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Language Disorders

There are two types of language: receptive language – a person's ability to understand verbal and non-verbal communication and expressive language – a person's ability to use/convey verbal and non-verbal communication.

Language disorders can be identified when a patient has trouble with one or more of the following components of language:

  • Form – a patient's capability to comprehend and/or form sentences (clearly state his or her ideas)
  • Content – a patient's capability to comprehend and/or form language with the correct content
  • Use – a patient's capability to successfully interact with peers by understanding and reciprocating social cues (eye contact, sharing, observing personal space, etc.)

Diagnosis and Treatment

Our staff utilizes standardized tests and patient observation to evaluate the patient's receptive and expressive language skills. Through this evaluation, our speech-language pathologists are able to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and create a custom treatment plan to address the targeted goal.

Our team is highly educated and well trained to diagnose and treat a range of language disorders that can occur at any stage of development. Young toddlers as well as school-aged children can be helped with our language therapies.

Our language therapy concentrates on fostering the patient's natural interaction with others, which will allow for effortless communication. We employ this role-playing therapy in a supportive, nurturing environment rather than repetitive language lessons, which is less stimulating. We strongly encourage parents and family members to actively participate in therapy so that patients can feel comfortable and so the therapy can continue at home.

At Columbus Speech & Hearing Center, we also provide:

  • Voice evaluation/therapy
  • Swallowing evaluation/therapy
    Swallowing disorders are also often referred to as dysphagia. If you have difficulty swallowing or experience pain while swallowing, you may have dysphagia. It can occur anywhere along the swallowing tract, which consists of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and stomach. There are two types of dysphagia: oropharyngeal dysphagia, which occurs before the food reaches the esophagus, and esophageal dysphagia, which occur in the esophagus.

    While some may experience mild to moderate discomfort while eating and/or drinking, others have so much difficulty eating and drinking that they become malnourished because they cannot consume enough calories. Dysphagia most often occurs in the elderly, but can occur in anyone. Infants and children who have difficulty swallowing may experience many symptoms, including recurrent pneumonia, and lengthy feeding or eating times. In addition, they may spit up or vomit during meals.

    While treatment varies from person to person, our team will work with you individually to determine the best course of action. Medications sometimes are effective enough to treat dysphagia, while others require more complex and long-term treatment such as surgery and speech therapy.

  • Fluency evaluation/therapy
    When speech's fluidity is interrupted by repetitive sounds, syllables, words or phrases, this condition is known as stuttering. It may also be characterized by a patient's inability to begin speaking a certain word, known as a block.

    Our speech-language pathologists will evaluate the severity of a patient's stuttering by counting the portion of spoken syllables and words that are stuttered. Each patient's treatment plan will be customized to meet his or her needs. Parents of child patients and other family members will be coached during treatment sessions on how to implement the therapy while at home.


Mom brought Anders to us with a concern that he used only 15 – 20 words at two years of age and that much of what he said was not clear. During the assessment it was apparent that Anders had wonderful comprehension of language. He was easily engaged and very communicative, but without intelligible, “real” words. It was noted that he appeared to be making “approximations” of words, but the context was needed for these to be understood. As these approximations were pointed out to mom, she realized that she did not recognize them as words. Anders began CSHC speech therapy once weekly with the focus on modeling sounds. Mom and Dad were able to sit in on Anders’ therapy sessions so they learned how to model and facilitate Anders’s expressive language. They also quickly learned to listen and recognize his attempts to say words and responded appropriately. Anders made quick progress learning new words and became excellent at imitating the modeled words and even phrases that are were provided during therapy. Mom and dad say they are having more conversations with Anders and are able to understand much more of what he says. He is adding new words and phrases each week! After 12 visits, I am happy to report that he is ready for discharge! His language skills will continue to improve with mom and dad’s help from techniques and strategies they have learned through observation of CSHC speech therapy.