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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)
- Processing disorders
- Cognitive skills (word finding and organization)
- Grammar/Syntax (verb tenses, pronoun use)
- Late Talkers
- Literacy (reading delays, comprehension difficulties, generating and organizing written work)
- Non-speaking/ Limited speech
- Executive Functions
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)
Our therapy assistants help in so many ways:
- Implement goals from the SLP and/or OT
- Collect data from sessions
- Record subjective and objective information
- Respond to caregiver concerns and refer to the supervising clinician as appropriate
- Fabricate visuals and home program materials
- Make therapy fun!
Having an educational consultant can be a huge benefit to families as well as the treatment team. Their assets include:
- Offer program suggestions and resources from an educational perspective
- Review IEPs and school safety plans and provide guidance
- Attend school conferences and meetings as requested
While we do not offer intensive behavioural programming, we do provide support to address challenging behaviours and improve quality of life. Our experienced consultants are amazing!
- Work with the client, families, and treatment team to analyze the underlying causes of behaviour issues
- Devise strategies and a plan to address behaviours
- Monitor and revise as necessary
Our consulting psychologist is invaluable to the team. They bring a plethora of expertise in the following areas:
- Psychological Services include psychological assessment, consultation and therapy. The focus of a psychological assessment depends on the reason for referral and what the information will be used for. Assessments to investigate learning difficulties are intended to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses, determine if there are specific conditions, disorders or factors interfering with academic progress and adjustment at school. A full assessment will include a range of activities including a review of a child’s development, family history, school functioning as well as standardized testing of thinking and reasoning skills, academic skills and investigation of other areas as needed. A full report with findings and recommendations will be provided, and can be shared with school staff, and others who are providing support.
- Sometimes a full assessment is not needed, but there are concerns about aspects of development or social or mental health adjustment. In these cases, a shorter assessment will be carried out and a report will be provided. There are also situations where consultation is sufficient to assist with the development of recommendations and/or treatment planning for an individual.
- Psychological counselling and therapy is also available to address specific mental health problems that are interfering with functioning and success at home, school or in the community. These include anxiety disorders, depression, management of ADHD, social functioning, and self-regulation difficulties. Psychological counselling is provided for general concerns or to assist with challenges related to parenting, transition to post-secondary school, social difficulties, learning strategies, or other life-challenges.
- Regardless of the services provided, there will always be a discussion about what the goals are for participating in psychological services, and planning will be done to decide how best to address those goals. The type of service, expected length, options and cost will always be discussed, before proceeding.
“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