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Speech- Language  Therapy

Offered in Durham and Windsor-Essex

At SPARK, Speech-Language therapy focuses on helping children with developmental delays or other challenges gain skills in language development, speech, and communication. 


SPARK offers Speech-Language assessment and, if appropriate, treatment to address your child's specific needs.

What is Speech-Language


What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

About SPARK's Speech-Language Pathologists

How to Access Speech-Language Therapy with SPARK

Speech-Language Therapy Service
(Offered in: Durham & Windsor-Essex)

  • An evidence-based regulated health profession that involves the assessment and treatment of congenital and acquired communication and swallowing disorders. 

    • The profession’s scope is defined in the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Act (1991), and it is included in the Regulated Health Professions Act (1991).

  • Involves treatments and therapy that help individuals with expressive and receptive language, articulation, fluency, voice, resonance, and cognitive-communication disorders. 

  • Speech-Language therapy aims to maximize communicative potential so that clients can be successful in the academic, occupational, and social arenas of their lives.

What is

Speech-Language Therapy?

What is Speech Therapy?
Speech-Language Therapy

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What is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)?

  • SLPs are health care professionals who have expertise in communication.

  • SLPs screen for, assess, identify, and treat issues pertaining to speech, language, voice, fluency, swallowing, and feeding problems.

  • 'Speech-Language Pathologist’ is a protected title and only professionals who are registered with the appropriate regulatory body may use the title specific for that profession.

    • In Ontario, SLPs are registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO).

    • In order to qualify for entrance into the profession and ongoing service delivery within the profession, each SLP must meet the College’s requirements.

    • CASLPO helps to ensure that, when receiving the services of an Speech-Language Pathologist, you can expect to receive high-quality, safe, and ethical care from a qualified professional.

  • Speech-Language Pathologists help people to thrive in various activities and different environments of their lives by:

    • Implementing language intervention programs

    • Carrying out articulation therapy activities

    • Utilizing oral-motor therapy techniques

    • Applying play-based approaches

    • Implementing and giving training around alternative and augmentative communication systems

    • Providing education and consultation to clients, parents, teachers, and caregivers

What is a SLP?

About SPARK's Speech-Language


SPARK's Speech-language Pathologists have Masters Degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders and are licensed to practice in the province of Ontario. SPARK's SLPs are members in good standing with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) and the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA). To get connected with a SPARK Speech-Language Pathologist, contact us!

At SPARK, our Speech-Language Pathologists are passionate about working with the pediatric population (ages 0 to 18), and are skilled and experienced in the following areas:

About SPARK's SLPs


Speech involves using sound to make words/phrases/sentences to express thoughts and feelings. Most children develop speech skills within a specific age range. A child who takes longer to learn/has difficulty learning a speech skill may have a speech disorder. Our SLPs can help address speech disorders, such as:

  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

    • CAS is also called verbal dyspraxia or developmental apraxia

    • CAS is a motor speech disorder. In order to speak, messages need to travel from a child’s brain to their mouth; with apraxia of speech, the messages do not get transmitted correctly.

    • A child would have difficulty getting their mouth muscles to move, even though they know what they want to say.

  • Dysarthria

    • A speech disorder caused by muscle weakness (face, lips, tongue, and throat, as well as muscles for breathing) due to brain damage.

    • Dysarthria can make it difficult for a child to talk and for people to understand what the child is saying.

  • Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD)

    • OMD is also called tongue thrust.

    • It happens when a child’s tongue moves too forward too much.

    • It can cause problems eating (messy, push food out from lips), drinking (difficulty using a straw or cup), and speaking (trouble saying sounds properly).  

  • Speech Sound Disorder

    • When children are learning to speak, they learn some sounds earlier than others. Generally, by the time they are 8 years old, most children will be able to say all sounds in English.

    • If a child has difficulty saying (or does not say) a sound by the expected age, they may have a speech sound disorder.

  • Stuttering

    • There are different types of disfluencies (not speaking smoothly):

      • Blocks –  a hard time getting a word out

      • Prolongations – stretching out a sound for a long time

      • Repetitions – repeating parts of words

    • Disfluencies happen from time to time, but if they are happening a lot, a child may be stuttering.  

    • Stuttering can make it difficult for other people to understand a child. Additionally, it can cause the child to feel tense/uncomfortable when speaking. 

  • Voice Disorders

    • Everyone has experienced some difference in their voice (e.g. hoarse after cheering too loudly/for too long). Some voice problems only last a little while; however others may last longer. 

    • Some examples of voice disorders include:

      • Vocal Folds Nodules and Polyps: Growths on a child’s vocal folds that can change the way their voice sounds.

      • Vocal Fold Paralysis: When a child’s vocal folds do not move the way they should (due to nerve damage), their voice will change.

      • Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM): occurs when a child’s vocal folds close when they should open, making it hard to breathe or talk.

Social Communication

  • Also called pragmatics, social communication is the “rules” for how language is used in different situations and with different people. Such rules may differ depending on culture. 

    • Difficulties with social communication can occur independently or in combination with other diagnoses (e.g. autism, ADHD, etc.)  

  • Our SLPs can help build social communication skills in:

    • Using language for different reasons – e.g. greeting, requesting, informing, etc.

    • Changing language depending on the situation or the listener – e.g. speaking to a baby versus an adult

    • Following rules for conversations – e.g. turn taking when talking, eye contact, etc.


Children all learn language in the same way, but not necessarily at the same time. A child may have difficulty following directions, understanding questions, learning new words, and/or saying sentences. These difficulties are called a language disorder. Our SLPs can help address language disorders, such as:

  • Preschool Language Disorders

    • Difficulties noticed in children between the ages of 3-5

    • Some children have trouble with receptive language (problems understanding) and may struggle with activities such as:

      • Understanding gestures (e.g. nodding, shrugging)

      • Answering questions

      • Following directions

      • Turning taking when talking

    • Some children have trouble with expressive language (problems talking) and may struggle with:

      • Naming objects

      • Asking questions

      • Using gestures

      • Putting words together to create sentences

      • Using correct pronouns

      • Knowing to how begin a conversation and keep it going

    • Some children have difficulties with both receptive and expressive language.

  • Learning Disabilities (LD)

    • Children with LD have difficulties reading, spelling, and writing (which are language problems) and often struggle in school.

    • Early speech and language difficulties can lead to later reading and writing struggles.

  • Selective Mutism

    • Children are often shy around people they do not know; however, they usually start talking when they feel more comfortable. Some children will only talk some times in some places, but not in others. This is referred to as selective mutism.  ​

How to Access SLP Service

How to Access Speech-Language Therapy with SPARK

To discuss how Speech-Language Therapy may benefit your child, or if you'd like to get set up with services, please contact us today!

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