Speech and Language skills
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with children who are experiencing communication difficulties. We work with children of all ages – from toddlers to teens. Common communication difficulties that SLPs assess and treat include:
- problems pronouncing words
- delayed language development
- difficulties with social communication skills
- a husky, hoarse voice
- difficulties following directions
- learning problems at school
- delayed reading or written expression
- word finding difficulties.
We help children with articulation and phonological difficulties, verbal apraxia, swallowing difficulties, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), language and learning delays and disorders, dysfluency, and voice disorders.
An SLP will complete an assessment which considers the individual needs of your child. An assessment may include: an interview with you and your child, completion of tests or questionnaires, observation of your child playing and talking and/or consultation with other important people in the community for example, the classroom teacher. Depending on your child’s needs, an assessment may range from 30 minutes (to screen speech and language skills) to several hours (to complete a full language – learning assessment). If requested, the SLP will write an assessment report. All assessment results are kept confidential.
After the assessment is completed we determine if therapy is needed. If therapy is required, we will work together with you to create a treatment plan. This plan will outline goals, frequency and duration of the therapy sessions. We will also make a recommendation regarding who would be the best person for your child to work with – the speech-language pathologist or a communicative disorders assistant.
What is the difference between a Speech-Language Pathologist, a Speech Therapist and a Communicative Disorders Assistant?
A Speech-Language Pathologist or SLP is a university trained professional who assesses and treats people that have a communication difficulty. In Ontario, SLPs have a Masters Degree (or equivalent) and must be registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO).
SLPs used to be known as Speech Therapists (STs) however, today the title SLP is preferred. This is to help the general public be more aware of the SLPs role in working with other aspects of communication, not just speech or articulation.
A Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA) has earned a post graduate diploma in Communicative Disorders. CDAs are trained to assist an SLP and deliver therapy under the supervision of an SLP. In each individual case the SLP determines whether or not working with a CDA is the best course of action. CDA hourly rates are lower than SLP rates, therefore offering a more cost-effective way of receiving therapy.