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Speech - Language Therapy

What is a speech-language therapist?

A speech-language therapist is also sometimes called a speech therapist, a speech-language pathologist (SLP), a speech pathologist, or an SLP. Our job is to look at all areas of communication development in children to determine any areas of concern and provide suggestions and support to develop and improve those skills.

**Our Speech Language Therapists are on the ACT-BC list
**Our Speech Language Therapists are trained by the BC Early Hearing Program

"Communication" means a lot of things, and includes:

  • How a child understands what he hears
    • Also called "language comprehension" or "receptive language"
  • How a child lets people know what she wants or needs
    • Also called "expressive language"
    • Children can make their needs and wants known in a variety of ways: body language, words, sign language or other gestures
  • How a child interacts with others
    • Also called "social use of language" or "pragmatics"
    • Communication is not just the words we use, but also requires knowing how and when to use communication skills. This includes asking questions, making requests, answering questions, being social (hi, bye, etc.), using facial expression, using eye contact, pointing, gesturing, etc.
  • How a child uses his mouth for eating, drinking and making speech sounds
    • Also called "oral-motor skills"
    • Eating and talking require good movement and coordination of the tongue and lips
  • Speech Sounds
    • Also called "articulation"
    • Speech sounds are learned in a developmental pattern, some sooner than others
  • Fluency
    • Also called "stuttering"
  • Voice
    • Problems with a child's vocal quality can suggest tonsil or adenoid problems, hearing loss or straining of the vocal cords

What will a speech-language therapist do?

  • Assess your child’s strengths and needs in all the areas described above. This may be done using specific “tests” or only through play, depending on the age and needs of your child.
  • Fun and play is always our approach because we want to see the best skills your child has. When your child is having fun and enjoying their play partner, then they will communicate naturally.
  • Once the assessment is finished, we will talk to you about what we have learned about your child’s strengths and needs in the area of communication development.
  • If there are areas that your child is having difficulty with, we will give you ideas and/or activities that you can practice with your child to help develop and strengthen those areas.
  • We may suggest a group program, either for you and your child, or one that is designed for parents only. These groups are developed to help you learn and practice ideas to help your child’s communication development.
  • We may suggest you work on the ideas we have given you for 3-4 months and then we will see you and your child again to check in on your progress, and give you new ideas.
  • We may suggest that your child would benefit from a period of regular speech-language therapy – that could be once or twice a month

We Partner With You ....... to help your child’s communication skills grow

Communication happens every day all day long. When children are having challenges with communication development, it is important to take advantage of all the everyday opportunities to teach them new or better skills and to make communication fun and functional.

You are your child’s best teacher because you see them every day and are there every time they need or want something. Those are the most precious teaching moments.

We partner with you to help build your child’s communication skills by teaching you how to take advantage of all those “teachable moments”.

How to make a Referral

If you have concerns about your child’s communication development please  contact the centre, and/or make a referral.