Types of Services
Research has shown that young children learn best through everyday experiences with familiar people, in familiar contexts. In other words, children learn new skills between therapy sessions. This means that parents and caregivers are the agents of change in their child’s speech and language development. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), with our knowledge of language development, are the family’s guides and coaches. Our goal is to help you develop the skills and provide you with the tools you need to support your child’s development and learning in everyday experiences. Our services are designed to reflect these goals and evidence-based principles.
During this initial meeting with a family, the Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) observes the child and discusses the parents’ concerns. Strategies for helping promote the child’s communication development are demonstrated. The SLP will also work with the family to decide on an appropriate action plan, which may include any number of the services listed below. The SLP may also discuss appropriate referrals to other agencies and programs.
Parent Training/Education Workshops
Parent education sessions are provided throughout the year. Currently, one workshop is designed to help educate parents regarding speech sound development. Another workshop is designed to educate parents regarding language development. Both teach strategies to use in daily routines to help communication development, and provide parents with a chance to meet other parents of children with similar needs. Invitations to these workshops are based on SLP review of each child’s file.
Children and their parents may be invited to half-day speech and/or language camp(s), which include both a parent education piece and a hands-on parent participation practice session. Invitations to these camps are based on the needs discussed with a SLP during Initial Consultation or follow-up.
Speaking of Songs… Let’s Talk! Parent-Child Songs and Rhymes Group
Child (18 months to 3 ½ years of age) and parent attend a weekly group in which songs and rhymes are used to help promote language development. Familiar songs, chants and finger-plays are adapted to meet the children’s language levels and facilitate imitation, vocabulary development, turn taking, social interaction, etc. Invitations to this group are sent out after an SLP has reviewed the child’s file.
Page Turners & Language Learners
Child (3 ½ to 5 years of age) and parent attend a weekly group in which books and stories are used to help promote language development. A new book or story is presented each week in a variety of ways to model and demonstrate group interaction, following directions and to provide an opportunity to promote a number of grammatical structures (‘ing’ endings, past tense, plurals, pronouns, ) along with other concepts such as prepositions, colours, sequencing, descriptive vocabulary, etc. Invitations to this group are sent out after an SLP has reviewed the child’s file.
The SLP and the parents set general speech and language goals and then the parents are given suggestions to carry out at home. The SLP monitors the child’s speech and language development by phone and/or through periodic follow-up visits.
Together the parents and SLP select a developmentally appropriate speech or language goal. To achieve the goal, it will be broken into small steps with specific activities to be carried out by the parents at home. The SLP will help coach the parents, so that they can work with their child. The family will then return to SESLP for program review and support on a regular basis.
Individual/Small Group Session Blocks
Individual/Small group sessions may be provided for a set block of time on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. A child’s progress is evaluated periodically during a block to determine the most appropriate interventions going forward. Blocks are usually offered in the fall, winter, and spring. The SLP and the parents set specific speech and language therapy goals. During sessions, desired speech and/or language targets are modeled for the child(ren). Parents learn what and how to model for their child. In addition, each session provides opportunity for observing a child’s learning style, evaluating progress, and identifying further strengths and concerns. Typically, at the end of a block of therapy, a block of rest may be recommended. Research shows that this break from treatment can be extremely beneficial to a child’s learning, allowing the child to consolidate their learning and to apply it to their everyday life. It also allows the SLP to see other children in need of direct intervention. Parents are encouraged to call their SLP to consult and update on their child’s progress during a block of rest.
Children receive assessments of their speech and language skills to provide a diagnosis and/or develop a treatment plan and monitor their progress.
The SLP sometimes visits children in their own home. This allows the SLP to demonstrate and guide the parent in the use of strategies during specific home routines. Being in the home lets the SLP learn more about the child’s abilities and needs in their natural setting.
During the summer, group programs may be offered. Children are grouped according to their communication abilities and needs. These groups provide intensive modeling, peer interaction and parent networking opportunities.
The SLPs provide important information and training to preschool/daycare staff that have a child with communication concerns in their program. Observations at the child’s preschool/daycare allow the SLP to see the child in another environment (with peers) where the child’s communication strengths and needs may be different than at our Centre.
The SLP will meet with the family and team members from other programs to establish and review the child’s treatment plan.
Infant Development Program Consultation
Once a month, an SLP accompanies Infant Development Consultants on their home visits to children at risk for developmental delays. We provide suggestions/strategies for stimulating communication development and recommend referrals for SLP services when needed. Doing joint visits with community service providers allows for an exchange of knowledge and expertise.
The SLPs provide a variety of workshops to community service providers on topics such as helping enhance speech and language development, the relationship between play and language development, and adapting songs and stories to target specific communication goals.
Our website can be found at www.seslp.org. Here you will find information about our program, forms for download, copies of past newsletters, speech and language resources, frequently asked questions, and links to other websites parents might find helpful. A newsletter may also be sent to all families and community service providers involved with our program. This newsletter provides support, information and practical home and preschool/daycare ideas to our readers.