The Speech-Language Pathology department at Arkansas Children's provides expert services in a variety of communication disorders including: articulation delay/disorders, language delay/disorders, aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, dysfluency (stuttering), voice disorders, speech disorders related to cleft lip and palate as well as those related to velopharyngeal insufficiency, placement/assistance with the Passy-Muir speaking valve in patients with tracheostomy, oral motor and feeding disorders, and dysphagia. Additionally, we provide services for speech/language and auditory disorders/delays associated with hearing loss.

Speech-language pathologists at Arkansas Children's are available for consultation for neonates to adults on either an inpatient or outpatient basis. Information concerning speech-language pathology services available throughout the state is also provided. In-services on any of the above topics can be arranged for medical staff, parents or interested community members.

Our mission in the Speech-Language Pathology department at Arkansas Children's is to provide comprehensive diagnosis and intervention for the children of Arkansas and the surrounding states. Our main goals include early identification and initiation of appropriate intervention, and most importantly, family involvement and empowerment.

Care Provided

  • Comprehensive evaluation of speech, language and feeding disorders including oral-pharyngeal dysphagia, resonance, voice, fluency, apraxia and language-based learning problems
  • Evaluation and treatment for speech and language problems for children with hearing loss, including children with cochlear implants
  • Parent training and education about communication development
  • Onsite training and professional development can be arranged through contract

Related Services

Possible Conditions

Coming to the Appointment

On the date of your Speech-Language Pathology appointment, you will check in as follows depending on which of our clinics you are visiting:

  • For an appointment at AR Children’s Hospital (Little Rock), you will check in at the Eye Clinic Waiting Area. Once you are registered, a speech pathologist will call you from the waiting room. 
  • For an appointment at Arkansas Children's Northwest, you will enter the first floor of the hospital, check in at security for clearance, and then proceed to admissions. After checking in, you will be directed to take the elevator to the third floor where you will check in with the outpatient reception desk staff who finish the check-in process and direct you to the waiting area.

During the Evaluation

At Arkansas Children's, we value parent involvement and strive to provide the most naturalistic setting for our outpatient evaluations. We encourage the parents to accompany the child to the examination room to make the child feel more at ease.

During the speech/language evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will obtain background information including social, birth, medical and developmental history. Throughout the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will observe the child's communication attempts informally, as well as administer standardized assessments to determine the child's current level of speech/language functioning. At the completion of the consultation, the speech-language pathologist will share impressions from the evaluation, assist in determining the appropriate plan of action, and provide education in home programming for your child's specific needs. Should your child exhibit the need for speech therapy services, the speech-language pathologist will assist in obtaining resources for initiating speech therapy services locally.

Following the Evaluation

Following the evaluation, the parents can expect to receive a formal report which will include any background information obtained, results of standardized testing, statements regarding informal observations, impressions of the child's current level of communication functioning, and recommendations. The examiner's contact information will be included in the report should the family have any questions regarding the information included in the report or should any further concerns arise following the evaluation.

Meet the Team

Our staff works to make children better today and healthier tomorrow.

  • Director: Patti Freemyer Martin, Ph.D.
  • Audiology Supervisor: Audiology Clinic: Holly Marvin Pruss, Au.D., CCC-A
  • Audiology Supervisor: The EARS Program: Donna Fisher Smiley, Ph.D., CCC-A
  • Speech-Language Pathology Coordinator: The Listening Center: Tracy B. Pate, M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT
  • Speech-Language Pathology Supervisor: Inpatient: Tommy Naylor, M.S., CCC-SLP
  • Speech-Language Pathology Supervisor: Outpatient: Katie Lienhart, M.S., CCC-SLP


Possible Treatments

Diagnostic Tests

Arkansas Children's recommends these website resources for children with speech development disorders.

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