, and other tools to diagnose and treat your child’s communication or swallowing disorder. This technology can provide specific information about the type and severity of your child’s impairment and can lead to a more precise diagnosis and treatment plan.
Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center is proud to be nationally ranked in nine pediatric specialties.