If you are a parent and are concerned about your child’s speech and/or language, it is best to seek out the advice of a professional. A speech-language pathologist can assess whether or not an issue exists so that the necessary steps can be taken. Research indicates that early identification and intervention results in the best communication outcomes. If you are unsure about whether your child requires an assessment, do not hesitate to call for a free phone consultation and we will provide you with our recommendations.

The following are a list of services that we offer:

Articulation Therapy

Falling under the category of speech therapy, articulation refers to the pronunciation of speech sounds and overall clarity. Simple speech sounds such as ‘W’, ‘B’ and ‘P’ develop by the age of 3, while more complex sounds such as ‘R’ and ‘TH’ continue to emerge until a child reaches approximately the age of 8. Acquiring sounds can be difficult for some children. These sound errors can be heard as sound distortions, omissions or substitutions.  A speech-language pathologist can determine whether or not your child’s errors are age-appropriate or if they would benefit from therapy to help improve their clarity.

Language Therapy

This is different than speech, and refers to the ability to understand language (receptive skills) and communicate it verbally and in a meaningful way (expressive skills). Individuals with a wide range of needs may require language therapy. Some children are considered “late talkers” and simply develop their expressive language skills at a slower rate than their peers. They often catch up without intervention, but can benefit from language stimulation as well as parent strategies provided by a speech-language pathologist. As children with language delays reach school-age years, they may face academic challenges; even children with mild impairments may have difficulty with higher-level language skills (i.e., inferencing, reasoning, summarizing, describing) as well as understanding vocabulary associated with various subjects such as math and science. Children with autism often require language therapy, as this is one of the primary impairments associated with the diagnosis.

Social Skills Therapy

Social skills, or pragmatics, encompass a wide range of verbal as well as non-verbal communication skills. Examples of social skills often targeted in therapy include eye contact, initiating conversation, joining into groups, reading body language and understanding the subtle nuances of language (i.e., humour and idioms). Children with autism often require social skills support and explicit instruction, as it is one of the primary impairments associated with the diagnosis.

Oral Motor Therapy

Our lips, tongue, jaw and palate (also known as our articulators) all require a great deal of strength, motion and coordination in order to produce speech. Weakness or discoordination present in any of the articulators can cause a breakdown in clarity, as well as difficulties with swallowing and breathing. A speech-language pathologist can assess whether or not there are any deficits or structural deviations interfering with healthy functioning of oral motor mechanisms.

Fluency Therapy

Fluency describes the smoothness of ones words during connected speech. Dysfluencies, also referred to as stutters, can be considered “typical” depending on the frequency and type. Many preschool-age children present with a sudden-onset of stuttering that may correct itself without intervention. A speech-language pathologist can determine whether your child requires intervention for their dysfluencies, depending on many factors such as frequency of occurrence, types of dysfluencies, and the presence of secondary characteristics. Common stutters indicative of a disorder include prolongations (i.e., “sssssock”), repetitions (i.e., “s-s-s-s-s-ock”) and blocks (i.e., “—–sock”).

Accent Modification

Adults who are non-native speakers of English may feel like they are constantly being asked to repeat themselves at the workplace, or feel that others are unable to understand them due to their pronunciation. While an accent is not a speech and language disorder, it can have a great impact on one’s confidence and self-esteem. A speech-language pathologist can assess your speech sounds (consonants and vowels) as well as stress patterns, rhythm and intonation, in order to provide practice and strategies to modify your accent.