Our Speech & Language Pathology Program

What is a Speech or Language Disorder?

When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder. Difficulty pronouncing sounds or articulation disorders, and stuttering are examples of speech disorders.

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder.

Speech and Language Services at the Center

  • Assessment and diagnosis of communication impairments due to articulation/ phonological delay/disorder, language delay/disorder, autism, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), pragmatic disorder, developmental apraxia, oral-motor impairment, hearing impairment, cleft-palate, voice, stuttering, aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, and other neurological disorders.
  • Provide speech/language therapy, if needed, following a comprehensive evaluation of the child’s communication
  • Provide speech/language therapy to children with hearing impairment
  • Provide individual and group therapy with emphasis on early intervention

What is Speech and Language Therapy Like?

If your SLP determines that your child will benefit from speech therapy services, he/she will describe to you the plan for therapy. Sessions typically take place weekly, with “homework” to continue progress during the week. With each appointment the SLP will let you know how your child is progressing and what you can do at home to help promote speech/language. A supportive environment will help your child build success with their speech and language goals. Goals will periodically be reviewed and updated to reflect the current needs of the child’s communication. After the child is seen for about six months, there will be a review and possible testing to evaluate progress and need for continued therapy.

Meet The Team!

Sara Coffey:

Sara is a licensed speech pathologist who obtained her master’s degree from San Francisco State University in Communicative Disorders. She originally earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Special Education and Psychology from Marist College. Sara spent seven years in the classroom teaching both general education and children with speech and language disorders. After receiving her master’s degree, she joined the staff at the Auditory Oral School to focus on working with deaf and hard of hearing toddlers and preschool-aged children. In addition, she provides individual speech and language therapy to children and adults to address articulation and language. Sara is committed to helping children in the community improve their listening, understanding and speaking skills.

Favorite book? My favorite book that I read to my sons is “Little Blue Truck”. The author created such a fun rhyming pattern that I could probably recite it to this day. It’s a must have for all home libraries.

Favorite part of speech language pathology? My favorite part of the job is knowing that we are one of the few organizations providing equity in services for children of all income levels. I also enjoy the meaningful connections with families. It’s a privilege to be a part of their lives.

Tricia Evans:

Tricia has worked as a Speech/Language Pathologist at the Hearing and Speech Center since receiving her B.A. from the University of the Pacific and M.A. from San Diego State University in Communicative Disorders. Tricia enjoys working with a diverse population of children who experience difficulty with articulation, apraxia and language disorders. She has a particular interest in the diagnostic process and assessing children with language processing disorders. Tricia brings to her work over 35 years of experience in Speech and Language Pathology. Over the course of her career, she has made countless presentations in the field of communicative disorders. Tricia has also worked with the Child Development Center of CPMC from its inception to the present, at various Headstart centers and with the Preschools for All program. She has special memories of children being able to clearly articulate a favorite word for the first time and the happiness of parents who can understand and converse with their child. Tricia enjoys the process of supporting each child to achieve the highest communication skills.

Favorite phrase? Play with a purpose –> Listen with all of me = Engaging the whole child in the process of communication

Favorite children’s book? Tikki Tikki Tembo

Favorite part of speech language pathology? The joy that comes with facilitating communication between children and their parents. To paraphrase what one father said to me, Now I can understand my son[4 years old]. Previously communication had been a source of pain for the father and frustration for the son as they were naturally very close.

Rose Phung:

Rose, a native San Franciscan and heritage speaker of Cantonese, takes joy in serving the diverse population of the Bay Area in her capacity as a speech-language pathologist at the Hearing and Speech Center. Rose received her Master of Science in Communicative Disorders from San Francisco State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Language Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she studied linguistics, French and Italian. Her clinical experience includes working with toddlers, preschoolers and middle and high school students. Prior to her career as a speech-language pathologist, Rose worked as an educator in early childhood education, and was a teaching assistant at a San Francisco private school. She currently provides services to our community members with a variety of communicative needs, including those who have articulation disorders, phonological disorders, hearing impairments, and receptive and expressive language disorders. Rose also works in partnership with Golden Gate Regional Center to provide evaluations of young children for determination of eligibility for Early Start services.

What’s your favorite word? One of my favorite words is compassion / kəmˈpæʃ ən /. I love what it stands for; it’s something that can be built and practiced. I like how the plosives, nasals, and a fricative work in concert with vowels to produce this wonderful multisyllabic word: compassion!

Favorite children’s book? One of my favorite children’s books is My Friends by Taro Gomi. It is a beautifully illustrated book featuring a whimsical cast of characters and an abundance of verbs. A fun read for toddlers!

Why do you love speech language pathology? A career in speech-language pathology is filled with a lot of collaborative opportunities. One of the joys in this field is being able to work closely with families as we venture on journeys toward becoming more confident and effective communicators together.

Marquita Ridgle:

Marquita joined the Hearing and Speech Center in July 2017 as Client Service Coordinator after completing an internship with our clinical practice manager, Jessie Johnson. Marquita received her Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University in 2011 and later went on to receive her Master of Arts in Gerontology in 2017. She brings over ten years’ of managerial and customer service experience. A native of the Bay Area, Marquita is extremely passionate about providing resources and support to our elderly community.

Favorite book? My favorite children’s book is, “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats. I love reading this book to Max and pretending to make snow angels!

Favorite part of the job? My favorite part of my job is meeting new people. I meet people from all walks of life and I enjoy learning their story.

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