In-Person Speech Therapy for Kids
Our registered Speech-Language Pathologists provide pediatric Speech-Language Pathology services to Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas. Families from Cambridge, New Hamburg, Baden, Guelph, Listowel, Elora, Elmira, Wilmot township and other places drive to our centre as we are so close to Highway 86.
Speech Therapists help with many areas of speech and language. Click each for more information:
- Speech Sound Production (Articulation and Phonology)
- Motor Speech Issues & Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Early Language Development
- Language Development (Preschool & School-Aged)
- Fluency (Stuttering)
- Literacy (Struggling Readers)
- Written Language
If you suspect that your child might be struggling with one of the above areas and would like some clarity around what is occurring for your child, we strongly recommend you consider a Speech Language Assessment.
A Speech Language Therapy treatment program can be set up for any other of the issues listed above. We offer both direct speech therapy treatment with a registered Speech Language Pathologist and/or consultation to you (home program). We can also travel to see your child in-home or daycare (travel charges will apply).
Speech Sound Production (Articulation & Phonology)
Parents wonder “Why can’t others understand my child?” “Is this normal?” “When will my child’s speech errors go away?”
Is your child unable to say certain sounds? Does their speech sounds “slushy”? Do teachers, friends or family have a hard time understanding your child?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your child may be having difficulty with their speech sound production.
Recent research (McLeod & Crowe, 2018) indicates that most (90%) of children (U.S.) say all their sounds correctly by age 6:
|Age of acquisition||Speech sound|
|3 years||b, t, d, k, g, m, n, ng, f, h, y, w|
|4 years||v, s, z, sh, ch, j, l|
|5 years||th (voiced) as in “the”, zh, r|
|6 years||th (voiceless) as in “bath”|
Sometimes children use patterns to make sounds easier to say. These are called phonological processes. Children with phonological disorders can be very difficult to understand since they have trouble saying entire groups of speech sounds. For example, some children tend to drop the final sounds of words in a phonological process called “final consonant deletion”. Instead of “cake”, they say “cay”, and “dog”may be “daw”.
Our Speech Language Therapists can help figure out what is causing your child’s speech to be unclear and create a therapy plan that is the best fit for your child. It might be one or more sounds they are missing, or a phonological process that is at fault.
Children with motor speech disorders have difficulty sequencing the movements for speech. They have trouble planning and coordinating their lips, tongue or jaw (called the ‘articulators’) which significantly impacts their ability to speak clearly.
Some children with motor speech disorders may have a specific disorder called “Childhood Apraxia of Speech”. This is a specific diagnosis made by a doctor in the province of Ontario. Some of the key features of Childhood Apraxia of Speech include:
- Limited repertoire of speech sounds
- Variable errors
- Unusual sound errors
- “Choppy” sounding speech
- Physical tension of the mouth (groping) when starting to talk
Our SLPs can help determine if your child is having difficulty with motor speech production and provide treatment to improve their motor speech skills.
Early Language Development
Many parents wonder “should I be worried if my child hasn’t said their first words yet?” Are you worried that your toddler has fewer words or talks less than their peers? Do you feel that your toddler understands what you are saying but does not talk very much themselves?
Your child may be a ‘late talker’. A ‘late talker’ is a general term that describes delayed talking for a number of reasons. Some late talkers are delayed in overall communication abilities, others often have a good understanding of what is said to them, but they don’t use many words for their age. Still others may have some more serious developmental concerns that are first appearing as late talking.
|Age||Average # words|
|12 months||2-6 words other than “Mama” or “Dada”|
Says familiar action words e.g. Hug
Says some early basic concepts e.g. Hot, Cold
Understands: Mine, Yours
Understands: In, On, Another
Says: Up, Down
These issues can be worrying. A Speech Language Therapy assessment can compassionately help determine if your child is experiencing early language delays. Our Speech Language Pathologists know what helps to catch these children up in their language abilities. They can teach you and coach you in play-based sessions so that you know how to support your child’s language development
Language Development (Preschool & School-Aged)
Does your preschooler seem to use simple sentences for their age? Do they have trouble learning new words? Does your school-aged child have difficulty following directions or answering questions in school?
