Speech disorders affect children from an early age, or may develop later in life as a result of trauma or injury. Speech therapists are specially trained in helping individuals correct speech disorders and speak clearly. Speech disorders can be embarrassing for those that suffer from them, but regular sessions with a qualified speech therapist can improve speaking and help the patient to communicate more effectively.
Speech therapists, also known as speech language pathologists, or SLPs, are educated in human communications, speech and speech related disorders. They require a master’s degree and state certification and a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. An SLP can diagnose and treat patients with various speech, oral and swallowing related disorders.
Darla Freeman, SLPD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Freeman received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her master’s degree from The Ohio State University. She furthered her education at Northwestern University, earning a doctorate in speech-language pathology where she focused her research on factors influencing successful behavioral changes in adult intervention. Dr. Freeman is board certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. She specializes in the evaluation and treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease, vocal cord dysfunction, and problems related to every day and performance-based voice use. Dr. Freeman is an adjunct professor, mentor, teaching faculty for the Parkinson’s Foundation, executive board member for Tampa’s Medical Speech Pathology Association, and a member of the Performing Arts Medical Association at the University of South Florida. When not caring for patients, she enjoys traveling, cooking, line dancing, and spending time with family.
Lourdes Gomez-Luaces M.S., CCC/SLP
Lourdes Gomez-Luaces received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Emory University and a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University. She is board certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and treats adult and pediatric speech, language, and swallowing disorders. She is fluent in English and Spanish.