About the Speech Clinic
The clinic provides treatment to children with a variety of speech and/or language difficulties.
- Articulation / phonology / oral motor
- Spoken language production
- Spoken language comprehension
- Pragmatics / social use of language
- Voice and resonance
- Cleft lip and palate
- Feeding and swallowing
- Tracheostomy/speaking valves
- Executive functioning
Programs and Referral Process
CHEO is a community partner in the First Words Preschool Speech and Language Program First Words is Ottawa’s Preschool Speech and Language Program for children from birth to eligibility for senior kindergarten. This program helps typically developing preschool children reach their full communication potential. First Words focuses on the prevention, early identification and treatment of speech and language problems. Referrals to First Words can be made directly through accessing a free screening clinic in their community. At a screening clinic, parents and their child will meet a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who will screen the child for signs of a speech and/or language delay. Parents have the chance to ask the SLP questions about any of their concerns.
Referrals to First Words may also be made directly to the service by the physician/pediatrician (fax: 613-738-4893) or the parent (phone: 613-737-7600 ext. 2500). For more information and to view the upcoming screening clinic schedule, please visit First words. When neuro-developmental concerns are suspected, please contact Intake services at the Ottawa-Children’s Treatment Centre. Phone 613-737-0871, ext. 4425, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleft Lip and Palate:
The Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP) functions as a contributing member of the Cleft Lip & Palate Team to provide speech and language services to children with cleft of the lip and palate, submucous cleft and idiopathic resonance abnormalities who live in the Champlain region and eastern Quebec. Case conferences are held monthly which ensure close liaison with other disciplines on the inter-professional team particularly Ear-Nose and Throat, Dentistry, Plastic Surgery, and Radiology. As well, patients are prepared for objective studies such as video fluoroscopy and nasoendoscopy. Ongoing evaluation and reevaluation of speech and language development and voice are provided at regular intervals. For preschoolers who live in the Ottawa region, the clinicians work as part of the First Words Program to provide assessment, intervention and consultation. When patients are school aged, the SLP collaborates with SLPs working in school boards and at the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). Assessment and monitoring for out-of-city patients is coordinated with local Preschool Speech and Language Services for preschoolers and through school boards/local hospitals/CCAC for school aged clients.
Referrals to this program are made to the Cleft Lip and Palate Nurse (FAX: 613-738-4893)
The focus of the Voice Program is the management of functional and/or organic vocal disorders for children who live in the Champlain region and eastern Quebec. Speech-Language Pathologists (S-LP), as part of the First Words Program, provide assessment, intervention and consultation to preschoolers with voice difficulties. Counseling is provided to patients, families and school personnel. Children are transferred to the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) for treatment when eligible for senior kindergarten. Referrals for
services for preschool children (up to eligibility for senior kindergarten) are made to the First Words Preschool Speech and Language Program (Fax: 613-738-4893).
Three CHEO S-LPs also participate in Voice Clinics with Ear Nose and Throat specialists. Referrals for school aged children are made to the Ear, Nose and Throat Service at CHEO (Fax: 613-738-4222)
The Speech-Language Pathologist is a member of an inter-professional team that provides services to inpatients of all ages with a tracheostomy including assessment, program planning, possibly a speaking valve, and ongoing monitoring. Areas of assessment/treatment include parent/staff education, communication, swallowing and voice. Liaison is maintained with other staff including Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy, Social Work, Nursing,and Child Life as well as disciplines involved such as Anaesthesia, Ear-Nose-and Throat specialist, Clinical Nutrition and Radiology. For those children who are ventilatordependent, assessment and treatment are coordinated with Respiratory Therapy. The SLP also provides support to clinicians working with outpatient preschoolers who have a tracheostomy, for example children seen through First Words and at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre Referrals are made by a physician/pediatrician to Laurice Henry, S-LP (Fax: 613-738-4893).
