Speech-Language Pathology

Improving Daily Life

ChildServe‘s Speech-language Pathology program helps children and young adults improve communication or functional feeding weaknesses. ChildServe Speech Therapists focus on special conditions that may impact a child’s developmental areas like talking, understanding, social skills, and thinking. ChildServe Speech Therapists also help children with feeding and swallowing problems that may occur with other medical conditions.

Why choose ChildServe?

Multi-disciplinary Team
ChildServe’s talented, multi-disciplinary team of therapists specializes in pediatric rehab and works together to create plans specific to each child’s need.

ChildServe holds CARF accreditationsBeing CARF-Accredited means that the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities recognizes ChildServe as an organization that meets rigorous guidelines for service and quality and conforms to nationally and internationally recognized standards.
in pediatrics, brain injury, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.

Specialized Technology

Our program makes use of specialized technology like the VitalStimVitalStim is a research-backed technology which includes electrical stimulation of the swallowing muscles. Combining VitalStim with traditional therapy allows clinicians to strengthen muscles and restore function faster, and helps the brain remap the swallow. Visit vitalstim for more information.
, NasometerA nasometer measures how much nasal tone is present in speech production. ChildServe therapists incorporate the nasometer into therapy plans to help patients improve their speech while reaching therapy goals.
, Visi-PitchVisi-Pitch is a technology used during therapy sessions that helps patients visualize, practice, and improve their vocal control.
, and more within our state-of-the-art, kid-friendly facilities.

Who We Serve

ChildServe’s Speech-Language Pathology program serves children and young adults (birth-21 years) who have communication, cognition and/or functional feeding problems. Children may have one or more of the following conditions:

Speech Sound Disorders

Language Disorders

Feeding/Swallowing Disorders

Fluency Disorders

Oral-motor Disorders

Traumatic Brain Injury

Voice Disorders

Hearing Loss

Social Skills

Our Approach

Children Icon showing a boy and a girl

We Know Kids

Our entire organization is designed around kids! ChildServe knows that children and teens have needs that are different from adults with similar conditions. All of our equipment is designed specifically for children. Every member of our staff has specialized training to understand how therapy can affect children’s growth and development.
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Expert Pediatric Therapy

ChildServe’s customized speech therapy plans are available in individual or group settings. Through restorative exercise, treatment strategies, assistive technology, and play/movement activities, children and young adults work toward goals like improving speech sounds, oral-motor control, and effective chewing and swallowing. Along with goals for speaking and eating, children work to improve their auditory receptive skills and language fluency.
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Specialty Programs

ChildServe offers a variety of specialty programs and clinics including Animal-Assisted Therapy, Augmentative Communication, social groups, Project Impact, PEERS and the Feeding and Swallowing Clinic.

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We Care about Families

When a child receives therapy at ChildServe, the family is involved in every step of the process. Our staff help children and families create and achieve goals to improve daily living skills. We help families find specialty programs that fit a child’s specific needs. In addition, training is provided for families to continue and reinforce the care at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive Speech Therapy?

ChildServe’s Speech Therapy program serves children and young adults (birth-21 years) who have communication, cognition and/or functional feeding problems. Children must also fit the following qualifications:


  • Medically stable
  • Free of actively contagious condition
  • Able to tolerate exposure to other people and children and transport to/from ChildServe
  • Able to keep endurance up through prescribed therapy sessions
Should my child receive Speech Therapy?

If your child exhibits one or more of the following symptoms, he or she may benefit from ChildServe’s therapy services.

By 6 months of age does not:

  • make eye contact
  • take turns with actions or vocalizations 

By 12 months of age does not:

  • Understand and respond to own name
  • Babble using long and short groups of sounds
  • Use speech sounds rather than only crying to get attention

By 18 months of age does not:

  • Imitate individual words
  • Follow simple commands
  • Identify 1-3  body parts
  • Say 3-20 or more words
  • Gesture

By 2 years of age cannot:

  • recognize objects or pictures
  • speak (or speaks only in single words at 2.5 years of age)

By 3 years of age cannot:

  •  be understood by family and/or caregivers
  •  correctly produce vowels and such sounds as p, b, m, w in words
  •  repeat when not understood without becoming frustrated

By 4 years of age cannot:

  • be understood by individuals with whom they do not associate regularly
  • be understood by family and/or caregivers
  • correctly produce t, d
  • be asked to repeat without becoming sensitive

By 5 years of age cannot:

  • be understood in all situations by most listeners
  • correctly produce most speech sounds including k, g and f
  • be asked to repeat without exhibiting frustration

Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Difficulty forming friendships because he/she is unable to interact with others at an age-appropriate level, especially due to inability to follow rules of conversation
  • Trouble recalling and using new information because of problems with language, attention and memory
  • Abnormal voice tone (i.e. hoarse, raspy, breathy or if the child likes to scream or talk loudly)
  • Stuttering
  • Inability to manage the transition from bottle to table foods
  • Difficulty with feeding or swallowing
  • Picky eating or refusal of food types and textures
How are referrals made?

Parents/guardians, members of the child’s care team, or the child’s case manager may make a referral or request more information. Call 515-331-4518 to speak with a Medical Social Worker who will help identify a funding source and send out an application for services.

    How are services authorized and funded?

    Therapy services are funded through Iowa Medicaid, private insurance, or private pay. Services are authorized by the individual’s payor source and require a physician’s order, which ChildServe can help the family find. The fees for each specific child and service will be discussed during the intake process.

    Where are services provided?

    ChildServe’s facilities and equipment are designed specifically for children. Therapy services take place year-round at the following locations:

    • ChildServe – Ames
    • ChildServe – Johnston
    • ChildServe – Iowa City
    • ChildServe – Cedar Rapids
    • ChildServe – Des Moines

    We also offer on-site speech therapy for children enrolled in childcare at the ChildServe Childcare Center in Johnston or children receiving Day Health services at our ChildServe – Des Moines location.

    When are services offered?

    Hours of operation for Johnston and Ames:

    • Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Hours of operation for Iowa City:

    • Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    What specialized equipment does ChildServe’s Speech-Languge Pathology program use?
    • VitalStim
    • Nasometer/Visipitch
    Who works in the Speech-Language Pathology program at ChildServe?
    ChildServe’s Speech-Language Therapy team includes Speech-language Pathologists and Medical Social Workers.

    View our Annual Outcomes

    ChildServe regularly gathers child and family satisfaction feedback, quality reports, and census data to monitor our services and continuously improve the care and services we provide. ​

    Contact Us!

    ChildServe – Ames
    1915 Philadelphia Street,
    Ames, IA 50010
    ChildServe – Johnston
    5406 Merle Hay Road,
    Johnston, IA 50131

    ChildServe – Cedar Rapids

    1661 Boyson Square Dr., Suite 100
    Hiawatha, IA 52233

    ChildServe – Iowa City
    2350 Oakdale Blvd.,
    Coralville, IA 52241

    ChildServe – Des Moines

    644 24th St.
    Des Moines, IA 50312

    ChildServe - Johnston

    ChildServe - Ames

    ChildServe - Iowa City

    ChildServe - Cedar Rapids


    ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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