Central Texas Speech Pathology Services

Central Texas Speech Pathology Services

CTSPS is a speech pathologist founded, owned and operated private practice. Speech pathology is our business, our ONLY business. We provide speech, language, voice and swallowing evaluation and therapy for children and adults.

CTSPS also has a north office located at 8500 Bluffstone Cove, Bldg. B, Suite 105, Austin, Texas 78759.

[07/11/19]   At CTSPS, we have feeding specialists to help facilitate feeding skills!

“The Cooking Connection”
Food preparation can be a powerful way to counter eating restrictions among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The key to addressing food issues is tapping into a child’s creative passion, connecting the child’s interests to food. Food engages all of our senses-sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Each child’s distinct sensory system may require adaptations to make the kitchen more welcoming. When we invite children to the kitchen, we have the opportunity to teach the whole body, brain, and soul. This also allows the opportunity to connect with another human being.
The ASHA Leader, February 2019

[06/17/19]   At Central Texas Speech, we have fluency experts who can help with stuttering! See interesting new stuttering research below!

"Clients Who Imitate their Own Stuttering Patterns Claim Favorable Effects"

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin surveyed a group of people who stutter, and found that clients who use “voluntary stuttering” have reduced fear and negative emotions associated with their speech.

Voluntary stuttering is a method used to reduce fear, anxiety, or negative emotions associated with stuttering. By voluntarily stuttering, clients show acceptance and acknowledgement of their stuttering to the person they are speaking to. This helps to decrease feelings of helplessness and loss of control during the stuttering moment.

Of note, the authors also found that people who imitate the patterns of their own stuttering perceive more positive affective, behavioral, and cognitive benefits from voluntary stuttering. Those who produced voluntary stuttering that were similar to their real stutters reported a decrease in physical tension during speech, less severe stuttering, and an improved quality of life.

[05/29/19]   It's summertime! Check out this article for summer time speech and language ideas!

"Summertime Speech and Language Activities for Toddlers"

For toddlers receiving speech treatment, the warm weather doesn't have to mean a lapse in speech and language skills! Here are examples of activities parents can do with their children to elicit speech and language:

1. Take a walk with your child. Talk about everything you see! (e.g., "I see an airplane. What do you see?")

2. Blow bubbles outside! Target requesting "more" or "bubbles." Target requesting with prepositions such as "up" or "down." Take turns blowing bubbles.

3. Swim with your child. Have them follow simple one step directions such as jump, kick, and run.

4. Finger paint or play with chalk in the backyard. Have your child name the colors as they paint. Draw basic shapes and have your child identify them.

Consult your speech pathologist for summertime activities for carrying over your specific therapy goals!

[05/14/19]   "Focus on Fun: Words Will Follow"

Motivation, regulation, and engagement are often overlooked because the speech-language pathologist is so focused on getting the child to talk. A child who is not motivated and minimally engaged may be able to learn rote phrases such as "I want bubbles." However, the child will not have to ability to generate novel sentences. Unless we can strengthen the child's ability to be regulated, engaged, and motivated, the child's ability to use language and communication is likely to be limited.

How do we work on improving a child's intrinsic motivation for communicating?

1. Sensory breaks- A speech pathologist may give the child a "sensory break." This "sensory break" does not have to be a break- use this as part of your treatment! This is a perfect time to target engagement and language. You may get more communication out of this interaction when compared to 20 minutes sitting at a table.

2. Incorporate music-You can use singing and dancing to engage a child in communicative exchanges.

3. Incorporate pretend play-Play and language develop together as children learn language through play. Children formulate new ideas and learn to interact through play.

4. Be silly- Sometimes the only way to engage a child is to be silly and capture the child's attention. Make funny sound effects and dramatic facial expressions! Do unexpected things, like putting a toy shoe on your head and having it fall off when you sneeze!

By improving a child's intrinsic motivation, you will help that child develop into a creative and independent thinker who can use language in a flexible way.

(ASHA Leader, April 2019)

[04/08/19]   "International Group Proposes Pediatric Feeding Disorder Definition Diagnosis Criteria"

An international panel of 18 pediatric feeding experts has proposed a unifying term and diagnostic criteria for the broad spectrum of pediatric feeding difficulties.

Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) is defined as "impaired oral intake that is not age-appropriate, and is associated with medical, nutritional, feeding skill, and/or psychosocial dysfunction" in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

PFD lacks a universal definition, with different disciplines applying their unique perspectives in defining the term. The proposed term uses the framework from the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health.

If you have concerns about your child's #feeding, come in and work with our experts!

[01/25/19]   Tongue thrust can affect individuals of all ages. Speech language pathologists coordinate with dentists and dental surgeons to provide comprehensive care. Major problems caused by tongue thrust include:
-Misarticulation of speech sounds
-Misalignment of the teeth, jaw, and other facial features
-Misalignment of teeth after orthodontics have been completed
-Poor digestion of solid foods
-Delay in development of speech during early childhood

Contact CTSPS at (512) 327-6179 for questions or to set up an evaluation.


Space Center Houston Now a Certified Autism Center - Special Needs Resource

"Space Center Houston Earns Autism Center Designation”

Families of children with special needs often hesitate to visit attractions due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions, or safety concerns. The Houston Space Center is the first space center to receive the designation of Certified Autism Center from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards! The Houston Space Center now offers Sensory-Friendly Evenings with reduced lights, sounds, and crowds. The center also has backpacks with sensory gear such as noise cancelling headphones and sunglasses available.

Parents can find a Certified Autism Centers with the following link: AutismTravel.com.


eparent.com HOUSTON, June 25, 2018 – Space Center Houston strives to ensure that the nonprofit is a an accessible and accepting destination. That essential work has been recognized by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. The science and space exploration learning center...

[01/04/19]   Early detection of hearing loss is critical for acquisition of speech and language. Newborn hearing screenings are recommended to rule out hearing loss. If hearing loss is found, consult with your audiologist and speech-language pathologist.

“Newborn Hearing Screening on the Rise”

The number of U.S. newborns who received recommended screening for hearing loss has increased by 43 percentage points. However, about 3 percent of newborns are still not being screened. From 2000-2014, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs have increased the number of newborns being screened for hearing loss from 52 percent to 97 percent. During this time period, the number of documented diagnoses of hearing loss has increased from 855 to 6,163. Approximately 1.6 out of every 1,000 infants born has permanent hearing loss at birth. The EHDI program recommends all newborns be screened by 1 month of age, diagnosed by 3 months, and enrolled in early intervention by 6 months if a hearing loss is found.

ASHA Leader December 2018

[01/02/19]   We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

We are currently accepting new patients. If you or a friend has concerns regarding voice, child language, articulation, swallowing, feeding, or stuttering, contact us at (512) 327-6179.


Assessment of pediatric dysphagia and feeding disorders: Clinical and instrumental approaches - Arvedson - 2008 - Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews - Wiley Online Library

Feeding disorders are more common than some might realize. The estimated incidence of feeding disorders in typically developing children is 25-45% and up to 80% for children with developmental disabilities.

Who needs a feeding evaluation?
• How long does it take for the child to eat? Mealtimes consistently lasting over 30 minutes could be a sign of an underlying feeding issue.
• Are mealtimes stressful? Does the child refuse food? Consistently stressful mealtimes due to the refusal to eat by the child may be a sign of a sensory, behavioral, or motor feeding disorder.
• Has the child experienced recent weight loss or slowed weight gain? Weight loss or reduced weight gain may be a sign of a feeding disorder.
• Are there any signs of respiratory distress? Signs of respiratory distress, such as coughing, choking, color change, and irregular breathing can be an indicator of a swallowing or feeding issue.


onlinelibrary.wiley.com Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews Volume 14, Issue 2 Research Article Assessment of pediatric dysphagia and feeding disorders: Clinical and instrumental approaches Joan C. Arvedson Corresponding Author E-mail address:[email protected] Children's Hospital of Wisconsin‐Milwaukee, Medical C...

Here are pictures of our beautiful North Office! Our North Office is located on Bluffstone Cove, near the Arboretum. :)

[11/21/18]   Happy Thanksgiving to all of our clients and families!

Central Texas Speech Pathology Services

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CTSPS is a speech pathologist founded, owned and operated private practice. Speech pathology is our business, our ONLY business. We provide speech, language, voice and swallowing evaluation and therapy for children and adults.

[11/16/18]   “Healthy Breathing, ‘Round the Clock”

Sleep disordered breathing (SBD) is when a collapse in the upper airway results in abnormal breathing during sleep, which can lead to reduced oxygenation of the brain and interfere with behavior, emotional regulation, executive functioning, language, and learning. Signs of SBD include mouth breathing, snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea. Speech-language pathologists can aid in the diagnosis and prevention of sleep-disordered breathing.

