Relationship Challenges As A Result of Speech and Language Difficulties

Author and speaker Anthony Robbins has observed that, “the way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” It also determines the quality of our relationships.

There is nothing more important to any relationship than communication. The ability to make the thoughts and feelings of our minds and hearts known to others is an essential part of what it means to be human. So if communication is impaired in some way relationships can become strained.

When speech and language difficulties arise suddenly, as the result of a disease or disability for example, the potential for communication challenges increase. Suddenly, there may be higher needs in the relationship and a spouse or life partner might find themselves in the unanticipated role of caregiver. Both individuals may experience a great deal of frustration resulting from the loss of communication skills.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates, our team of Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants consider all the needs of the individual when establishing a relationship with a new client. Counseling may be incorporated into therapy to help caregivers develop realistic expectations for improvement as well as strategies for responding appropriately when challenges arise. Clients and their families are involved in the therapy process to help everyone understand the impact the disorder may be having on their loved one.

If you or a loved one struggles to communicate you are not alone. Communication disorders can develop at any age. According to the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists, one out of 10 Canadians lives with a serious communication disorder.

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


Some Cancer Survivors Could Benefit From Speech and Language Intervention

“Although there may be tragedy in your life, there’s always a possibility to triumph. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph

begins with you. Always.”

– Oprah Winfrey


Cancer. There are few of us whose lives haven’t been touched in some way by this disease. While cancers of the head and neck have historically been among the more infrequent kinds of cancers, doctors say that today they are on the rise.

According to the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology, more than 4,300 Canadians will develop cancer of the head and neck this year. Fortunately, when identified early these kinds of cancers respond well to treatment.

An entire team of medical specialists may be called on to treat cancers that develop in the head and/or neck regions of the body. The professionals involved vary, depending on the exact location of the cancer, but for survivors of laryngeal, thyroid, nasopharyngeal and tongue cancers (among others) speech and language intervention is beneficial.

Radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgical removal of tissues necessary for the production of speech may change or eliminate an individual’s voice. A trained Speech-Language Pathologist can provide the intervention necessary to enable these individuals to communicate confidently again. The ability to speak intelligibly and clearly again can be achieved using a broad range of treatment options, such as articulation therapy or the introduction of prosthetics or electronic devices.

Speech-Language Pathologists also monitor and deal with the changes in swallowing that can occur with various head and neck cancers. Clients can learn to select the most appropriate foods and liquids to consume to avoid swallowing challenges.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates, the clinicians are optimistic, caring professionals who work in a variety of settings to help individuals learn to communicate confidently. If you have concerns about your speech, language, swallowing, or communication skills feel free to contact the clinic to arrange for an assessment.

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


Intervention for Children with Autism

The developmental disorder known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) presents itself in many different ways. There is often a significant connection between ASD and speech and language difficulties; however, some children with ASD can be very verbal. For those who struggle with communication issues, intervention with a Speech-Language Pathologist can be highly beneficial.

An experienced Speech-Language Pathologist can develop communication systems that are appropriate for the unique needs of the child. Goals may include working on speech and language development in addition to social skills such as maintaining eye contact. Clinicians also work in conjunction with parents and other therapists (such as Occupational or Behavioural Therapists) to ensure new strategies for improved communication are incorporated into the child’s normal routine.

At S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks, there is a team of highly skilled Speech-Language Pathologists who can assess and treat the communication difficulties associated with ASD. The goal of the clinicians is to establish a good rapport with every child to ensure that they feel relaxed, supported and safe as they practice new skills and work toward achievable goals.

The first step is to call for an assessment. Completing an assessment gives the clinician an accurate representation of the child’s communication skills using both informal observations and formal diagnostic tools. Every assessment is different, based on the unique needs of the individual.

The offices of S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. To make an appointment, call 905-637-5522 or visit them online at


Is Your Child Acting Up Because of a Communication Disorder?

A child needs your love most when he deserves it least.”

–          Erma Bombeck

There are countless possible reasons for a child to misbehave. Most parents are familiar with the tantrums in toddlers that can be traced to a missed nap, or the simple need for a snack. Many have experienced a child who is uncooperative after a bad day at school or the child who comes home in tears.

But what some parents may not know is that some children use inappropriate behaviors to mask insecurities they may be feeling related to speech and/or language difficulties.

Speech-Language Pathologists are familiar with these behaviors. The class clown who is often acting silly may be trying to redirect attention from difficulty understanding the questions posed to him/her or unsure of how to respond accurately. Children who cannot easily make themselves understood may act up as a result of frustration or anxiety they may be feeling.

Temper tantrums, behavioural outbursts, hitting, pushing, biting and crying are all possible signs of a child who is in need of help. This child may be unable to communicate how they are feeling or the difficulties they are experiencing.

As a parent or caregiver, how can you determine if your child has a communication problem or just needs a nap? The key is to look at the situations in which the problem behaviours are occurring. Within these situations try to determine if there is a pattern or a common trigger. Is your child unable to make himself understood, resulting in frustration? Is your child acting silly to distract others from certain situations that require communication?

If your child is demonstrating inappropriate behaviours that you feel might be related to a speech or language difficulty help is available. A Speech-Language Pathologist can assess your child’s unique challenges and help you to develop and implement strategies for overcoming these problems, while addressing the root of some of these behaviours.

S.L. Hunter & Associates provides a complete range of assessment and treatment services for children with speech, language, and communication delays. Any parent that has concerns about their child’s speech and language development is encouraged to contact the clinic to set up an appointment.

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