Group therapy is a fun and functional way to learn new skills and practice goals in a realistic setting. It is important to get the one-on-one support you need in order to learn new skills, but mastering and transferring your skills to the real world takes place when you practice what you have learned outside of one-on-one settings. The one-on-one therapy environment, free of distractions, is quite different from real-life classrooms, social outings, and workplaces.
Group therapy offers a supportive and trusting environment that provides opportunities to teach and learn from your peers, build confidence through newfound relationships, practice skills in a realistic setting that mimics a real world environment (social experience with friends, classroom, etc.), and has the added benefit of cost efficiency.
The Aphasia Gym
We are re-launching our weekly Aphasia Gym!
Aphasia is a communication problem following a stroke or brain injury that affects the language areas of the brain. It may result in difficulty in any or all areas of communication: speaking, reading, writing, understanding, drawing, and using gestures. It does not affect intelligence and people with Aphasia “know more than they can say.”
The Aphasia Gym is designed for people:
- who have Aphasia (chronic or progressive in nature) and for others who know more than they can say
- who are living at home or residing in long-term care facilities
- who can maintain attention for at least 35 minutes
- who are able to participate in a group setting
The Aphasia Gym will focus on the following:
- participating in conversation
- discussing current events and topics
- asking and answering questions
- making thoughts and opinions known to others through various modes of communication (speech, gesture, writing, drawing, etc.)
- improving communication confidence
- making social connections
Aphasia Gym Days:
- Tuesdays in Grimsby – 1:30-2:45
- Wednesdays in Burlington – 1:30-2:45
- Thursdays in Cambridge – 1:30-2:45
Please contact us to register!
Members of the Aphasia Gym may be eligible to submit the cost under extended health benefits, provided that they attend one of the 4-5 sessions offered within the month. The Aphasia Gym may also be funded through Veterans Affairs.
S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks is thrilled to announce the introduction of ComMusicate Groups to its intervention options for children. Originally developed by Noreen Donnell, Music Therapist, and Kim Kearns-Pace, Speech-Language Pathologist, ComMusicate Groups (formerly “Music Express”) offer intensive, custom & choreographed, small-group intervention to children with communication disorders. Each program addresses issues such as speech and language delays/disorders and social and non-verbal communication difficulties by providing captivating, therapeutic, musical activities to target individualized goals. Musical elements such as tempo, rhythm, pitch, melody and dynamics provide opportunities for emotional awareness, self-regulation, and creative self-expression.
The groups at SpeechWorks will be facilitated by Noreen Donnell, MT, and Corina Murphy, SLP. These therapists have a combined experience of over 50 years in the field of paediatric Speech, Language and Music intervention. They have worked together extensively to develop an unprecedented program with a holistic treatment approach for children who have complex disorders involving self-regulation, non-verbal and social communication, language, speech and/or motor skills.
Spring/Summer ComMusicate Groups:
4 week program
Dates: April 22 & 29 and May 6 & 13
SpeechWorks and ComMusicate are strongly dedicated to research, education and training. Data collected throughout the group intervention may, with parent permission, be used to determine the efficacy of the ComMusicate Model (i.e. Music Therapy/Speech Language Pathology collaborative intervention). As well, each group will involve at least one SLP and/or MT trainee, thereby increasing the client to staff ratio to 2:1.
This service is eligible for coverage under most extended health benefits plans.
Brain Injury/Stroke Group Therapy Options
S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks has been offering groups for our clients with acquired brain injury for many years. Our practice is made up of a team of Speech-Language Pathologists who have the luxury of higher numbers of clients working towards similar goals which can be matched for group opportunities. The groups have been so successful for our clients that we have opened participation up to clients from outside our agency, even those working with another Speech-Language Pathologist who may not be able to provide group opportunities. Indeed, even if you do not have a Speech-Language Pathologist, but have one or more communication goals that you are working on, we would love to help. We do our best to match individuals with others who will help to foster improvement of communication in the best way possible. We take into account psychological, emotional, and impairment based factors. We offer the opportunity for new clients to participate in a brief complimentary consultation in person or over the phone to determine whether a group is right for you. You may be invited to “check out” one or more of our groups to see whether you feel it will be a good fit for your needs.
Healthy Minds is an opportunity, through direct feedback in both structured and informal tasks, to work on cognitive-communication goals and conversation skills in a group environment with the support of peers facing similar challenges. This group provides support, group problem solving, and facilitates increased insight through discussion of problematic life situations and difficulties experienced.
meets monthly ● appropriate for adolescents & young and mature adults
Conversation Connection offers indirect feedback and practice of conversation and social skills in an informal group setting. This group provides the opportunity to address communication goals through shared experience and supportive camaraderie with peers with shared difficulties.
meets bi-weekly ● appropriate for adolescents & young and mature adults
THE APHASIA GYM
The Aphasia Gym is a participation-based opportunity for those with communication barriers to create social connections, express thoughts, and understand others. Participants are supported through the use of visual and written supports (Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia ™) to assist with expression and comprehension.
meets weekly ● appropriate for adults of all ages with communication barriers
SOCIAL THINKING ®
Social Thinking ® is a unique group opportunity based on the work of Michelle Garcia-Winner. This group provides an opportunity to increase awareness of challenges with social skills and to learn the skills necessary for change in a comfortable environment surrounded by peers that share the same struggles. This group promotes building of social interactions, building of friendships, and conversation.
6 week program ● groups available for children through adults
Transgender Voice & Communication Group
S. L. Hunter SpeechWorks is proud to offer a transgender voice and communication group! This group is for those individuals looking to modify their voice (pitch, intonation and resonance patterns), communication style, and body language to suit their identity, in a positive and supportive environment. The group runs every 3 weeks for 5 sessions in total. Cost is $575. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-637-5522 ext. 224 for more information and to register.
Social Skills Groups
At S.L. HUNTER SpeechWorks, we support the importance of social skills development with our clients of all ages. In particular, those clients with ASD, nonverbal learning disabilities, brain injury, anxiety, or simply social skills that have not developed fully often require extra support and reinforcement around how to use their social skills with others in the community, home, school and/or workplace. The issue of social skills and communication confidence is essential to self-esteem and should not be underestimated in the role they play in social competency and adjustment. Social skill deficits may include impulsive or socially inappropriate behaviour, social isolation/difficulty making friends, violation of personal space, talking too much or too little, selfishness, lack of empathy, difficulty with understanding and using teasing/sarcasm and difficulty handling conflict.
The social skills programs through this agency are designed to support the development of social skills and peer interaction by teaching new skills and strategies and providing practice with peers. Individuals may be grouped together based on common goals for social skills development or improvement.
Currently S.L. HUNTER SpeechWorks offers several social communication groups including:
- young boys group (ages 9-12)
- men’s group (ages 18+)
- young girls group (ages 9-12)
For more information on any of these group programs, please contact us at email@example.com or 905-637-5522. If you do not see a group program here that fits your needs, please feel free to contact us so that we can tailor a social group/pairing for your particular needs/skills.