SERVICES FOR CHILDREN
Does your child have unclear speech or difficulty making certain speech sounds? Do friends and family have a hard time understanding what your child is saying? As a parent it can be difficult to know whether your child’s speech sounds are developing typically or not. Each child develops at their own rate but there are certain speech characteristics that can tell you if your child may have a speech sound difficulty (articulation or phonology difficulty).
AUTISM DIAGNOSIS AND SUPPORT
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that impacts social, cognitive, communication, and motor skills. Although signs typically appear in the first two years of life, ASD can be diagnosed at any age. Our therapists are trained to diagnose and support children and adolescents on the autism spectrum.
EARLY LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Does your child have a hard time following directions, pointing to pictures, or answering questions? They may have a receptive or expressive language difficulty. A receptive language difficulty is trouble understanding spoken language. An expressive language difficulty is trouble using language, such as saying words, putting words in the correct order, forming sentences, or using correct grammar.
FEEDING AND SWALLOWING THERAPY
Pediatric feeding and swallowing difficulties can begin as early as the first days following birth to later in development when solid foods are introduced. Your child may have feeding and swallowing difficulties as a result of a medical condition related to structural differences in the mouth, throat, or esophagus, or due to weakness or damage to the muscles involved in swallowing. It is possible that your child has developed feeding difficulties such as food aversions as a result of medical trauma or texture sensitivities.
Dysfluent speech or stuttering is when a child gets stuck on a word in a sentence and repeats it several times. In language development, it is typical for children to repeat a word 2–4 times at the beginning of a sentence, however they may develop more dysfluent speech where they repeat a single word many times (6+ times), draw out the initial sound of a word (e.g. “wwwwwwe” for “we”), or repeat the initial sound of a word several times (e.g. “t/t/t/t/ today we went…”).
Your child or adolescent’s language difficulties can present in many different ways, such as having trouble finding the correct word to name an object (e.g. naming a “candle” a “lamp”), to having difficulty understanding the directions that have been given (e.g. “get the piece of paper on the bottom shelf”), to having trouble using certain grammatical forms (e.g. he will go fishing this weekend). Later in your child’s development, it is common to see language difficulties in both reading and writing, where your child might have difficulty understanding stories and narrative texts, formulating sentences, or following along in classroom discussions.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a personalized therapy that considers the whole person and focuses on improving an individual’s function or ability to participate in the activities of daily living. For children, this may include their ability to learn, play, and socialize.
All children develop at different rates. Every brain is unique and not all children learn the same way. A psychological assessment can help you understand your child’s functioning, behaviour, learning, strengths, and needs. It is an important step to determining which accommodations and supports will help them be successful at any age.