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How do I know if my child needs Speech Therapy?

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My child is already receiving Speech Therapy through a local Pre-School Initiative (or is on the wait-list for this free service). Why should I consider private Speech Therapy in addition?

Public speech therapy provided through the Ontario Pre-School Initiative and other services is a wonderful service that parents are encouraged to take full advantage of. Unfortunately, due to chronic under-funding and tremendous demand the wait list to be eligible for this service is often very lengthy. Once your child is receiving therapy from the program, they will take ‘off-blocks' where no therapy will be provided.

Time is often of the essence when conducting therapy with children. Rather than giving bad habits time to entrench themselves in your child's speech patterns, Dana encourages early intervention to accelerate proper development. Private speech therapy can be commenced to set the stage for successful therapy once your child is accepted into the public system. Many parents also hire Dana during their child's ‘off-block' to ensure that progress that has been made is further built upon. Dana frequently works with the SLP or other service provider.

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My child is a ‘late talker’. Should I be concerned? Won’t he just grow out of it?

Many children start to speak later than their peers, however it is important to note other characteristics of their communication. For example:

  • Has your child had many ear infections?
  • Is he able to communicate his needs in other ways (e.g., pointing)?
  • Does she understand everything you say to her?
  • Are all other areas of development within normal limits?

A speech-language pathologist can perform an assessment of a child’s receptive language (understanding), expressive language, speech sounds, and other areas of development to ascertain if your child is a “late talker” and what steps you can take to help him/her acquire language sooner, or if therapy is recommended for other problems.

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I have a child with Special Needs. Should Speech Therapy be part of her treatment regime?

Absolutely! Communication is an essential part of every person’s life, both young and old. Children with special needs may require intervention to maximize their communication skills. Dana can work with your child’s family, school, and other health-care professionals to provide custom-tailored strategies and solutions. When everyone is working together for your child’s welfare, greater gains can be made.

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My child absolutely cannot sit still – how is he going to benefit from therapy sessions?

Dana has extensive experience dealing with children of all ages in many different settings with many different needs. Dana’s therapy sessions are designed to emulate your child’s playtime routine as much as possible so that sessions more closely resemble an organized play group than a medical appointment.

Dana also places great emphasis on the parent as an active observer AND participant wherever possible. When a parent is able to attend the session Dana will ensure that he or she actively observes the therapy process and is comfortable with guiding the child through any homework assignments that may be provided to fill the time between sessions. The parent is also encouraged to actively participate in therapy sessions to help set and achieve speech and language goals. Parents will get a better understanding and be able to provide more accurate input for goals, as well as learn how and when to model language / speech for children, and when to give feedback.

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Dana Prutschi
Speech-Language Pathologist
146 Markwood Lane
Thornhill, ON L4J 7K6

Tel: 905-763-9867
Fax: 905-763-6516

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