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Speech & Language Therapy

Speech & Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy

Niagara Children’s Centre speech and language therapy services assist with the prevention, identification, assessment and treatment of communication delays and disorders in children and youth.

Services are delivered by Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) and/or Communicative Disorders Assistants (CDAs). SLPs are health care professionals who assess and provide interventions to maximize children and youth’s level of independence and functioning with regards to their communication skills. CDAs are support personnel who work under the supervision of SLPs. 

About Speech and Language Therapy

Speech-language pathologists at Niagara Children’s Centre assess a child’s needs, then provide education and strategies to improve the child’s or youth’s ability to communicate. They also educate parents and caregivers about speech, language and literacy development, and make recommendations and/or provide prescriptions related to augmentative and alternative communication.

Speech-language pathologists assess and provide intervention in the following areas of communication, dependent on the specific program:

  • Speech sound production: how children say sounds and put sounds together into words
  • Voice: quality of voice
  • Fluency/stuttering: how well speech flows
  • Language: how well children understand what they hear and how they use words to tell others what they are thinking
  • Social communication: how children follow social rules like paying attention to others who are trying to communicate or play with them, turn-taking and staying on topic
  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC): a set of tools and strategies that help individuals who experience challenges with face-to-face (spoken) or written communication express themselves more effectively
  • Foundational literacy skills
  • Auditory skills intervention for children with permanent hearing loss enrolled in the Infant Hearing Program

Program Delivery

Speech-Language Pathologists at Niagara Children’s Centre may:
  • Work with a child one-on-one
  • Work with children in group settings
  • Partner with a communication disorders assistant
  • Work as part of a team of professionals to deliver services

Eligibility and Referrals

Parents/legal guardians and designated community partners can make a referral for children aged 0-4* (*until August 31 of the year the child turns 4). Visit our referrals page.

Parents and Primary Care providers can refer for speech-language pathology through School-Age Active Rehabilitation by visiting our referrals page.

School Board Administrative Staff from publicly funded schools can make referrals for School-Based Rehabilitation Services. Referrals can also be made by Centre therapists providing age 0-4 services upon transition to school. 

Preschool Speech and Language Program and Infant Hearing

Niagara Children’s Centre is the lead agency in Niagara for Ontario’s Preschool Speech and Language Program. The program provides assessment and intervention for children aged 0-4 with speech and language delays and promotes healthy speech, language and literacy.

The Centre also delivers Infant Hearing Program Language Services for children aged 0-4 with permanent hearing loss under the lead agency of Affiliated Services for Children and Youth.