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requently Asked Questions

1. When should I take my child to see a speech-language pathologist?

If you have any concerns whatsoever regarding your child’s communication abilities, a consultation with a speech-language pathologist is warranted. There is a wide range of what is considered to be “normal” at each stage of development. Some things to watch for include:

  • - Articulation: the child is particularly difficult to understand, or has difficulty saying specific speech sounds
  • - Early language: the child has limited verbal language by age 2, or has difficulty understanding simple questions or following basic commands
  • - Preschool/School-aged language: the child has difficulty following directions, answering questions, or expressing himself.
  • - Learning difficulties: reading comprehension and writing are difficult for the child at any level (early elementary to high school).
  • - Stuttering: the child is frequently repeating sounds or words, speech is not flowing smoothly, or there are visible signs of tension or distress when talking
  • - Voice: the child’s voice sounds particularly hoarse (in the absence of a cold or allergies) or is excessively loud or soft
  • - Swallowing: the child is experiencing difficulties with feeding or swallowing (such as reduced oral control, tongue thrust)
  • - Social communication: the child has difficulty interacting appropriately with peers, other children or adults

2. When should an adult see a speech-language pathologist?

If you have any concerns about communication or swallowing, a consultation with a speech-language pathologist is warranted. You are never too old to make positive changes to how you communicate! Specific areas of concern that we can assist you with include:

  • - Accent Reduction: if your speech is difficult to understand by employers, colleagues, customers, or social contacts
  • - Articulation: if sound difficulties affect your speech quality (e.g., a lisp, difficulties with “r” sound)
  • - Hearing-related communication difficulties
  • - Neurologically-based problems which impact communication (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Brain Injury)
  • - Reading comprehension or writing challenges which impact on educational or vocational success
  • - Voice difficulties (e.g., when the voice sounds hoarse or strained in the absence of a cold or allergies)
  • - Stuttering
  • - Swallowing challenges with various food textures and fluid consistencies

3. Are all your speech-language pathologists registered?

In order to practice as a speech-language pathologist in the province, we must be registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia (CSHHPBC). Each of our therapists is also registered with the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA).

All of our speech-language pathologists can provide services to children over the age of six who have a diagnosis of Autism. Three of our therapists are also on the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP) in order to provide services to children under the age of 6.

4. Is a doctor’s referral required to see a speech-language pathologist?

We can see both adults and children without a doctor’s referral. However, some extended health insurance plans require a referral in order to reimburse the client for fees paid. Please check with your individual insurance policy in order to determine the specific limitations and requirements of your plan.

5. What kind of payments do you accept?

Payments must be received by our company via cash, cheque or credit card (VISA or Mastercard) at the time the services are provided unless a written agreement has been set up with an external funding source. Please note that we are unable to directly bill our services to your Extended Health Plans.

6. Can we access any speech-language pathology services for free?

For children, services may be available through your child’s school or through local health departments or child development agencies. However, waitlists for these services are often lengthy or services are limited. Many families choose to see a private speech-language pathologist due to these reasons.

For adult services, some hospitals offer outpatient services to patients, particularly after they have been discharged from hospital. Please check with your local hospital to determine if any services are available for your specific needs.

There are often ways to secure funding for clients who are unable to pay the costs for private treatment. Please contact us if you would like more information regarding alternate sources of funding.

7. How many sessions will we need?

It depends. Each client will have an individualized program. The amount of time required will depend on the specific needs of the client and the concerns identified. Some clients only require one or two sessions, whereas some clients are with us for extended periods of time. Your speech-language pathologist will be able to give you a better idea regarding the duration of treatment once an assessment has been completed, or once therapy has been initiated.