What is Speech-Language Pathology?

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With May being Speech and Hearing Month, its a great time to celebrate and bring awareness to speech, language and hearing delays and disorders.

Let’s look at the facts: 1 in 10 Canadians has a speech, language or hearing problems. An estimated 4% of the preschool population has a significant speech or language disorder and communication disorders in school-aged children are often misdiagnosed as learning disabilities or behavioural problems

When a lot of people find out I’m a Speech-Language Pathologist (or SLP for short), I always get the question- “What is that?” “Do you like help people talk better?” [BIG SIGH]. Well, not exactly. We do a lot more than that. And really, our name’s kind of a misrepresentation of our field. My response to those questions, normally starts off with- “You know those kids who can’t say their /r/ or have a lisp? I treat those children and help them say their sounds properly.” But in reality, we do so much more than that… We can work with clients who are newborn infants all the way to adults in Nursing homes. We work with infants who have feeding problems, young children who are delayed in their language development or their speech sounds, children who stutter, and even children who have voice problems (e.g. they talk too loudly or they yell and scream so much their voice is hoarse 24/7). So, there you have it… We shouldn’t be called Speech-Language Pathologists; we should really be called a Speech-Language-Swallowing-Voice Pathologist.

So enough about WHAT we do… What about HOW we do it? If you walk into one of my therapy sessions right now, here’s a view of what it would look like. There are always toys set up all over the room and lots of games to play. We are always playing games and working on language goals at the same time. The games we play will target specific words/vocabulary or language that I want to practice with your child (e.g. We work on concepts ‘up’ and ‘down’ while playing with a car ramp, where the cars have to go UP and DOWN. Or work on asking questions by playing ‘Guess Who’ and ‘Go Fish’). The entire session is fun, up-beat and loaded with games, so your child is engaged and learning tons of language, while still playing and having a good time. I know it’s been a good session when the kids don’t want to leave and would rather stay and play more games with me.

Come visit us at Canoe Therapy!  You can see the clinic, meet some of the therapists and get to know the team, before even starting an assessment.

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