Expressive language delays could include:
- Difficulty learning and using new or specific vocabulary (See chart below)
- Difficulty with using grammatically correct sentences (see chart below)
- Difficulty making longer, complex sentences
- Difficulty telling stories that make sense
- Difficulty explaining their reasoning
Receptive language delays could include:
- Difficulty understanding and following directions
- Difficulty answering questions
- Difficulty understanding concepts
- Difficulty understanding stories
Says: I, My, Me, You, He, She, We
Says: In, On, Under
Understands: In, On, Off, Under, Out of
Says colour words (e.g. Red, Blue, Green)
Says: His/Her, Him/Hers, Our/Ours, Their/Theirs, Myself, Yourself
Says: Behind, In Front, Around
Understands: Next To, Beside, Between, Same, Both
Says:Ate, Drank, Run, Hit, Hurt, Went, Saw, Gave instead of eated, drinked, runned, hitted, hurted, goed, sawed and gived.
Says: Might, Must, Would, Could
Uses A and The in sentences
Understands: Above, Below, At the Bottom of
Understands: First, Next, Last
Uses: Herself, Himself, Themselves
Understands “dogs” means 2, where “dog” means only 1
Starts using questions, eg What’s that?
By 28 months: Adds “ing” to action words to indicate ongoing action such as, “Me playing”
Adds ‘s’ to mean plural such as says “dogs” to mean 2 dogs
Asks Where?, What is?, What doing? questions
Adds ‘s’ to mean possession such as baby’s, mommy’s, daddy’s
Uses “-ed” to talk about the past e.g. walked
Asks Why questions, Asks Is questions
Child should use most grammar structures by this age
Uses 2 word phrases consistently
Uses 3 word phrases consistently
Uses 3-5 word phrases consistently
Uses 4-6 word phrases consistently
Our Speech Therapists can help if your preschool or school-aged child is having difficulty with expressive or receptive language.
If feel that your child may be a bit behind, we really encourage you to book an appointment with a Speech Language Pathologist. Parents may not always think of bringing their child to Speech Therapy to work on these areas, but these kids can really thrive with intervention!
When we work with your child and you and they improve their understanding and use of language, it can really help them learn from other settings, such as daycare or school. . It is very gratifying to work with these kids as we know their gains will just improve and improve as we close the gap and they can pick up more language in natural settings.
A parent may ask “Why has my child started stuttering recently?” Does your child avoid speaking in class because they have trouble getting their words out? Do they get frustrated because they can’t get the words they want to say to come out smoothly?
Fluency in speech means the “forward flow of speech”. Stuttering occurs when there are interruptions to this “forward flow”. There are different kinds of stuttering that can occur:
- Repeating sounds (e.g. p-p-p-puppy)
- Repeating words (e.g. some-some-some-some help)
- Stretching out words (e.g. mmmmmmmy house)
- Blocking during speech (e.g. my……… house)
While young children may not be aware of their stutter, as children get older there often can be negative emotions tied to it, such as fear or embarrassment. Our Speech Language Pathologists can create a plan to support your child’s fluency and ability to communicate with confidence.
Struggling Readers (Literacy Intervention)
Did you know Speech Therapists can support young children’s early literacy skills or what is called “phonological awareness”? You may be wondering “Why is my child having a hard time learning how to read?” or “Why does my child have such trouble spelling words?”
Phonological awareness is the recognition and manipulation of words, syllables, and sounds. This is a primary area of need for children who most children are struggling to read. Phonological awareness skills include things like rhyming, splitting apart a word into syllables, splitting a word into sounds, blending sounds together, identifying sounds in a word.
Our Speech Therapists can work on phonological awareness for kids just learning or struggling to learn to read. A Speech Language Therapy program to target these skills can really help your child catch up to peers and succeed in a classroom situation.
Parents may notice one or more of these:
- My child is intelligent but not getting great grades
- Teachers say my child is not getting much written during class
- My child has an EA to sit with them during any writing
- My child seems unsure how to get started or what to write if I ask them to write a paragraph.
- My child writes a few things but doesn’t know how to turn their assignment into a 4+
Our Speech Therapists can help determine if your child is having difficulty with certain areas of written language. Issues with spelling, reading, comprehension, organization and executive function can all interfere with getting assignments onto paper.
Our therapists can provide support to your child with their written assignments and teach them a plan for how to proceed at times when they don’t have support. It is thrilling to see kids go from underachieving to overachieving in their written communication. Call us so we can help.
Get in Touch!
We have a diverse team of professional therapists dedicated to helping you meet your rehabilitation goals. Let’s talk about some next steps to getting you on the road to recovery.