Speech-language therapy services at Jennersville Regional Hospital recently expanded its outpatient services to assist children and adolescents.

Long a provider of speech-language services for outpatient adults in addition to hospitalized patients, the hospital is responding to demand for more services for children living in Southern Chester County and the surrounding communities. 

Jennersville Regional Hospital speech pathologists can assist parents who have noticed their child having a difficult time hearing, speaking, listening or learning, as well as eating and swallowing.

"Our team promptly evaluates each child to determine what treatment plan is best suited for his or her needs," explains Diane Hudak, lead speech pathologist. Depending on the diagnosis, the pathologists will offer weekly sessions over a period of time, varying anywhere from two to 12 weeks or over an extended period if warranted.

"Time is of the essence, particularly with young children," said Hudak, who encourages parents to bring up any concerns with their child's doctor.  "Ideally, we should be able to understand 90 percent of what a child says by the time he or she is three years of age. Often what we find is that those closest to the child, an older brother or sister and parents, can communicate with the child but those outside the family cannot. This is a clear indication that an evaluation is necessary."

For school-age children, services also can be arranged to supplement therapy provided at school. "If that's the case, our pathologists work closely with the school therapist to build on the progress and treatment already identified," explained Hudak. 

Some common conditions that benefit from speech therapy include aphasia (loss of language), apraxia (coordination of speech), articulation and language delay/disorders, dysarthria (slurred speech) and dysfluency (stuttering).

To learn more, contact the Jennersville Regional Hospital Speech-Language Therapy Services at 610-869-1728. To schedule a consultation, call 610-869-1555.