Speech, Language and Hearing Services

Durham District School Board (DDSB) provides students with speech, language and hearing services.

Parents or guardians, students, school staff, or outside agencies can request speech, language and hearing services. Contact your child's teacher or principal for information.

Services

Different services are available based on your child's age and specific needs.

Services for preschool children transitioning to school

Grandview Kids provides speech and language services for preschool. Their services are available to children up to spring of the year they are eligible to enter the second year of Kindergarten (senior Kindergarten). Referrals must be made by December of the year a child is eligible to attend the first year of Kindergarten (junior Kindergarten). Contact: 1-800 304-6180 (info@grandviewkids.ca) to book an appointment.

DDSB speech and language pathologists

After entry to school, DDSB speech and language pathologists offer the following supports depending on the specific needs of the child:

  • Review of the student's school record to address needs
  • Classroom observations
  • Interviews with parents and school personnel
  • Formal and informal assessments
  • Consultations with teachers
  • Kindergarten classroom- modelling and coaching sessions (whole class and guided small groups)
  • Classroom demonstrations and lessons
  • Augmentative and alternative communication support for non-verbal students
  • Programming for school and home
  • Counselling regarding communication skills
  • Screening students for eligibility for external services and making related referrals
  • Speech, language and hearing presentations for staff and parents or guardians to support student success and well-being

Intensive speech and language therapy supports for school aged students

DDSB speech and language pathologists accept referrals for students with moderate to severe articulation, stuttering and voice disorders and determine eligibility for services from Grandview Kids. Speak to your school principal to get a referral.

Private practitioners

Contact the Ontario Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA) to obtain details about accessing private services.

Speech and language assessments

If your child is not meeting the developmental milestones for language, they may benefit from the services of a speech and language pathologist. If you're not sure, you can check the articulation norms of speech development to see if your child's pronunciation is developing at the normal rate.

Hearing loss

If you have a child with suspected or known hearing loss:

  1. Get an audiogram (hearing test) from an audiology clinic or an ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician to show that your child needs hearing support.
  2. Contact your school's Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) or Academic Resource Teacher (ART)
  3. Sign consent for service forms
  4. Wait for the Hearing Resource Teacher to contact you and review the options available for your child.

Detecting hearing loss

Children born with hearing loss, or who develop permanent hearing loss at a young age, are at risk for delayed language development. The sooner you detect hearing loss, the sooner your child will receive support and improve their learning capabilities.

Does your child:

  • Turn up the volume while watching TV
  • Respond inappropriately to questions
  • Not respond when you call them
  • Watch others to imitate what they are doing
  • Have articulation problems or speech and language delays
  • Have problems academically
  • Complain of earaches, ear pain or head noises
  • Have difficulty understanding what people are saying
  • Seem to speak differently from other children their age
  • Have a history of hearing loss in their family

If you answered yes to a few of the questions above or you have concerns, follow the steps above by starting with a hearing test.

Speech and language resources

Here are some resources you can use to support your child at home.

Apps for speech and language

DDSB has created a list of apps for speech and language that will help your child with articulation, storytelling, vocabulary, listening, comprehension, literacy, sequencing and emotional literacy. These apps make practicing language skills fun for your child!

Articulation and speech sounds (expected targets by age)

We have created a list of techniques to help your child with articulation and speech sounds at home. These are easy to implement and will help you support your child's language development.

Phonological awareness resources

We have developed a phonological skills fact sheet, videos and activities to help you practice the essential skills necessary for your child to learn to read and write.

Vocabulary resources

You can help your child improve their vocabulary by using our language on the go fact sheet. Ask your child to identify items at the grocery store and then talk about them together to help with comprehension.

Play and language resources

Our play and language resource encourages you to find ways to improve your child's language skills through play. You can also read our socio-dramatic play resource for more ideas to encourage learning through games.

Speaking multiple languages

If English is not your first language, try using our speaking another language at home resource to offer tips to help your child's language development.

Toddler speech therapy tips

Watch this short video on speech therapy tips for toddlers.

Check out the following speech, language and hearing resources available in your community.

Apraxia KIDS

Apraxia KIDS provides resources for children that have been diagnosed with Apraxia of speech.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks gives resources to help support learning and development.

Canadian Hearing Society

The Canadian Hearing Society offers programs, technology, support and advocacy for individuals with hearing loss.

The Hearing Foundation of Canada

The Hearing Foundation of Canada offers children, parents and educators resources and activities related to hearing and hearing loss.

The Hanen Centre

The Hanen Centre provides programs and educational resources for parents and educators to help support child communication skills.

The International Dyslexia Association of Ontario Branch

The International Dyslexia Association of Ontario Branch provides information, support and advocacy for individuals, parents and educators about dyslexia.

The MOOG Center for Deaf Education

The MOOG Center for Deaf Education provides programs, workshops, and resources to educators working with students that have hearing loss.

Ontario Association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders

The Ontario Association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders provides families with resource and funding to support their children's communication development.

Precious Minds

Precious Minds is a community organization in Durham Region that supports individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Speech and Stuttering Institute

The Speech and Stuttering Institute provides clinical support, research initiatives and educational resources to support speech development.

Durham Deaf Services

Durham Deaf Services provides education and services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Provincial Schools Branch - Ministry of Education

The Provincial Schools Branch of the Ministry of Education runs schools that provide instructions in English and American Sign Language (ASL).

VOICE for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

VOICE is an organization that helps children with hearing loss develop spoken language skills.

The Ontario Association of Speech – Language Pathologists and Audiologists

Find a Pathologist or Audiologist through the Ontario Association of Speech – Language Pathologists and Audiologists.