What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
As defined by the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (2014), a speech-language pathologist, or speech therapist, is a health professional who provides the following services:
The assessment of speech and language functions and the treatment and prevention of speech and language dysfunctions or disorders to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment oral motor or communicative functions. Speech-language pathologists are [also] concerned with the identification, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation and prevention of communication and/or swallowing disorders in children and adults.
What Conditions Does a Speech-Language Pathologist Treat?
At Brant Mental Health Solutions, the speech-language pathologist will address the following speech and language conditions:
– Language delays and disorders
– Speech delays and disorders (i.e., articulation/phonology disorders)
– Difficulties concerning literacy and written communication skills
– Disorders in communication that pertain to autism and developmental delays
What Ages Does Your Speech-Language Pathologist Treat?
The speech-language pathologist will offer speech and language services to youth between 0-11 years of age with a focus on preschool and young school-age children.
Overview of the Assessment and Treatment Process
During the first visit, the Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP) will interview the caregiver(s) to determine the primary speech and language concerns, and obtain background information that will guide the assessment and treatment of the client. The assessment and treatment will commence after the S-LP receives consent from the caregiver(s) to do so.
The S-LP will decide which assessments to administer to the client based on the information collected during the interview. During the assessment period, the child will participate in play activities and give verbal/gestural responses to the S-LP’s requests and pictures. Some of these activities will be highly structured, whereas other activities will be less structured. The S-LP will also record their observations of the client’s communication during these activities. After the assessment period is completed, the S-LP will share the results of the assessments with the caregiver(s) and both parties will agree on appropriate treatment goals for the client.
During the treatment period, the S-LP will design play activities and demonstrate speech and language techniques that the caregiver(s) can use to facilitate their child’s speech and language skills. The S-LP will also provide take-home activities that the caregiver(s) can use to further develop their child’s speech and language skills. Treatment activities will be altered according
to the child’s learning preferences and progress during therapy. The S-LP will also keep daily
progress notes to track the client’s progress.
A final report will be provided at the end of the treatment period. The report will summarize the progress made during therapy, and provide recommendations for continued improvement. The therapy will end when the client has accomplished their goals or the caregiver(s) decides to end the treatment period.
Our Speech Therapy Room