While in the Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU), your baby may receive care from a speech-language pathologist (SLP). You may also hear them referred to as speech therapists, feeding specialists or SLPs.
SLPs in the N/IICU help your baby with feeding and early communication skills. They assess your baby’s readiness to feed by mouth and help your baby feed safely, especially if your baby is having difficulty nursing or taking a bottle. They will work with your family to promote early communication skills through your interactions with your baby.
SLPs who work in the N/IICU are specially trained to work on feeding as well as to provide developmentally appropriate and supportive care. Depending on your baby’s needs, the SLP may provide the following:
SLPs can teach you the following:
For a full list of services and interventions available, visit the Department of Speech Language Pathology.
An SLP has a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, received a Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and has a state license to provide services.
They have extensive experience working with babies and children. SLPs apply research and proven techniques with the goal of helping each individual child.
As a partner on your child’s healthcare team, feel free to contact the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at 215-590-7462. Most of the therapists listed above are available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., but someone will always be able to help and answer your questions.
Updated April 2012