Center for Speech and Language Disorders

Center for Speech and Language Disorders
Therapy That Makes A Difference

820 North Orleans Street Suite 217
Chicago, IL 60610

630-652-0200 310-D South Main Street
Lombard, IL 60148

Helping Individuals Reach Their Full Potential

Leap into Literacy Program

Do you want your preschool age child to...

  • Improve their love and interest in books?
  • Learn more letters and sounds?
  • Improve their attention and listening?
  • Improve their vocabulary and awareness of words?
  • Learn how to read simple books and know their parts?
  • Hear and understand what rhyming words are?
  • Enter kindergarten with the best possible language and literacy skills?

Did you know...

In America, 40% of 3rd graders are not reading at grade level, regardless of race and socioeconomic background. Research has shown us that the earlier we begin literacy instruction the more successful students will become. You brush your child's teeth every day to prevent cavities and improve dental health; we must think this way about literacy. The Center for Speech and Language Disorders’ Leap into Literacy Program can help guide the way!

Goals of the Leap into Literacy Program:

Our goal is to maximize your child's success with language and literacy skills. Establishing a strong foundation of early literacy skills through skilled instruction can prevent or diminish later reading problems when students advance into elementary and middle school.

The curriculum's unique design allows the instructor to take each student to his or her fullest potential. For example, we may bring a student with average skills to above average or help a student with weak literacy skills to improve and diminish or eliminate the problem before it becomes more severe.

Providing your child with high quality, scientifically based instruction is the key to our success. The Leap into Literacy program was designed by a team of education and language experts at the Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center. The curriculum's philosophy and instructional methods are based on the latest science from the National Early Reading Panel and the clinical expertise of speech-language pathologists and special educators.

We also aim to empower parents with the tools to work on language and literacy skills at home in ways that fit into your busy schedule. Throughout the program we will provide education, modeling, and easy at-home and "on the go" activities.

What skills does the Leap into Literacy program address?

Children begin establishing the building blocks for successful literacy in early infancy. They build on these and other key foundational skills to acquire school-age literacy skills. With this in mind, we follow a "building the foundation" approach with our students. The following targeted skills are addressed in a hierarchical, multi-sensory, fun and engaging manner:

Auditory Processing Skills: Students are taught basic attention, listening, and memory skills in an auditory context. These early listening skills are an important precursor to later classroom success and the ability to attend to and understand what has been heard and read. In addition, students are explicitly taught strategies focused on taking ownership of their learning. Strategies such as asking questions when you don't understand or changing your environment to be a better listener are introduced to promote critical self-advocacy skills students can take with them throughout their academic careers.

Expressive and Receptive Language Skills: Lessons focus on comprehension and expression of targeted language concepts and vocabulary. Work also focuses on answering and formulating yes/no and "wh" questions and the developing of oral narrative skills, including sequencing and retelling events. These language skills are critical to fostering success with later-developing conventional literacy skills (e.g. understanding what we read and write).

Phonological Awareness Skills: Lessons focus on improving student's ability to discriminate, identify, and manipulate the words, syllables, sounds, and rhyme that comprise spoken language auditorily and verbally using a multi-sensory, hierarchical approach. Phonological skills are critical for both memory and later reading fluency and spelling.

Print Knowledge: Work focuses on print knowledge skills such as book handling; alphabet and environmental print knowledge; and sound-letter correspondence. It is critical to establish with students that print reflects meaning and to establish an understanding of the alphabetic principle in order to set them up for later success with spelling and written language.

Two program phases are available. All children start in Phase I, which consists of twenty 90-minute sessions and may later advance into Phase II. We take pride in the Leap into Literacy program's pre-written, evidence-based curriculum, extensive staff training, and parent education and participation via in-services, weekly meetings, and daily homework. Results of post-testing from past programs have shown significant improvements on standardized tests, and more importantly, reports of functional improvements in the classroom and at home from parents, teachers and students.

Class Structure

  • Each class is 90 minutes in length
  • There are 6-8 students in each class grouped appropriately by age.
  • Two speech-language pathologists and one classroom aide instructs each class.
  • Each student receives individualized intervention, in addition to small-group work, which enables us to simulate the classroom setting.
  • The student's parent/guardian is required to attend a pre-program in-service and meet weekly, during a pre-scheduled time, with the speech-language pathologist.
  • Classes are held in the summer, fall and winter. Space is limited and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Download the flyer.


Lombard Office:
310-D South Main Street
Lombard, IL 60148

Chicago Office:
820 N. Orleans St., Suite 217
Chicago, IL 60654

Contact us at 630-652-0200.

Getting Started:

The first step is to schedule a language-literacy evaluation. A speech-language pathologist will conduct a comprehensive assessment of language and reading skills to determine areas of strength and weakness and candidacy for the program. Evaluations typically last 90 to 120 minutes.

To schedule a language-literacy evaluation, please e-mail us or call 630-652-0200.

Program Payment Options May Include:

Insurance: We are a BCBS Preferred Provider. Other insurance plans may provide coverage for speech-language therapy—our support team can help guide you.

Scholarship: We may be able to award tuition scholarships for those that qualify. Click here to download a scholarship application

Private Pay


Drop-off and pick-up transportation must be provided by the family

Past Leap into Literacy Parents Have Said…

“I would recommend this program to everyone who has a preschooler. This program has taught him so much. The staff are wonderful people.”
“This was the best experience. Lessons were fun, interactive, organized and goal driven. The kids love it and can’t wait to go to class. The measurable outcomes surpassed our expectations. We are so thankful our child was able to attend this class.”
“I have seen improvement in his writing skills, [before] I was not able to get him to color, let alone write his name. Now he knows how to sit and listen to the speaker. He’s learned so much more than I could have taught him myself.”
“My daughter is identifying community signs while driving from place to place, and is initiating book reading more than ever!”
My children are only three years old and they are “reading” their own stories, and they are very proud of themselves!”