What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy is a regulated health profession which deals with aspects of communication, such as articulation (speech sounds), expressive and receptive language (expressing and understanding language), and fluency (stuttering). We work with children with a variety of concerns, including speech sounds, autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, hearing loss, and children who are nonverbal.


What is a speech-language pathologist (SLP)?

An SLP is a professional who assesses and treats individuals with communication disorders. SLPs in Ontario are required to be registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario and to have a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.


What is a communicative disorders assistant (CDA)?

A CDA is a professional who treats individuals with communication disorders under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist. CDAs in Ontario have a post-graduate certificate and a membership with the Communicative Disorders Assistant Association of Canada (CDAAC).


What happens at a speech-language assessment?

A speech and language assessment consists of different tasks depending on the age of the child and the parent’s concerns. The SLP will collect background information on the child's development prior to the assessment. The SLP will observe your child playing, look at how he or she is communicating, and listen to the sounds and words he or she is using. With some children, she may use standardized assessments to obtain a score showing how his or her language compares to other children at the same age. This consists of looking at pictures in a book and having the child reply in a specific way.


What happens after an assessment?

Following your assessment, the speech-language pathologist may find that your child is meeting developmental milestones and that there is no need for therapy. She may recommend strategies to continue helping your child develop speech and language. She may also recommend therapy to target specific goals, discussed in advance with the parent or guardian. Therapy may be provided by the speech-language pathologist and/or communicative disorders assistant.

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