What is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)?
Speech-language pathologists are regulated professionals that can assess and treat a wide range of communication difficulties in children and adults. They must have earned a minimum of a master’s degree in the field to practice speech-language pathology in Canada, and must be licensed according to provincial regulations. In Ontario, speech-language pathologists are regulated by the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO). SLPs are required to complete continuing education and additional training throughout their careers to stay up to date on advances in the field that can help their clients.
What is a Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA)?
A Communicative Disorders Assistant works with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or audiologist (AUD) to provide intervention to individuals with difficulties in the area of communication. CDAs are trained to work in the areas of speech, language, augmentative communication and hearing with individuals of any age. They have earned a diploma from a registered college within Canada often following completion of undergraduate studies at a University.
Do I need a doctor's referral?
No, you do not need a referral in order to receive speech therapy services. You may receive a recommendation from a physician, dentist, psychologist, or school, but it isn't a requirement in order to begin treatment. Therapy for Voice Disorders do require an assessment by an Ear Nose and Throat Physician (ENT) or Otolaryngologist.
Are your services covered by my insurance plan or OHIP?
Unfortunately, private speech therapy is not covered by OHIP.Speech-Language Pathologists, registered with CASLPO, are eligible to be covered by your health plan. Depending on your coverage, most insurance companies provide a set amount of speech therapy coverage per year per family member and can vary in the number of sessions and dollar amount that they cover so be sure to check with your provider for complete details. Please check with your employer or health care provider as some providers have conditions such as requiring a doctor’s referral. Many family doctors would be happy to provide the needed documentation.
Can I afford to pay for private therapy?
Only you can answer that question, however we aim to make speech-language therapy as affordable as possible. We provide therapy through Communication Disorder Assistants that work under the guidance of a Speech-Language Pathologist and can make regular therapy costs lower for you. We offer a free no-obligation telephone consultation so please call to discuss your needs and how we can make therapy work for your family.
At what age should my child be speaking?
The majority of children produce their first “meaningful” word around 12 months of age. However, there are children who speak earlier and some who speak later. By 18 months of age a child should have a speaking vocabulary of 25 or more words. At this age they should be appearing to learn new words on a daily basis. At two years of age a child should have a vocabulary of more than 100 words and should be combining words into two word phrases (e.g. “want juice”). If your child appears to be delayed it is recommended that your child have a speech and language evaluation to determine if a problem exists.
How do I know if my child's difficulty is with Speech or language? What is the Difference?
Speech is pronunciation of the sounds in words. It refers to how well a child can say words and sounds. Language can be broken down into two types: receptive and expressive. It is understanding and being understood through communication. A child with a language problem may be able to say words clearly but be unable to put more than two words together. Conversely, another child’s speech may be difficult to understand but he uses words and phrases appropriately to express ideas. Though problems with speech and language differ, they tend to overlap. Some children also have listening problems or difficulties with the social aspects of communicating that can interfere with the development of speech and language skills. Social aspects include skills such as making eye contact, being able to initiate a conversation and take conversational turns.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THERAPY?
Therapy involves sessions with an SLP or CDA focusing on individualized goals determined during the initial assessment. Therapy can involve individual sessions or sessions in groups of 2.Goals will be updated as progress is made, and we will also provide suggestions for activities that you can do at home between sessions. The length and frequency of therapy sessions will differ based on the specific needs of each individual. We can work with your schedule to help find a plan that works for you.
Do I need to stay with my child for therapy?
Yes, parents/caregivers are strongly encouraged to attend the sessions. If a parent is unable to attend someone else such as a grandparent or other relative may attend. It is important that the family be aware of the goals and strategies so that they may work on the goals at home throughout the week.
How long will it take to complete the therapy program?
This is a difficult question to answer and it varies depending on the nature of the speech/language difficulty as well as willingness and readiness for therapy. The Speech-Language Pathologist may be able to give you some idea as to the length of the therapy following the initial visit. The length and frequency of therapy sessions will differ based on the specific needs of each individual. We will work with your schedule to help find a plan that works for you.