Communication starts early!
Speech-language pathologists are regulated health professionals that identify, assess and treat communication, as well as feeding and swallowing difficulties. A delay or disorder can occur in one or more of the following areas:
Receptive language includes understanding the meaning of words and concepts. You may notice your child having difficulty following instructions, difficulty identifying objects or pictures in books, or difficulty reading.
Expressive language includes using gestures, sounds, signs or words to communicate ideas. You may notice your child not using enough words, having difficulty putting sentences together, or difficulty with writing and spelling.
Social communication includes using language appropriately in social situations. You may notice your child having difficulty responding to their name, taking turns, or having conversations. Differences in social communication skills are present in Autism.
Speech includes how words are pronounced. You may notice your child substituting one sound for another, or omitting or distorting sounds. Motor speech disorders (including Childhood Apraxia of Speech) affect the strength, sequencing and coordination needed for speech. A speech disorder may occur as a result of a structural anomaly such as cleft lip and palate. Other areas related to speech are stuttering and voice disorders.
Early intervention is key! Communication difficulties can impact a child's confidence and behaviour, as well as academic success. Don't "wait and see". If you have concerns about your child's speech and language development, call for a free phone consultation.
*Virtual services now available
Government of Canada information about COVID-19
How to talk to kids about COVID-19
Publicly funded speech and language services
Ontario Autism Program