Archambault,, N. (2018). Healthy Breathing, ‘Round the Clock.’ ASHA Leader, 23 (2), 48-54.


Back to School: Self-Advocacy Tips for Students Who Stutter - Leader Live — Happening now in the speech-language-hearing world

"Back to School Self Advocacy Tips for Students Who Stutter"

Back to school season fills children with nervousness and anxiety. Students may experience anxiety about being accepted socially by peers or meeting their new teachers. Speech-language pathologists can offer a child who stutters and their family several tools to help them minimize the negative impact stuttering may have on social and emotional health. These approaches may include educating teachers on how to respond to a stuttering event, preparing answers to common questions or comments, or choosing a friend to be an advocacy partner. Supporting self-advocacy skills is a critical component of fluency treatment and has been shown to promote a healthy attitude towards stuttering.

The ASHA Leader, August 2018 doi: https://blog.asha.org/2017/08/08/back-to-school-self-advocacy-tips-for-students-who-stutter/

blog.asha.org Back to school season fills children with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. They probably feel excitement to reunite with friends, participate in clubs, sports or other extracurricular activities, and…


Asthma, Allergies, Articulation: a Speech Therapy Perspective

Asthma and allergies may play a role in childhood communication disorders! According to Baker, Baker & Le (1982) and Keating, Turrell, & Ozanne (2001), up to 50% of children with speech and voice disorders have concomitant asthma, allergic rhinitis, or both. Asthma and allergies may contribute to communication disorders including articulation, voice, and even language acquisition difficulties.

The following are signs and symptoms which may negatively impact your child’s communication: mouth breathing damages the structure and function of the articulators, poor breath control, airway inflammation may result in poor voice quality, and hearing loss due to ear infections or congestion can be detrimental during the critical language period between the ages of three to seven years when children are acquiring speech and language at the most rapid pace. It is recommended that children with chronic allergies or asthma seek medical care from their allergist and ENT to provide medical management for these issues. Speech-language pathologists may offer behavioral support and instruction in articulation, voice, and language


asthmaallergieschildren.com By Jackie Ehrlich (From our archives) While asthma and nasal allergies are medical conditions of the respiratory tract, they may play a role in childhood communication disorders. Up to 50% of child…


Careers at Central Texas Speech Pathology Services, Inc.


indeedjobs.com Find your next great career opportunity at Central Texas Speech Pathology Services, Inc.

[07/23/18]   From July 2018 ASHA Leader:

The Healing Power of Empathy and Education
Some simple counseling strategies can make all the difference to care of patients with hearing and balance issues.

Elise Smith, AuD, CCC-A

The ASHA Leader, July 2018, Vol. 23, 16-18. doi:10.1044/leader.AEA.23072018.16

As audiologists, we spend much of our time providing highly skilled doctoral-level services to patients. But we also should not underestimate the importance of incorporating counseling into our services.

This may sound daunting, considering the intricacies and stress involved in managing successful audiology practices, while also providing excellent patient care. However, with audiology-based counseling that is efficient, effective and adaptable for a diverse patient population, we can achieve successful patient outcomes while addressing the time and productivity priorities of busy clinical settings.

Given that each patient and family is unique, successful counseling should be customized, not one-size-fits-all. Audiologists can employ informational and personal-adjustment counseling across a variety of audiology specialty areas, such as hearing loss, balance disorders and other auditory-related disorders (such as tinnitus).

Informational counseling addresses factual content, while personal-adjustment counseling focuses on the emotional aspects and needs of the patient related to audiology services. Expanding one’s counseling skills takes practice. It may be beneficial to hone new counseling skills by starting with one or two new strategies over the course of a few weeks, then adding a few more over time.

Patient education
Helping patients to understand how hearing loss affects their daily life is a key component of patient education. Use audiology counseling sessions to educate the patient by demystifying the hearing- or balance-related difficulty. Describe what may cause the underlying symptoms, provide an explanation of the anatomy and physiology behind the diagnosis, and review options for moving forward.

Compared to personal-adjustment counseling, information-based counseling is often seen as easier and more prescriptive because it is more predictable. However, it is important to provide conversation breaks so the patient can process the information, reflect and respond. The patient can begin to take responsibility for their treatment during these pauses (see sources).

