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Speech and Language Services
Speech-language pathologists are trained in a wide range of areas. Many people unfamiliar with the profession think of speech-language pathologists working with individuals who stutter, who have had a stroke, or with children who can’t pronounce words correctly. Our profession encompasses those areas, plus a whole lot more:
Sound production and clarity of speech (articulation): We work to find the underlying causes of sound production errors and make practice in session and at home fun Apraxia (motor planning): Our apraxia therapy involves use of movement to help establish motor planning pathways. We often utilize Nancy Kaufman’s approach to intervention.
Vocabulary: It is important to develop vocabulary skills in an organized manner, targeting information that is related to every day life and the school environment.
Processing disorders: We specialize in working with individuals with auditory and language processing issues, achieving accuracy, speed and endurance in a hierarchy of skills.
Cognitive skills (word finding and organization): Individuals with a variety of language deficits may also present with cognitive impairments. Our trans-disciplinary team has considerable experience in supporting people with cognitive needs.
Grammar/Syntax (verb tenses, pronoun use): These types of errors often coincide with other language challenges. It is important to address them as they can impact both face-to-face and written communication.
Late Talkers: We recognize how frustrating it is for children and their parents when language emerges later than expected. We work to identify the reasons for late language and provide strategies and therapy as needed to nurture language growth in children.
Fluency/Stuttering: Specialized input is often needed to support individuals with significant fluency concerns. We draw on a number of resources and collaborate with other professionals as needed.
Literacy (reading delays, comprehension difficulties, generating and organizing written work): Concerns with literacy cover a wide range of needs. Our team is well-versed in literacy remediation and work closely with educators and parents to improve these skills.
Non-speaking/ Limited speech: Both children and adults with minimal verbal communication can benefit from input from a speech-language pathologist. As new research is being done regarding brain development, we are learning that we can work to increase functional speech well into adulthood. It is also important to look at augmentative communication tools to enhance the ability to interact.
There are few professions as diverse as occupational therapy! OT provides an integral part of our team, supporting a range of skills that comprise the “occupations of life” for children and adults. Here are some of the areas that our occupational therapists address:
- Fine / Visual-motor skills
- Gross motor skills
- Printing / Handwriting
- Writing aids assessments
- Visual perceptual abilities
- Sensory processing
- Self-care skills (feeding, dressing, toileting)
- Accessibility and safety
- Play skills
- Learning skills (attention, organization)
Intensive behavioural Intervention
“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.”
“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