Saliva Management Clinic:
The Speech-Language Pathologist is a member of an inter-professional team that provides assessment and consultation to children and youth living in the Champlain and Eastern Quebec region who are referred for excessive drooling. Referrals are made by a physician to the Ear, Nose and Throat Service at CHEO (Fax: 613-738-4222)
Outpatient Inter-professional Feeding Program:
The Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) works with an inter-professional team including Occupational Therapist, Dietitian, Psychologist, Physician, and Rehab Assistant, to provide parent group intervention for preschoolers. The SLP presents on oral motor development as well as speech and language development. Referrals to/from the First Words Program are made by the SLP.
Referrals to the Outpatient Inter-professional Feeding Program are made by the physician/pediatrician to the Occupational Therapy Service at CHEO (Fax: 613-738-4893)
Rehabilitation and other In-Patient Services:
This program is available to residents of Eastern and Northern Ontario and Western Québec from birth to 18 years of age. The Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) is a member of an inter-professional rehabilitation team including Physiatry, Physiotherapy, Social Work, Occupational therapy, Psychology, Education, Nursing, Neuropsychology, Neurology, Communication Disorders Assistant and Child Life. Children admitted with varying etiologies (for example closed head injury, tumor, CVA, near drowning, seizure disorders) are assessed and team intervention is provided throughout the acute phase of recovery. Team rounds are held weekly and family/school conferences are conducted to facilitate reintegration at discharge. Areas of assessment and/or treatment include: cognitive communication, motor speech, language, voice, and oral-motor problems related to feeding and swallowing. A Communicative Disorders Assistant works under the supervision of the SLP to provide intervention and parent education. In addition to working with children as part of the rehabilitation in-patient team, the SLP also works with referred inpatients who present with communication difficulties, or who are at risk for communication difficulties, such as those followed by oncology and complex care services. Referrals for speech/language services for in-patients are made by the attending physician.
This program is available to residents of Eastern and Northern Ontario and Western Québec from birth to 18 years of age. Speech-Language Pathologists and a Communicative Disorders Assistant work with patients transitioned from the in-patient rehabilitation program. Referrals for speech/language services for in-patients transitioning to out-patient care are made by the attending physician.
Typically developing preschool children from western Québec are seen for speech and language services upon referral from their physician/pediatrician. Services include: assessment, intervention and consultation. Parents are encouraged to register with their community service agency (ex. CLSC) so that children are transferred when services are available in Québec or when child is eligible for senior kindergarten in his home school. When neuro-developmental concerns are noted, the SLP refers child to the appropriate service in Quebec. Physician/pediatrician referrals should be faxed to 613-738-4893.
Headstart (OCHAP) Program:
Speech and language services are contracted to the Children’s Integration Support Services, AFCCS, on behalf of OCHAP, for preschoolers between 2-5 years of age. Services at ten Headstart nursery schools include screening, assessment, individual/group treatment, teacher consultation, staff/parent training, and referral to the First Words Preschool Program. When neurodevelopmental concerns are noted, the SLP refers child to the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre. Referrals for speech and language services through the Headstart program are made by Headstart nursery school administrators.
Thursday’s Child Nursery School Program:
Speech and language services are contracted to the Thursdays Child Nursery School (TCNS), Andrew Fleck Childcare Services, for preschoolers with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum disorder between 2 -5 years of age. Services at TCNS include assessment, individual/group treatment, inter-professional collaboration, teacher consultation and staff/parent training.
Mental Health PSU Speech-Language Pathology Programs:
Speech-Language Pathologists work in the Mental Health PSU to provide outpatient speech and language services to the day treatment Steps to Success School Program, Dual Diagnosis Program and to other programs such as Mood and Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Program and the Behavioral Neuroscience Consultation Liaison Team.
Services vary per program and include staff/parent training, assessment, consultation, individual/group intervention, and transition support. Referrals for speech and language services are managed by the individualized mental health programs.
To download the descriptions of our programs and services please click here.
Visit the Kaitlin Atkinson Family Resource Library for resources on speech and language development as well as stuttering.
The Toddler Talk Manual describes the intervention principles supporting a parent-focused program for group treatment of young children with speech and/or language delays. Download the order form for more details.
Growing Up Bilingual: Nurturing What Comes Naturally. Article from Capital Parent magazine.