At this point, the patient needs to choose how to respond and directs what happens next in the appointment.
The audiologist’s role is to be neutral during this time, to create a safe space for the patient to express thoughts or feelings. A key factor is the audiologist’s ability to read between the lines and determine if the patient is ready to receive more facts and medical information.

Alternatively, the patient may require affective-based responses, such as acknowledgment of emotions the patient may be experiencing (see sources).

Identify stressors and coping strategies
Ask the patient what type of stress they experience as a result of their hearing- or balance-related problem. How does it affect their daily life? What coping strategies can you suggest that could benefit the patient?

Significant others can also share their secondary stress in these sessions. Family members and communication partners also feel the impact of a patient’s hearing loss. Caregivers may feel tension in the form of negative emotions and difficulty understanding the patient’s perspective.

Give both parties the opportunity to see the effects on each other’s lives and communication abilities. Then, identify short- and long-term communication goals. These should include the patient’s treatment goals, and should also define the role family members can play in helping the patient to reach these goals.

Family members and communication partners also feel the impact of a patient’s hearing loss.

Storytelling narratives
Some patients may feel empowered by telling you their personal story. Illness narratives put the narrator in a position of power, and storytelling becomes part of the healing process (see sources). The patient feels valued and in control when telling their story. They also feel acknowledged and can learn from their own experiences.

Patient storytelling allows the audiologist to learn about the patient’s perception of their diagnosis. Their perception of the problem actually may be very different from the initial problem identified during the case history.

Unfortunately, many audiologists work in settings with limited time for each patient visit and may hesitate to integrate storytelling narratives into their daily practice. In these circumstances, consider that researchers have found that patients in an outpatient clinical setting typically speak less than 90 seconds when given uninterrupted time at the beginning of an interview (see sources).

Patient storytelling allows the audiologist to learn about the patient’s perception of their diagnosis.

Transition planning and health literacy
The recently updated “Transition Planning in Health Care Model,” based on the Royal College of Nursing model, is a three-stage model that outlines health literacy goals to help teenagers and young adults transition to increased autonomy and self-advocacy skills in the audiology setting (see sources).

The authors of the model include goals for both the audiologist and the patient, separated into three stages based on patient age. Health literacy is not confined to pediatrics. Adults also have health literacy difficulties in terms of the ability to understand and integrate health information and related services.

Misunderstanding of how to access and navigate the health care system may prevent people from seeking audiology services or achieving successful outcomes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both offer online health literacy resources and tools for professionals.
Barriers to professional empathy

Do audiologists inherently have professional empathy? When Jodi Halpern, a psychiatrist studying clinical empathy, examined physicians’ emotional attunement to patients, she found that provider anxiety posed a barrier to professional empathy (see sources).

This anxiety may stem from busy schedules, limited time and productivity requirements. Another barrier to professional empathy was viewing patients’ emotional needs as not necessary to care. As a result, notes Halpern, providers need to be educated on psychosocial care.

Halpern also differentiates detached concern—a factual understanding of the patient’s experience—from empathy, the emotional form of understanding and appreciating the patient’s experience. Empathy allows audiologists to adjust their responses to patients’ communication and behavior during clinical interactions.

To best serve their patients, audiologists need to periodically examine their professional empathy, address the barriers they may face, and be sure to take care of their own emotional needs.

Denz, M., Keller, A., Kiss, A., Ruttimann, S., & Wossmer, B. (2002). Spontaneous talking time at start of consultation in outpatient clinic: Cohort study. British Medical Journal, 325(7366), 682–683. [Article] [PubMed]
Halpern, J. (2003). What is clinical empathy? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 18(8), 670–674. [Article] [PubMed]
Holland, A .L., & Nelson, R. L. (2014). Counseling in communication disorders: a wellness perspective. San Diego, California: Plural Publishing.
Luterman, D. M. (2017). Counseling persons with communication disorders and their families. Austin, Texas: Pro Ed.
Pajevic, E., & English, K. (2014). Teens as health care consumers: Planned transition and empowerment. Audiology Today, 26(6), 14–18.
Elise Smith, AuD, CCC-A, is a clinical assistant professor of audiology at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. [email protected]
© 2018 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

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2525 Wallingwood Drive Bldg. 2
Austin, TX

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:30
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