Director Julie Kogut with one of her special friends.

By Gwen Rollings

Some children struggle with understanding and speaking, and they need help. They may not master the language milestones at the same time as other children, and it may be a sign of a language or speech delay or disorder, according to the Center for Disease Control.

If your child is one of the nearly 8 percent of U.S. children who struggle with speech and communication problems as well as the many other disorders associated with speech, language and reading, the Tampa Bay Speech Language & Reading Clinic in Lithia has solutions for you.

The clinic opened in 2001 and is locally owned and directed by Julie Kogut, MA, CCC-SLP. Kogut has been a speech-language pathologist for 22 years. Parents are reassured as Kogut and her team give individualized attention and effort in order to properly assess the problem, find a solution and give the treatment necessary to achieve a successful resolution.

The clinic also caters to all ages, from infant to adult, as the team has extensive experience in speech, physical and occupational therapy.

In addition to her master’s degree in speech-language pathology and her 22 years of experience working with both children and adults in numerous settings (private clinics, hospitals and schools), she is the mother of four children, so she also brings the ‘mommy perspective’ into her clinic.

Other team members include Mandy Matteis, who has a Master of Physical Therapy degree and over 15 years of clinical experience in treating orthopedic injuries, neurological conditions and pediatrics. Matteis is also a certified handwriting specialist through the Handwriting Without Tears program.

Other members of the clinic include Samatha Schultz, Ayesha Aawad and Loren Oglesby, who earned B.A. degrees in SLPA (speech-language pathology assistant).

Some of the therapies include: articulation, auditory processing, fluency, reading/writing, handwriting, pediatric physical therapy, speech-language disorder, sensory feeding, voice, hearing disorders, stroke, head injuries, Alzheimer’s and autism.

Kogut said that implications from COVID-19 have made her clinic even more necessary.

“COVID has basically elevated the need for our support of these kids, and we never closed. We are like a family and do not want any of those coming to us to get even further behind because of what is happening,” she said.

Zoom sessions are available, as are one-on-one safe procedures in the clinic.

For more information, email tampabayspeech@gmail.com or call 368-2485.