Unless you’ve seen a speech-language pathologist or an occupational therapist before, you may not be familiar with the assessment and treatment process. And even if you have, you may have questions about how we operate specifically here at Aurora Speech Clinic.

Below, you’ll find some of the more frequently asked questions we hear. You may find the answers you’re looking for below.

If not, contact us today. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and help you understand your options.

Speech-language pathologists, or SLPs for short, are skilled healthcare providers who have expertise in the assessment and treatment of disorders related to speech, language, communication, and swallowing. Also called speech therapists, speech-language pathologists work with adults and children alike. They provide treatment for a wide variety of disorders, including:

  • Speech sound disorders
  • Language developmental delays
  • Fluency disorders (stuttering, cluttering)
  • Feeding and swallowing disorders
  • Literacy concerns
  • Speech disorders linked with neurological conditions
  • Speech concerns linked with autism spectrum disorder
  • Transgender voice feminization therapy
  • Voice disorders
  • And others

Here in Ontario, speech therapists require at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited educational institution. As well, each individual must be registered with CASLPO – the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario.

Speech-language pathologists are also required to earn at least 15 CLACs – Continuous Learning Activity Credits – annually to maintain their standing. This helps ensure speech therapists are using evidence-based assessment and treatment approaches.

CASLPO maintains a public register of everyone who is currently permitted to practice in Ontario. The register also includes those who are not currently allowed to practice in Ontario.

Communicative disorders assistants work alongside speech-language pathologists in a supportive role. They provide screenings and therapy under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist. They may work in only adult or only pediatric speech therapy environments, or both.

Communicative disorders assistants must hold a diploma or an undergraduate degree, usually in social sciences or human services. As well, they must hold a post graduate CDA diploma or certificate from an accredited institution.

Occupational therapists are skilled healthcare providers who work with individuals impacted by illness, injury, or disability to maintain their independence in everyday activities. While occupational therapists may work with both children and adults, here at Aurora Speech Clinic we offer only pediatric occupational therapy services.

Occupational therapists can help with the assessment and treatment of a variety of different things, including:

  • Motor skills developmental delays
  • Sensory processing disorder
  • Developing self care and daily living skills
  • Developmental concerns related to autism spectrum disorder
  • And more

In Ontario, occupational therapists must hold a master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited institution.

They must also be registered with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario.

The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Service maintains a page outlining the expected speech and language developmental milestones. You can find it here.

Although the “wait and see” approach is well intentioned, it’s not recommended. In fact, research has repeatedly shown early intervention is more effective than waiting. As a result, it’s always better to see a speech-language pathologist for an assessment than to wait.

Not at Aurora Speech Clinic. However, there are government funded options available, including child development programs.

Private speech therapy services are also covered by many extended health care plans and are considered a tax deductible medical expense. If you or your child has funding through the Ontario Autism Program, our services may also be covered.

Some charitable organizations, such as President’s Choice Children’s Charity and Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity, may also cover the cost of therapy.

An assessment is typically an hour, but may take up to a few hours (over multiple sessions), depending on your concerns. The more areas we assess, the longer the assessment will take.

An assessment generally begins with a review of your child’s case history and an interview with you, as their primary caregiver. From there, your pediatric therapist will proceed with observations of your child’s interaction with their caregivers and environment. When possible, your pediatric therapist may use more formal testing techniques as well. These include having your child perform specific tasks related to your concerns.

The goal of a pediatric therapy assessment is to understand the underlying causes of your concerns related to your child. This informs the treatment plan your pediatric therapist may recommend.

The goals of an adult speech therapy assessment are similar to those of pediatric speech therapy assessments. An assessment will include a review of you/your loved one’s case history as well as formal testing to identify areas of difficulty that may be appropriate for treatment.

In clinic therapy sessions are typically 45 minutes while virtual sessions are either 30 or 45 minutes. Sessions include direct therapy, consultation, and caregiver training where required.

Research shows that family involvement in pediatric speech therapy is important for success and carryover of learned skills to a home and school environment so the more family involvement, the better.

Intervention is provided by a registered speech-language pathologist or a communicative disorders assistant under SLP supervision.

Occupational therapists take a holistic approach to treatment by addressing your child’s skills, daily tasks and environments in which they perform such tasks.

They may involve skill development, modifying an environment or task to promote your child’s independence, or trialling various tools to promote your child’s engagement in daily activities.

No. You may receive a referral from a doctor or other healthcare provider, but you can also self refer via phone or email.

Check out this handy infographic for when to seek SLP services for your child.

Book Your Appointment With Aurora Speech Clinic Today

Do you or your child have difficulty with speech, language, communication, or swallowing?

Does your child have difficulty with fine or gross motor tasks, self regulation, sensory processing, or activities of daily living?

If so, Aurora Speech Clinic is here to help.

Book your appointment with Aurora Speech Clinic today.