Frequently Asked Questions

What are your rates?

Our current rates can be found on our rates page – click here.

How do most people pay for services?

Our services are covered by most health benefit plans. Other individuals get financial support from charitable organizations or pay out of pocket.

What are the benefits of the OT and SLP assessing and treating together?

Many of the clients we serve have complex needs in a variety of areas. When we work together, we gain a better understanding of how various parts of the brain impact each other.

Here are some examples:
A child with sensory processing needs requires the assistance of an OT to become more regulated so he can focus and learn during language activities.

A child with limited fine motor skills benefits from strategies and techniques from the OT to participate in play and crafts during a speech session

An individual with difficulty understanding language might require strategies from the SLP in order to successfully complete the tasks that the OT is asking

A youth with difficulties with reading and writing will often make faster gains in these areas if the OT works on the fine motor components such as pencil grip and letter formation, while the SLP works on reading comprehension and organization of ideas when writing.

Adults with developmental delays frequently benefit from the efforts of the OT to increase their involvement in meaningful activities, to create a foundation for the development of communication skills.

What is the role of the therapy assistants?

Our therapy assistants rock! We are so pleased to have their services as a more cost-effective option for many of our clients. While assistants are not allowed under professional guidelines to assess clients, they are masters at treating individuals with a wide range of needs.

Many types of speech and language needs can be treated by an assistant, under the direction of the SLP. Similarly, an array of fine motor and visual motor needs can be met by the assistants under the guidance of the OT.

In addition, our therapy assistants often implement programs that combine OT and SLP goals into an integrated approach. In these cases, the OT and SLP both review the program and update the goals and strategies needed.

How do you decide on the frequency of therapy sessions?

Deciding on the best service delivery model is a team decision, which is ultimately made by the client and/or the family. In some cases, we do assessments only and make recommendations for parents/teachers/support staff to implement. Other individuals are seen annually, or two or three times over the course of a year to make recommendations.

Some individuals are seen monthly, bi-weekly or weekly.

The frequency of services is determined by a combination of factors: severity of the needs, potential for change through direct treatment, complementary services provided by other agencies, cost and budget.

Do you run groups?

We do run groups to target a variety of populations: those with articulation or language difficulties, fine motor, writing skills, social skills, etc. Sometimes we select clients who have been receiving individual therapy for groups, if we feel they would benefit from generalizing their skills or practicing in a different way through group dynamics. We also offer other groups which anyone can inquire about and register for. Please check out our “Coming Events” link for additional information.

How did you get to be so awesome?

Well, thank you for asking! We do our best to bring our years of experience to each client and start the day with a positive attitude. It is a privilege to be welcomed into the lives of our clients, and we try to never take that privilege for granted.

What are the benefits of working with a music therapist?

There are many benefits to music therapy!  Music is shown to stimulate many areas in the brain, making it an ideal avenue for developing new neural connections.  Plus, many children love music and are motivated by it.  Music therapy can be used to help children develop gross motor and fine motor skills, speech and language, as well as confidence, self-esteem and social skills.

What is Music Speaks?

Music Speaks is a program developed jointly by our talented music therapist (Heidi Flynn) and speech-language pathologist (Joyce Hignett).  Music Speaks is designed to develop attending, social skills, speech sounds (articulation), receptive and expressive language, as well as early literacy and gross motor coordination.   It has been very effective with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, and other speech and language difficulties.

Do you offer Intensive Behavioural Intervention services?

Speak Freely Therapy Services has a long-standing history of working with numerous agencies and individuals that provide IBI.  The clinic is in the process of developing its own unique Behavioural Intervention services that will combine home-based and clinic-based interventions.

What are some of your services for young adults?

Teens and young adults who have learning difficulties have different needs than younger children.

While we offer individual services for teens, we find that they often thrive in a group setting where they can be with their peers.  We have organized and facilitated groups for individuals with Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders with very positive results.  Contact us to see how we can best support your teenager.


“Joyce Hignett and her staff are knowledgeable and thorough. They know when to push and when to let up. My child gets the full undivided attention of his therapist when he is at Speak Freely and I find he learns more in his one hour session than I ever expected. My child has been with Speak Freely Therapy Services since opening.”

– parent

“There are no ulterior motives at Speak Freely Therapy Services. These are dedicated professionals who give 100% of themselves with the best interest of your child in mind. Highly expert, friendly, compassionate, with a high degree of integrity: I trust them. Our son has been a regular there for over a year and the gains are amazing. He has grown so much with their help. We’ve used both the OT and speech services and highly, highly recommend.”

– JJ, parent and teacher

“As an educational consultant who has worked with Joyce Hignett over a period of years, I have become aware of her dedication and determination to provide the most comprehensive and effective strategies possible in order to improve the speech/communication issues of her clients. I have been particularly impressed with her very direct, practical approach and that she understands the importance of providing a functional, meaningful context for communication as an integral part of her service.”

– LN, teacher and independent consultant

Our Office

149 Welham Road, Unit 19
Barrie, ON L4N 8Y3

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