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The Speech Production Clinic

Heather Rusiewicz, Ph.D., Program Director
Caterina Staltari, M.A., Clinic Instructor


The Speech Production Clinic at Duquesne University offers diagnostic evaluations and ongoing intervention services for children for whom there are concerns regarding their ability to produce speech sounds that are appropriate for their age.  The clinic provides highly individualized services for children from preschool to adolescence.  Children who may benefit from the services of the Speech Production Clinic are individuals who are having trouble being understood by others because of sound errors, organization of sounds in speech, and/or planning of speech movements.

What is a speech sound disorder?

According to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA} “speech sounds disorders include problems with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).”   Young children often make errors while learning the complex act of speaking.  However, as children develop they typically become easier to understand and produce speech with few errors. Concerns of a child or adolescent exhibiting a speech sound disorder include:

  • Difficulty being understood.
  • Sound errors that are not appropriate for their age.
  • Trouble recognizing and discerning speech sounds.
  • A history of neurogenic communication disorders.

What is our approach to treatment?

Regardless of a child’s specific speech disorder, sessions are focused on increasing their ability to communicate in a variety of settings in an enjoyable and motivating manner. Treatment goals are implemented through age appropriate activities that maximize productivity. Treatment could include:

-  Eliminating sound errors by way of:

  • Traditional treatment approaches
  • Motor enhanced treatment
  • Phonological approaches

- Increasing the understanding of the relationship of sounds and literacy.

- Improving the ability to perceive sounds within words.

Working with the Family

The professionals and students of the clinic strive to not only impact the child within the clinic setting, but also to work closely with family, caregivers and other support service professionals to ensure effective generalization of therapy goals to social and academic settings.