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Speech-Language Pathology

Our speech-language pathologists use evidence-based treatment to help children and adults overcome social, communication, feeding and swallowing skills, along with language barriers. We provide speech-language pathology services at two convenient locations in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, South Dakota.

We Focus On:

Speech & Articulation

When a child’s speech is difficult to understand, it can be frustrating for the child and those around them. We work with the child to use accurate speech sounds so that they can communicate more effectively with family members, friends, and others in the community.

It is common to understand approximately 75% to 100% of a child’s speech at four years old, although there may be some noticeable speech sound errors.


Some children have difficulty speaking in complete sentences, answering questions, or understanding what others say. This can affect the child’s ability to make connections with friends, participate in school activities, and interact with people on a daily basis. We help the child improve their receptive and expressive language skills so they can communicate effectively with everyone in their life.

  • First words (12 months)
  • Understanding their own name, responding to "no", and understanding simple instructions (12 months)
  • Using at least 50 words, although these may include sound errors or be difficult to understand (18-23 months)
  • Speaking in 2-word phrases (2 years)
  • Answering simple "wh" questions - who, where, what (3 years)


When a child has difficulty with the skills required to eat, mealtimes can be stressful. Whether the child has challenges with oral motor skills, swallow dysfunction, bottling or they consume a limited diet because of sensory difficulties or behavioral difficulties, we offer a variety of services to improve feeding and swallowing skills.

What makes our program unique:


Communication challenges are a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder, and early intensive intervention has been shown to be the most effective. Our therapists have specialized training in well-established treatment methods, and can help guide you and your family through the diagnosis process, from screening, to evaluation, to treatment.

  • Limited eye contact
  • Delayed speech or vocabulary regression
  • Repetitive speech, behaviors, or body movements
  • Sensory sensitivities to sound, textures, movements
  • Not responding to name being called
  • Intense interest in a certain topic or item
  • Limited play with peers

Be sure to speak with your child's doctor if you have questions or call us at (605) 444-9700 to set up an evaluation.

  • Early Start Denver Model services for younger children with autism
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)
  • Social skills intervention - individual and group
  • Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to shape and reinforce target behaviors

Be sure to speak with your child’s doctor if you have questions, or call us at (605) 444-9700 to set up a free screening.

Treatment methods utilized include:

For more information, you can download one of the following flyers:

Augmentative & Alternative Communication

The LIfeScape Rehabilitation Center offers thorough Augmentative & Alternative Communication or AAC and computer access evaluations using the latest technology. We serve children and adults with any communication challenges, including those with Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, and strokes. Our clinic features the area’s most experienced team of communication specialists, consisting of speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists.

  • Prior to the evaluation, a questionnaire is sent out and test scores, videos, and other information is requested to help determine the most appropriate devices and systems to consider during the evaluation
  • To make communication efficient and effective, the speech-language pathologist evaluates the patient to determine the feature he or she needs and then helps to find the AAC method that fits those criteria
  • Initial evaluation determines which types of communication methods would be appropriate. These methods range from simple picture symbol or word board devices, to low-tech speech generating devices, and high-tech devices with virtually unlimited speech output vocabulary.
  • The individual’s access methods are also assessed as part of the communication device trial. Access methods range from direct finger access to eye-gaze or switch access using nearly any body movement.
  • Computer access evaluation can occur as part of the augmentative communication evaluation or as a separate evaluation. The computer specialist selects from a wide array of adapted software and hardware to meet the computing needs of the individual. The access methods range from adapted keyboards and mouse devices to voice activation, switch access, or direct access using state-of-the-art methods that can track head or eye movement.
  • Recommendations are documented as part of a written comprehensive report based on clinical findings

Inpatient Rehab

Following an acute inpatient hospital stay, such as for a Traumatic Brain Injury or after an accident, illness, or injury, our speech-language pathologists provide intensive therapy to help patients return their communication and feeding/swallowing skills to their prior level of function, with the goal of discharging to the home environment.


We talk not just to share information, but to make connections with others. Taking turns in conversation, sharing stories, and showing an interest in what others say are essential to meaningful relationships. Our students and patients practice these skills in individual and group settings to emphasize the generalization of skills.

LifeScape Support

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