Pediatric Language Clinic
Vickie Barnes, Program Director
909 Mountcastle Street
Knoxville, TN 37996-3508
Phone: (865) 974-6702
Fax: (865) 974-4766
The Pediatric Language Clinic (PLC) is a family-focused early intervention program for children birth to three years of age who are in need of intensive services due to significant social/communication/ behavior delays and/or autism spectrum disorder. The developmental program is funded by the State of Tennessee=s Department of Education as an Early Intervention Resource Agency (EIRA) at no cost to the families. A child, however, must meet eligibility criteria for the Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) and receive services through TEIS in order to qualify for the program. PLC serves Knox County and surrounding areas within a 25 mile radius of the center.
Special instruction/developmental therapy services are provided in natural environment settings that are individualized to meet the needs of the child and family. These areas include:
- fine motor
- gross motor
The inclusive center-based program incorporates the principles of incidental and structured teaching to create a positive learning environment. The low child-to-staff ratio includes peer models to enhance social, communication and play relationships. Classroom activities address specific developmental objectives using multiple teaching methodologies in a small group setting. Parent education and training is a key component of the center-based groups, with parents or caregivers actively participating with their children in the classroom activities.
Home/Community Visits (Family Training)
Home and community visits (child care/Mother's Day Out programs) may be provided to promote carry-over and incorporate routines-based teaching strategies across all environments. Decisions regarding the frequency and intensity of sessions will be made by the IFSP team.
Individualized Sessions (Special Instruction)
For children determined to be in need of more intensive structured treatment, individualized sessions using the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) including Discrete Trial Training (DTT) may be scheduled. Decisions regarding the frequency and intensity of sessions will be made by the IFSP team.
Speech-Language Therapy Services
Individual services are typically provided in the center to address receptive/expressive language, oral-motor stimulation, or feeding skills in a one-to-one specialized learning environment. The speech and language program is part of the UT Hearing and Speech Center and is only available to children enrolled in the developmental program. Decisions regarding the frequency and intensity of sessions will be made by the IFSP team. The clinic accepts third party payments (private insurance, TNCare, TEIS) so that no cost is incurred by families.
Family involvement is an integral component of the PLC program as parents participate in both center-based and home-based sessions, assist in the development of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), and help develop specific outcomes for their child. PLC staff members collaborate with TEIS, the designated service coordinator, and other members of the professional team to ensure the best provision of services to a child and their family. Staff members work with the child and their family/caregivers to implement and promote successful carry-over of goals in a variety of environments.
The PLC staff is comprised of licensed and certified speech-language pathologists who utilize their extensive training and experience to provide early intervention services. PLC also serves as a training site for UT graduate students pursuing a master’s degree through the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology.
Children are referred to PLC from a variety of sources. A physician referral is not necessary for the developmental program, although certification of eligibility through TEIS is required. Therefore, it is generally recommended that a family speak to their TEIS service coordinator if interested in developmental services at PLC. For speech-language therapy, a physician's order is generally required, but these services will be determined as an IFSP team once the child is enrolled in the developmental program.