Treatment Programs

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Pediatric Speech, Language and Swallowing Disorders

The Department of Speech, Language and Swallowing Disorders and Reading Disabilities at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats children and adolescents with speech, language, reading and swallowing impairments and disorders.

  • 617-726-2763

The Department of Speech, Language and Swallowing Disorders and Reading Disabilities at MassGeneral Hospital for Children is committed to ensuring that children and adolescents with speech, language, reading, and swallowing impairments and disorders receive services by offering comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and treatment programs in the acute inpatient and outpatient settings. Treatment is provided by speech-language pathologists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and at the Chelsea and Revere HealthCare Centers who specialize in diagnosing and treating oral and written language, feeding and swallowing disorders.

Services we provide include:

Group and Individual Services and Programs

Children with an array of disorders are seen in an outpatient setting with individualized treatment tailored to the child’s needs. The services are intended for short-term intervention and are followed with a transition plan from hospital services to those within the school systems and/or communities.

Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program

Services are provided for evaluation and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing problems. Feeding evaluations are conducted either by a speech-language pathologist or multidisciplinary team depending on the complexity of the feeding issue. Learn more about this program

Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Evaluation

A velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) study is a multiview radiographic study performed with the speech-language pathologist and pediatricradiology staff. VPI studies evaluate the movement of the muscles for speech to help determine why a child may be experiencing nasal speech for children at least 4 years of age. In addition, a clinical evaluation of speech and resonance is offered to examine speech development and nasal resonance balance. Short-term resonance therapy is also available.

Pediatric Therapy Team

The Pediatric Therapy Team (PTT) is dedicated to the personalized and comprehensive assessment and care of children and adolescents with complex medical, developmental, emotional and learning needs. A unique feature of the evaluation process is the collaboration between the team members: speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist and physical therapist. Our goal is to gain a broad understanding of each child’s needs in order to make appropriate recommendations regarding outpatient, early intervention and school-based services, parent education, further evaluations or referrals, and available resources and support.

Services for Children who are Monolingual or Bilingual in Spanish or Portuguese

Bilingual speech-language pathologists offer comprehensive evaluations and therapy to children of all ages. Bilingual clinicians assess language dominance, delays and disorders across various domains in both languages as needed. Suggestions for direct intervention, classroom accommodations, additional services, academic consultation and ideas for language stimulation in the home environment are available. Our bilingual speech-language pathologists practice at the Chelsea and Revere HealthCare Centers.

On the main Boston campus, monolingual English speech-language pathologists work with interpreters to evaluate bilingual children. Other languages are available with the assistance of interpreters.

Learning Disabilities

A diagnostic evaluation will determine each patient’s individual needs, treatment plan, accommodations for the classroom and suggestions for parents or guardians to maximize strengths. In order to provide students, guardians and parents with strategies to facilitate success both at school and at home, therapy addresses topics such as organization and writing through direct individual or peer group instruction.  This service is offered in the Revere and Chelsea Health Centers for families who reside in the following communities:  Chelsea, East Boston, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Revere, Saugus, and Winthrop.        

Reading for Meaning

We offer unique small group teaching for students ages 5-18 with documented deficits in reading or writing at our Revere Healthcare Center. Goals target the five core components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary and reading comprehension. Students are grouped according to their individual

Habla Conmigo

We offer ongoing bilingual language groups at our Chelsea HealthCare Center for 3- to 6-year-old Spanish-dominant and/or balanced Spanish-English bilingual children with skills in the below- or significantly-below average range. Sessions run in 12-week cycles targeting early vocabulary and grammatical skills at two levels.                

Let’s Talk

We offer year-round social language teaching in small, structured, multisensory groups at our Revere HealthCare Center. Goals are geared toward children who carry a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, PDD-NOS, nonverbal learning disability or high functioning autism to increase interactive communication and self-monitoring in conversational discourse.

Aneurysm

An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the normal diameter

Aphasia

Aphasia is a language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension, and leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others.

Ataxia

Ataxia causes a failure of muscle control in the arms and legs which may result in a lack of balance, coordination and possibly a disturbance in gait.

Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD, also called attention-deficit disorder, is a behavior disorder, usually first diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological and developmental disorder that usually appears during the first three years of life.

Behavior Disorders

Behavior disorders include mental health problems with a focus on behaviors that both identify emotional problems and create interpersonal and social problems for children and adolescents in the course of their development.

Bell's Palsy

Bell's palsy is an unexplained episode of facial muscle weakness or paralysis that begins suddenly and worsens over three to five days. This condition results from damage to the 7th (facial) cranial nerve, and pain and discomfort usually occurs on one side of the face or head.

Brain Tumors

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. The tumor can either originate in the brain itself, or come from another part of the body and travel to the brain (metastasize). Brain tumors may be classified as either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), depending on their behavior.

Cerebral Aneurysm

A cerebral aneurysm (also called an intracranial aneurysm or brain aneurysm) is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of an artery in the brain, resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning. Because there is a weakened spot in the artery wall, there is a risk for rupture (bursting) of the aneurysm.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth abnormalities of the mouth and lip. Cleft palate occurs when the roof of the mouth does not completely close, leaving an opening that can extend into the nasal cavity. left lip is an abnormality in which the lip does not completely form during fetal development.

Craniosynostosis (Craniofacial Anomaly)

Craniosynostosis is a condition in which sutures close too early, causing problems with normal brain and skull growth.

Encephalitis

Encephalitis is an inflammation caused by a viral infection.

Epilepsy and Seizures

Epilepsy is a neurological condition involving the brain that makes people more susceptible to having seizures.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

Head Injury

A head injury is a broad term that describes a vast array of injuries that occur to the scalp, skull, brain, and underlying tissue and blood vessels in the head.

Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

Landau-Kleffner syndrome (also called infantile acquired aphasia, acquired epileptic aphasia or aphasia with convulsive disorder) is a language disorder characterized by the gradual or sudden loss of the ability to use or comprehend spoken language.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an unreasonable thought, fear, or worry that he or she tries to manage through a ritualized activity to reduce the anxiety.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a behavior disorder, usually diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by uncooperative, defiant, negativistic, irritable, and annoying behaviors toward parents, peers, teachers, and other authority figures.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD or, simply, Parkinson's) is a slowly progressing, degenerative disease that is associated with symptoms such as tremor or trembling of the arms, jaw, legs and face, stiffness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), postural instability or impaired balance and coordination.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition that often follows a terrifying physical or emotional event - causing the person who survived the event to have persistent, frightening thoughts and memories, or flashbacks, of the ordeal.

Seizures

Epilepsy is a neurological condition involving the brain that makes people more susceptible to having seizures.

Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis refers to the inflammation of a tonsil - the large, fleshy, oval masses of tissue that lie in the lateral wall of the oral pharynx on either side of the throat.

Tourette's Disorder

Tourette's disorder (TD), sometimes called Tourette's syndrome (TS), is a neurological disorder characterized by multiple repeated tics.

Types of Muscular Dystrophy and Neuromuscular Diseases

Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited diseases that are characterized by weakness and wasting away of muscle tissue, with or without the breakdown of nerve tissue.

Vascular Headaches and Migraines

This throbbing type of headache is distinguished by the fact that symptoms other than pain occur with the headache.

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

MGHfC Speech Language Swallowing Disorders

MGH Professional Office Building
275 Cambridge Street
3rd floor
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-2763
Fax: 617-724-0771
Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

Chelsea HealthCare Center Phone: 617-887-3527 | Fax: 617-889-8503
Revere HealthCare Center Phone: 781-485-6125 | Fax: 781-485-6106

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  • 617-726-2763
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