Speech and language development is a very important part of intellectual, social and emotional development in children. Problems with communication development in preschool children are surprisingly common. One out of every ten preschool children experiences some type of speech and/or language delay.
The main goal of the Preschool Speech and Language Program is to ensure that every child in Toronto achieves their optimal communication potential. Children are eligible to receive all preschool speech and language program services from birth until they reach their junior kindergarten year.
Speech-Language Pathologists assess a child’s speech, language and overall communication development to identify any areas where a delay or disorder might be present.
If the assessment identifies a delay or disorder, the Speech-Language Pathologist will develop a treatment plan with goals that are specific to the child’s level of need. The actual type of service and the method of delivery are also determined by the child’s level of need and the family/caregiver’s practical requirements. This may include:
Workshops led by Preschool Speech and Language Program staff provide parents/caregivers with practical ways to help their children learn new skills.
Consultation services may be offered in community settings and/or by telephone to provide parents/caregivers with language stimulation strategies or suggestions that can be used in daily situations.
Speech-Language Pathologists may develop a program that can be carried out by the family in the home, over several months.
Speech-Language Pathologists may train and supervise an individual to follow through with a treatment plan.
Group or individual therapy sessions may be provided. Whenever possible, children are grouped with others who will benefit from a similar approach.
Some children may only require minimal intervention. The Preschool Speech and Language Program will follow the child’s progress to determine the need for further support.
With parental permission, the Preschool Speech and Language Program will share information about the child’s ongoing service needs with the School Board, prior to the child starting school.
The Preschool Speech and Language Program provides a series of workshops and seminars designed to meet the needs of both parents and professionals seeking detailed information regarding speech and language development.
This series includes a comprehensive half-day workshop for professionals with emphasis on: speech and language milestones, red flags, referrals, home language preservation, second language acquisition, use of language stimulation strategies to support at-risk children in the home, childcare and resource center environments.
The series also provides an overview of similar subject material in an informal one-hour parent ‘coffee chat’ format. The workshops are currently free of charge and available upon request.
Please submit new referrals using our Online Referral Form.
Referrals are also accepted by phone or fax, using the New Client Intake Form .