Speech and Language Services for Children

At Bridges & Blooms, we provide individualized, family-centred services and therapy programs specially tailored to meet your child’s needs. We provide comprehensive speech and language assessments, consultation sessions, and therapy for children birth through adolescence with a variety of speech and language challenges. Some children may experience speech/language difficulties in isolation while others may experience several challenges as part of a larger delay or neurological condition. At Bridges & Blooms, we will collaborate with other professionals, ensure that your concerns are addressed, and develop a treatment plan that will help your child realize their potential and become a confident communicator.

As children babble and learn to talk, they develop speech sounds in a predictable sequence.  Sometimes this sequence of development can be interrupted, delayed, or out of order.  At Bridges & Blooms, we start by providing an in-depth speech sound assessment to determine which sounds your child is having difficulty with and why.  Whether it is a challenge in articulating a specific sound, or a difference in the way your child’s sound system is developing, your Speech-Language Pathologist, guided by assessment results and your input, will come up with a detailed treatment plan to target specific goals in sequence.  Therapy sessions involve fun activities and games to practice target sounds in natural contexts.  Materials for daily home practice will be provided at the end of each session to ensure you have the necessary tools to maximize your child’s learning, ensure carry over of skills outside of the therapy setting, and optimize your child’s progress and success. 
Language delays include delays in using first words, difficulties developing and understanding vocabulary, challenges using appropriate grammar and sentence structure, difficulty understanding concepts or following directions, and challenges processing language. At Bridges & Blooms we have the tools to provide your child with a comprehensive language assessment.  We will work with you to set realistic goals that are meaningful, motivating and above all, functional.  Therapy programs are strongly rooted in our philosophy of family-centred care, and the knowledge that children learn best from familiar people in activities that are a part of their daily routines.  As parents and caregivers, you will be involved in therapy sessions to make sure the skills we are practicing are useful and meaningful for you and your child, and to ensure that you have the tools you need to continue building your child’s language skills at home.
We provide both assessment and treatment services for children who are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or who present with similar developmental challenges. Such challenges may include delays in preverbal communication skills (e.g., imitation, joint attention, emotional co-regulation, gesture use) and verbal communication skills (e.g., using words and sentences, having conversations, telling stories). Children with ASD often have delays in their understanding of language and in some of these children, their verbal language and reading skills may appear better than their understanding of language.

Our approach to treating children with ASD is strongly rooted in a developmental paradigm – we look to typical developmental processes to guide us when starting our intervention. We use a lot of naturalistic teaching and parent coaching in the early stages of treatment and we feel it is extremely important to form strong working relationships with the children and families that we are involved with. As such, we work with a small number of ASD children at any given time in order to ensure that we can provide the best intervention possible.

For older children, we may use more structured teaching activities or process based approaches which, rather than focusing on isolated skill mastery, focus on processing language in increasingly more complex contexts. An example of this would be the Visualizing and Verbalizing® Program for language comprehension and thinking.

Social language difficulties include challenges with play skills, conversations, storytelling, and problem solving.  At Bridges & Blooms we believe that children learn best in natural contexts with familiar people.  We will work with you and your child in individual or group therapy sessions to target these skills and build a solid foundation for your child.  We will also work with you to develop ideas to target these skills at home, at preschool, or at school. We are available for occasional home or preschool/daycare consultations to help extend these skills into everyday social settings with siblings and peers.
Some children may experience difficulties communicating due to motor speech disorders such as childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) or dysarthria.  These disorders affect the signals that travel from the brain to the speech muscles, or affect the muscles themselves, resulting in unclear speech and/or delayed expressive language skills.  At Bridges & Blooms we have an in-depth understanding of motor speech anatomy and physiology.  We will provide your child with a comprehensive oral motor assessment to look at the structures necessary for speech and how they are moving and working together.  We will develop an individualized treatment plan for your child based on our findings, and incorporate the latest treatment evidence in the field along with recommendations from medical professionals as appropriate.
Young children may go through a period of typical or developmental disfluency as their language skills develop. This disfluency usually emerges between the ages of two and five. There are particular types of disfluencies, genetic factors, and environmental considerations that place a child at risk for stuttering. If you are concerned about your child’s speech, or if the disfluencies are negatively impacting his/her ability to communicate, consulting a Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP) is warranted. An S-LP may give you some strategies to use at home and recommend close monitoring of your child’s speech for a period of 3-6 months. As every child is unique, the treatment approach your S-LP may suggest will be based on a variety of factors and must be tailored to fit within your family’s lifestyle. At Bridges & Blooms, we are also trained in the Lidcombe Program for Early Intervention for Stuttering, which could be beneficial for some children.
Some children may have difficulties with aspects of voice including loudness, pitch, and rate. These difficulties are often seen in children with neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy. Children may also present with challenges using appropriate resonance; for example, their speech may sound excessively ‘nasal’ (hypernasal) or it may sound like they are always congested (hyponasal). Often children with craniofacial conditions such as cleft palate experience such difficulties. At Bridges & Blooms, we work in collaboration with other professionals such as otolaryngologists (Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Physicians) to ensure that treatment will be beneficial. An ENT report will give us important diagnostic information, particularly whether the structures used for speech (velopharyngeal and laryngeal structures) are sufficiently developed.
Children who are Deaf/hard of hearing and their families are faced with unique challenges as they enter the school system.  Issues such as access to information in the classroom, use of appropriate assistive technology, and ensuring proper supports, are important to address.  At Bridges & Blooms, we have an in-depth understanding of these challenges and specialized experience working with children who are Deaf/hard of hearing.  We will work in collaboration with your audiologist and school district staff (e.g. classroom teacher, teacher of the Deaf/hard of hearing, school SLP, integration support teacher) to ensure that your child’s needs are being met, and to provide your child with the necessary speech and language therapy to help him/her succeed and thrive.

What our clients say

Alex was my daughter’s speech therapist for 2 years. I feel that Alex’s vast knowledge combined with her warm and caring personality greatly helped my daughter. Alex has many fun ways to teach and was very sensitive to my daughter’s moods and personality. Continue Reading

Parent of preschooler

We were extremely fortunate to have Alexandra as our son’s speech therapist. Alex was very knowledgeable about speech development and giving us strategies that we could use at home to help him improve his speech. Our son always looked forward to speech sessions, which were fun, playful and very productive... Continue Reading

Parent of preschooler