Overview of Services

The goal of the speech and language pathology division at The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders is to provide evidence-based, individualized speech and language assessment and treatment to children and adolescents who struggle with communication skills.

We believe in a family-centered approach, working closely with parents and caregivers to identify how we can best support the development of a child’s speech and language skills.  So, whether a child is not talking at all, is talking but unable to follow directions, struggles to say words clearly, or is having challenges using social skills to make and keep friends, we are here to help!

Concerns Addressed

Our speech-language pathology team has extensive experience evaluating and treating disorders in all areas of communication development, particularly those associated with autism spectrum disorder and neurodevelopmental disorders.  Some of the most common areas addressed within our program include:

  • Joint Attention   
  • Play Skills
  • Receptive Language
  • Expressive Language 
  • Social-Pragmatic Language
  • Executive Functioning
  • Articulation
  • Apraxia
  • Fluency
  • Voice

Joint Attention
Using eye contact to connect

Play Skills
Foundation of language

Executive Functioning
Attending, planning, organizing

Social-Pragmatic Language
Conversation and social skills

Receptive Language
Understanding language

Expressive Language
Using language to express oneself

And More…

Articulation, Apraxia, Fluency, Voice

Programs and Services Offered

  • Comprehensive speech and language evaluations
  • Interdisciplinary diagnostic evaluations to identify children on the autism spectrum
  • Individual speech and language therapy
  • Social skills group therapy
  • Advantage Social Communication Program for adolescents
  • Collaboration/Consultation with public school programs and other agencies to facilitate optimal progress for the children we serve. 
  • Parent training and community outreach.

The Advantage Social Communication Program is a 11-week series that focuses on adolescents and young adults ages 14-22.  This program is designed to teach communication skills by understanding how to make positive impressions through appearance, actions, and words.

During this 11-week course, each student will participate in a weekly class to improve their understanding and use of social communication skills.  Parents will take part in their own class to learn strategies for how to more effectively engage, motivate, and support their children in their use of social communication skills across environments and social situation.

To find out when the next class will be held or to register, contact our Wellness Coordinator at 949-267-0480 or email wellness1@uci.edu.

Visit Expectations

A speech and language evaluation at our center typically takes two hours and involves review of medical and educational records, caregiver interview, and direct assessment of a child using both standardized testing measures and informal measures of communication and play. 

Following the evaluation, a treatment plan is developed including recommendations for therapeutic services and specific goals and objectives to be used within therapy sessions.  A written report summarizing evaluation results and the treatment plan is provided to the family approximately 2 weeks after the evaluation.

We are able to provide both individual and group therapy sessions.  Most sessions are 60 minutes in length with the first 50 minutes spent working directly with each child and the last 10 minutes used to summarize the session and provide ideas for home practice to parents and caregivers.  An important part of our therapeutic program is collaborating with families and other disciplines.  

We highly encourage parents and caregivers to be active participants in therapy sessions, so that they can learn how to support their children’s language development outside of the treatment room.  Our treatment team also works closely with medical providers, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, behavior therapists, and school staff to ensure that children are using their speech and language skills across communication partners and environments.