Wee Talk offers:
- Information about how babies and young children learn to communicate and talk
- Information for parents about how they can help children with communication, speech and language
- Assessments of all communication skills
- Home programming
- Parent education and training
- Individual and group therapy
- Consultative services (in daycares)
- Transition to school support (JK/SK)
- Public education
A speech-language pathologist (SLP) will assess your child’s communication skills. SLPs are trained health care professionals who can assess, identify, and treat difficulties with:
- Speech: Speech is making the sounds that become words—the physical act of talking. It is also called articulation or pronunciation.
- Language: Language is what you understand and what you put out. It includes using words and gestures to say what we mean, and understanding what others say. This also includes grammar and vocabulary, and how you construct your sentences. It also includes your ability to follow directions and to tell stories about things in your world.
- Voice: Voice problems usually include difficulty controlling the pitch, loudness, or quality of your voice.
- Fluency and/or stuttering: Fluency is continuity, smoothness, rate, and effort involved in speaking. Stuttering is the most common fluency disorder. Stuttering is an interruption in the flow of speaking characterized by repetitions, sound prolongations, blocks, interjections, and hesitations, which may affect the rate and rhythm of speech.
During the assessment, the SLP will assess your child using age appropriate toys, books, familiar objects and other items. The SLP also needs your input and will ask you questions about your child’s communication, speech and language skills. At the end of the assessment the SLP will tell you whether your child needs services, and will make suggestions for moving forward.
One caregiver must be with your child during the assessment. If you have other children, please make child care arrangements as siblings are not permitted to join the assessment.
If the SLP recommends direct therapy for your child, you will need to attend a parent orientation session which explains the process moving forward.
Hearing problems may affect your child’s speech and language development.
Your family physician or your SLP may suggest that your child may need to have their hearing checked by an audiologist.
Audiology services are available in most communities. These services are separate from Wee Talk and may be available on a fee-for-service basis or may be covered by OHIP.
If the SLP recommends therapy for your child you will need to attend a parent orientation session prior to your child being put on the Wee Talk wait list.
The SLP will recommend one of the following therapy programs:
Parents are a child’s best teacher and can play a large part in improving their child’s speech and language skills. With home programming, parents/caregivers attend sessions to learn how to support their child with communication and language difficulties. At the end of the sessions your child will be re-assessed by an SLP, who will determine if your child requires additional services.
Research shows that speech and language therapy done with a small group can be very effective in treating certain difficulties.
In group therapy, an SLP will use activities with a group of children to work on communication skills. Your child’s individual needs will be supported in the group setting. Parents continue to be active participants in group therapy.
Group Therapy often runs in the same pattern as individual therapy. At the end of a group cycle, your child will have a re-assessment where the SLP will determine if further support and services are necessary.
Individual therapy is one-to-one speech and language therapy with your child and the SLP. Parents attend the sessions and are active participants in their child’s skill development.
Discharge/Transition to School
Children are discharged from the Wee Talk system for the following reasons:
- A child has achieved age appropriate speech and language goals
- A child is old enough to start senior kindergarten
- Failure to attend appointments or return communication to Wee Talk
- A family moves out of the Wee Talk service area
- Parents decline further services
Transition to School
If your child is receiving Wee Talk services when they are ready to start senior kindergarten, Wee Talk will help with the transition to school. With your consent, Wee Talk will communicate with your child’s school about your child’s speech and language goals.
The school boards in Wellington, Dufferin, and Guelph include the Upper Grand District School Board, Wellington Catholic District School Board, and Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. All three school boards provide school-based speech-language pathology services.
You can find more information about your school’s speech-language pathology services here:
Upper Grand District School Board
Wellington Catholic District School Board
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board