Finding their voice

How you can help
Your contributions help give kids a voice by funding therapy time for children who are uninsured or under-insured; devices that are shared and tested; training for two speech-language pathologists; and mentorships with an occupational therapist.
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Imagine your thoughts, feelings and desires are locked inside your head and you can’t express them. Now imagine receiving a key to open that door. This is what communication therapy does for children who have no voice. It gives them independence and self confidence.

Who we serve
The Providence Child Center's Communication Therapy Program opened in 2010 as part of Providence Children's Development Institute. It serves residents of the Center for Medically Fragile Children and the broader community. In 2014, we provided more than 2,100 outpatient sessions for children who otherwise had no voice.

Why it is needed
Communication therapy has the potential to open up a new world to children who are unable to verbally express themselves. It improves their quality of life, and it helps them live to their fullest potential.

Why Providence
The Providence Mission of caring for the poor and vulnerable is exhibited every day at Providence Child Center. Our dedicated team of employees, volunteers and donors helps make our specialized care possible. Our programs and services – including the Center for Medically Fragile Children, Swindells Resource Center, Specialty Pediatric Dental Clinic, and special programs such as communication therapy – provide a connected experience of care for children, their families and caregivers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

What we do
The communication therapy program provides a wide range of services to meet the needs of the children we serve.
  • Assessment – Therapists evaluate a child’s cognitive level (thinking, memory and problem solving), ability to understand language or produce intelligible speech, emotional level and motor skills. 
  • Communication strategies – Each child is different, so we customize our techniques and tools to meet specific communication needs. Depending on the situation, a child may use sign language, pictures, communication books, speech-generating devices or even a touch pad.
  • Training and education – Besides teaching the child how to use these tools, therapists train family members, care providers and teachers to ensure the child can communicate to a variety of people. If speech-generating systems are involved, training includes help to customize the device’s functions and language for the individual child.
  • Therapy – Individual and family therapy may include ongoing training related to specific devices, self-esteem and strategies to overcome communications obstacles. In addition to speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists help children who have mobility limitations learn to control the devices.
How you can help
Your contributions help give kids a voice by funding:
  • Therapy time for children who are uninsured or under-insured
  • Devices that are shared and tested; some Center for Medically Fragile Children residents can have their own individual devices 
  • Training for two speech-language pathologists
  • Mentorship with an occupational therapist

Donate now »