Children & adults turn to “biggest little secret” Capland to improve communication disorders

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Summing up all that Capland Speech Therapy Center does as a non-profit community speech and hearing center came easy for Mary Martinez.

“We’re the biggest little secret,” said Martinez, office assistant at Capland. “You don’t know about us until you need us.”

Established in 1953 by the Service League of Port Arthur as Sunnyside School, the agency got its start with the mission of helping children with speech and hearing disorders.

Evaluation device at Capland Speech Therapy Center. (Mary Meaux/The News)

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By 1958 that was expanded to provide service to people of all ages and the name changed to Sunnyside Speech and Hearing Center.

The center was renamed in 1976 to honor the late Lethale Capland, who was a member of the Service League and first president of the Capland board.

Doris Hale, executive director/speech-language pathologist, explained the center works with children and adults with communication disorders — whether it’s developmental for children or those who are not medically fragile. They also work with adults who suffered strokes and need to learn to speak again, improve speech or language skills.

“This is a grassroots organization still in business after all of these years,” Hale said. “It goes to show you this center is much needed and well supported by the community.”

Capland offers financial assistance to patients with financial need or insurance concerns, and it provides assistance in filing claims.

Capland was one of 13 local nonprofits who were recipients of the inaugural Port Arthur News Season of giving powered by Port Arthur LNG.

Capland Speech Therapy Center is located at 2660 Aero Drive in Port Arthur. (Mary Meaux/The News)

And for that, Hale is grateful.

These funds, she said, help support the center through services such as evaluation and treatment for economically disadvantaged clients.

Capland is also supported by the United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County and local service organizations.

Hale explained the center typically sees 80 to 100 clients per year and most clients need the services two to three times per week.

There have been many changes and many clients with disorders through the years.

“You have some who have been diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities,” Hale said. “We see many clients with many different disorders. Some may need to learn their sounds or perhaps had ear infections and tubes in their ears. We work with this, as well.”

Potential clients learn of the clinic by physician referral and word of mouth.

Capland Speech Therapy Center is located at 2660 Aero Drive in Port Arthur. For more information, call 409-729-2227.