Is Extra School Assistance Enough for Children with Speech or Language Disorders?

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow,

yet we forget that he is someone today.”

– Attributed to Stacia Tauscher

It’s not uncommon for speech or language disorders in children to go undetected until they reach school age. Sometimes, it takes an objective third party, who knows and understands children and their typical developmental stages and milestones to perceive a difficulty or delay in communication skills.

When teachers are concerned about some aspect of a student’s ability to communicate, many school boards have access to Speech-Language Pathologists they can call on to conduct assessments.

Unfortunately, in this age of sweeping financial cutbacks and limited resources it’s likely such in-school professionals will have limits on the amount of time they can devote to developing or providing one-on-one treatment for each child that might need or benefit from this assistance. As a parent, you’re wise not to assume that the help your son or daughter might receive at school will be enough to overcome whatever difficulties they are experiencing with speech or language.

As your child’s most important and effective advocate, speak with the teacher and Speech-Language Pathologist involved, to find out about their concerns and recommendations. And if you learn that additional help would be beneficial to your child, take heart and then take action! Help is nearby and early intervention is always beneficial.

S.L. Hunter & Associates provides a complete range of assessments and treatments for children in their development of speech, language, communication and swallowing. Any parent that has concerns in these areas is welcome to contact the clinic to set up an appointment.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at


The Differences between Speech and Language Disorders

“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”

– Anthony Robbins


When it comes to communication there are two distinct categories of disorder: those of speech and those of language.

The term ‘speech disorder’ is used when an individual cannot produce sounds correctly (such as in articulation disorders) or fluently (such as in stuttering), or when they have difficulty with their voice.

The term “language disorder” is used when a person has problems understanding others (receptive language), or when they have difficulty putting their own thoughts, ideas and feelings into words (expressive language).

People of all ages can experience both types of disorders and both can develop as the result of other known conditions, or can arise from no known cause. In adults, communication disorders are typically acquired as a result of issues such as stroke, head injury, dementia, neurological diseases, hearing loss, tumours, neurological disorders, respiratory illness or side effects of medication.

According to the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists, one out of ten Canadians lives with a serious communication disorder. Fortunately help is available. All across Canada, Speech-Language Pathologists work with adults and children to assess difficulties and develop treatment plans that can help to alleviate symptoms and overcome problems.

Every day, people are improving their communication skills and thus their quality of life.

No matter what the communication challenge is, S.L. Hunter & Associates has an entire team of highly skilled and innovative Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants to help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at


Are There Any Home Teaching Tools that Can Help with Speech & Language Disorders?

There are countless home teaching tools and innovative techniques that parents can use to help children in overcoming their speech and language difficulties.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates, our experienced and highly trained clinicians tailor such tools to the unique needs of each individual client. We encourage parents to attend their child’s treatment sessions whenever possible, so that they can learn tips and strategies to work with their child at home. In the event the parent cannot remain in the session, we review what was discussed and practiced at each session’s conclusion, in order that they can reinforce the same concepts and strategies throughout the week.

We also provide homework after each session, so children can practice and incorporate successful speech and language skills into their everyday lives. Doing so enables each child to experience success and grow in confidence with the love and support of the home environment.

But there’s a lot you can do – as a parent – to help your children in with their speech and language development long before they start to talk!

  • talk to babies and young children, keeping your voice expressive and your sentences short and simple;
  • talk about events as they are happening, varying your vocabulary to keep your child interested, engaged and learning;
  • speak face to face with your child, maintaining eye contact;
  • use lots of facial expression and vary your tone of voice; and
  • read and sing with and to your children.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates we care about your child’s progress and delight in their accomplishments. Careful consideration is given to matching the needs of each child with the skills and personality of the Speech-Language Pathologist. We are here to help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at

Can Speech or Language Problems Prevent My Child From Learning Properly?

The short answer is ‘yes.’ When a child has difficulty forming clear and distinct sounds in speech – using a ‘w’ for an ‘r’ for example – their reading, writing and spelling may be negatively affected. That’s because beginning readers tend to sound words out – particularly if they read phonetically – so articulation problems can also affect the child’s spelling and vocabulary development.

Language problems – that is, delays or difficulties with vocabulary, linguistic or grammatical concepts – may impact all facets of a child’s academic learning. If a child has a root problem with hearing or auditory processing (the brain’s ability to interpret the sounds it absorbs) for instance, not only will they have an issue with language, but they may also be experiencing difficulty following directions in class. If they have an insufficiently developed vocabulary, they may struggle to label items correctly, to converse with adults or peers, or to generate complex sentences.

Some children experience a disconnect between receptive language (what they understand) and expressive language (what they use). They may have good comprehension and understand the words others speak to them, but don’t use the words themselves. Such children may understand the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ for example, but only use ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ in their own communication.

When it comes to speech and language development, children need repetition. They need to hear things multiple times in order to process that information, internalize it and then be able to use it in appropriate ways.

If you suspect a problem with your child’s speech or language development, it’s wise to seek a professional assessment. Speech-Language Pathologists draw on years of higher education and training in order to evaluate and treat a wide range of communication disorders and difficulties.

S.L. Hunter & Associates is here to help. Our team of dedicated, innovative Speech-Language Pathologists can assist in helping you help your child overcome their communication difficulties.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at