Speech & Language Services

Find this service near you
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Speech-language pathology provides assessment, treatment, education and referrals for patients with various communication or swallowing disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a cost for speech and language services for children (0-5 years)?

    There is no charge.

  • What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

    It is important for children to have good communication skills. These skills help them learn and make friends. If preschoolers have problems speaking or learning to communicate, a SpeechLanguage Pathologist (SLP) can help.

    The SLP is interested in your child’s speaking, listening, and thinking skills. The SLP can give your child a speech/language assessment. The assessment helps the SLP determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses. You can refer your child for an assessment at the Community Health Centre/Office in your neighbourhood.

    The SLP will carefully study your child’s speech and language skills during the assessment. The SLP will use toys, books, and pictures to find out how your child does the following:

    • Makes and pronounces sounds,
    • understands words, sentences, questions, and directions,
    • hears and listens,
    • uses words to talk about ideas and feelings,
    • uses grammar and sentences,
    • moves his/her tongue and lips,
    • uses his/her voice

    The SLP is also interested in the structure of your child’s mouth and if your child stutters. Afterwards, you and the SLP will discuss the assessment and decide if your child needs to work with an SLP. If your child needs therapy, the SLP will inform you where it will take place, what time, how often, and how you can help. There is no charge for speech and language services for preschoolers. Call the SLP at your Community Health Centre/Office if you have any questions.

  • When should I bring my child to a Speech-Language Pathologist?

    See a Speech-Language Pathologist if:

    Understanding and using language

    • Your 2-year-old is not talking.
    • Your 3-year-old does not use 3-word sentences most of the time.
    • Your 4-year-old only uses sentences that are four words long.
    • Your child does not seem to understand what you or others say and cannot follow directions.

    Hearing

    • Often has ear infections and learned to speak later than most other children.
    • Only responds to people if your child can see them. 

    Voice

    • Has an unusual voice (scratchy, raspy or nasal sounding).

    Communicating with others

    • Cannot or seems not to want to start conversations with parents, caregivers or friends. 
    • Is embarrassed and/or frustrated when talking.

    Fluency/stuttering

    • Hesitates or struggles when talking.
    • Repeats words or sounds.
    • Stretches out words.
    • Stops and restarts when talking.

    Making sounds

    • Your 3 or 4-year-old is difficult to understand.

     

Resources

Children aged 0 to 5

Early childhood speech and language services ensure children aged 0-5 years reach their full speech, language, and communication potential.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) use a variety of activities to help children learn new speech and language skills. During the first appointment, the SLP will evaluate how well a child talks and listens. The SLP looks at pronunciation, how well the tongue and lips move, how children understand and use language, and if there are any voice, hearing, or stuttering problems.

In the therapy sessions, the SLP will:

  • Show parents how to help children learn better ways to talk
  • Play games and use books and toys as fun ways to help children learn
  • Check children's progress in communication skills as they grow and develop

SLPs may go to childcare centres and community settings to support teachers and help children communicate better with friends.

Home and community care

This service provides screening, assessment, education and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders in adult and older adult clients in their homes.

Clients aged 19 and over must be assessed for eligibility by a health-care professional. Contact your community's home and community care access line to learn about accessing this service.

  • If you have been hospitalized, a VCH Transition Team staff will handle referrals from the hospital to a community health centre near you. 
  • You can contact your community health centre directly if you are already receiving home care services and need additional help.

Find this service near you

OR
  • Other

    999 West Broadway

    999 West Broadway, 3rd Floor Vancouver
  • Community health centres

    Central Community Health Centre

    132 West Esplanade North Vancouver
  • Community health centres

    Evergreen Community Health Centre

    3425 Crowley Drive Vancouver
  • Long term care homes

    Holy Family Hospital

    7801 Argyle St Vancouver
  • Lions Gate Hospital (LGH)

    231 East 15th Street North Vancouver
  • Community health centres

    Pacific Spirit Community Health Centre

    2110 West 43rd Avenue Vancouver
  • qathet General Hospital

    5000 Joyce Avenue Powell River
  • Community health centres

    Raven Song Community Health Centre

    2450 Ontario Street Vancouver
  • Richmond Hospital (RH)

    7000 Westminster Highway Richmond
  • Other

    Richmond Place – 8100 Granville Avenue

    8100 Granville Avenue Richmond
  • Community health centres

    Robert & Lily Lee Family Community Health Centre

    1669 East Broadway Vancouver
  • Community health centres

    Sechelt Health Unit

    PO Box 1040, 5571 Inlet Avenue Sechelt
  • Community health centres

    South Community Health Centre

    6405 Knight Street Vancouver
  • Community health centres

    Squamish Community Health Centre

    1140 Hunter Place Squamish
  • Community health centres

    Three Bridges Community Health Centre (West End)

    1128 Hornby Street Vancouver
  • Vancouver General Hospital (VGH)

    899 West 12th Avenue Vancouver
  • Community health centres

    West Vancouver Community Health Centre

    2121 Marine Drive West Vancouver
  • Community health centres

    Whistler Health Care Centre

    4380 Lorimer Road Whistler