About the Center

Welcome to The Julie Atwood Speech, Language and Literacy Center (SLLC) at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

The Center is part of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at the Institute.

We offer comprehensive assessment, therapy and specialty services for both developmental and acquired disorders of speech and language, helping people of all ages communicate more effectively. Graduate students enrolled in our Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program, and those enrolled in our Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy and Language program work with children and adults individuals with cognitive, communication and reading literacy difficulties. Our student clinicians are mentored and closely supervised by certified and licensed speech-language pathologists who are faculty members of the CSD Department. 

Our state-of-the-art Speech Center includes live monitoring by faculty and instant recording of sessions, to better diagnose and treat clients 

Our Services

The SLLC provides services to children and adults with cognitive, communication and reading difficulties. Some examples of populations we serve include, but are not limited to: comprehensive assessment, therapy and specialty:

  • Aphasia
  • Autism
  • Speech Delays and Disorders 
  • Language Delays and Disorders 
  • Issues from birth to three years of age, preschool, and school age 
  • Dyslexia and other reading difficulties 

Families are encouraged to participate in and/or observe sessions. Most services are free. Our state-of-the-art Speech Center includes live monitoring by faculty and instant recording of sessions, to better diagnose and treat clients. 

The Aphasia Center is a specialty unit of the Speech, Language and Literacy Center.

The SLLC schedule aligns with the Institute's academic calendar. All services are not necessarily available during all semesters. Most services are offered during the fall and spring semesters. The adult Aphasia Center also operates during the summer semester. Each semester session is 14 weeks long. 

  • Fall: September – December
  • Spring: January – April
  • Summer: May – August
  • Referrals to the Speech, Language and Literacy Center come from local hospitals, schools, and other clients. We also accept self-referrals. Please direct inquiries about our services to the SLLC Intake Coordinator by emailing sllc [at] mghihp.edu (subject: Speech%2C%20Language%20and%20Literacy%20Center%20inquiry) title="Email for SLLC intake line".
  • If you would like to be on our potential client list, please fill out our electronic client intake form.

MGH Institute of Health Professions is committed to ensuring a welcoming academic community for all. Our inclusive environment is enriched by our differences including age, color, disability, gender identity and expression, genetic information, marital status, national and ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, status as a parent, socio-economic background, veteran or active military status.

The Institute prohibits discrimination in admissions, financial aid, employment and administration of its programs and activities.

Our Commitment to Literacy

Good language and literacy skills are fundamental to success in school and in all occupations. Low literacy skills are also associated with several adverse health issues including increased mortality and hospitalization as well as poor control of chronic health conditions.

The MGH Institute recognizes the important role of literacy in helping individuals to achieve educational and health outcomes, and was one of the first graduate schools to include literacy education in its speech and language program.

Through its educational programming and research projects, the MGH Institute has become an important resource for training literacy specialists and adding to the knowledge base in language and literacy.

Through its Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy and Language the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Department offers K-12 teachers a program of study that prepares them to become licensed reading specialists.

The CSD Department also provides its master’s degree students the opportunity to choose concentrations in literacy, including one that prepares students for Reading Specialist Licensure. 

All students in the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program learn the important relationship between oral and written language, and actively provide literacy intervention in CSD’s Speech Language and Literacy Center (SLLC). Literacy is an integral component of the services offered at the SLLC, which serves both children and adults with communication and reading difficulties.

Members of the Institute community are active in many literacy research programs and initiatives, including our WELL Collaborative Writing Center.

The Speech, and Language Literacy (SAiL Literacy) Lab, under the direction of Dr. Tiffany Hogan, conducts research on the relationship between language development and literacy skills. One of these studies, affiliated with the Language and Reading Research Consortium (LAARC) is a 5-year national project focused on reading comprehension development.

The Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Team is a research group led by Dr. Joanna Christodoulou. The BEAM Team studies typical and atypical reading development, and approaches to harnessing individual variability to improve educational outcomes. The BEAM Team works with school-age participants who are typically developing, who have learning disabilities/differences, or who have unique brain anatomy.

The CSD Department's focus on language and literacy is international in scope, with faculty presenting and conducting research with colleagues in South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Contact Us

Interested in services? Reach out to our director, or use the intake form below. We are located in Charlestown, MA.

New Client Intake Form
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Assistant Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders Coordinator of Clinical Operations, Julie Atwood Speech, Language and Literacy Center

Assistant Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders Coordinator of Clinical Operations, Julie Atwood Speech, Language and Literacy Center

Emilie Larrivee in black shirt

Assistant Professor Coordinator of Clinical Services, Julie Atwood Speech, Language and Literacy Center Communication Sciences and Disorders

Assistant Professor Coordinator of Clinical Services, Julie Atwood Speech, Language and Literacy Center Communication Sciences and Disorders

MGH Institute Logo on stone

The Center offers speech, language, cognition, and literacy services for individuals across the lifespan who present with developmental and acquired disorders.

The Center offers speech, language, cognition, and literacy services for individuals across the lifespan who present with developmental and acquired disorders.

MGH Institute Logo on stone

Graduate students in speech-language pathology provide diagnostic and therapy services to adults who have acquired and or degenerative neurological changes and are supervised by licensed speech-language pathologists.

Graduate students in speech-language pathology provide diagnostic and therapy services to adults who have acquired and or degenerative neurological changes and are supervised by licensed speech-language pathologists.

Attendees stand around Julie Atwood at the naming event
The Julie Atwood Speech, Language and Literacy Center has been named in honor of the visionary speech-language pathologist and professor emerita who not only launched the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders but also played a major role in the school’s creation.
Recognizing an Institute Founder

Center named in honor of visionary speech-language pathologist and professor emerita

Read About Julie Atwood