Did you know that approximately 1 in 10 children require support developing typical speech and language skills?
It is important to know that milestones as early as 6 months of age can begin to impact a child’s speech and language development. In the past, it was common for parents and some professional to take a “wait and see” approach. The hope was that the child would grow out of the problem and catch up naturally. Current research suggests the opposite – why wait?
Identifying concerns and accessing supports early are key! This will help parents/caregivers learn how to support their child and the child will have a better opportunity to make gains and catch up to peers.
Since May is Speech, Hearing and Vision month, I want to encourage you to review our communication checklist and the milestones that we have listed for children aged birth to 4 years of age. If you answer no to one or more of the questions in your child’s age range, it is recommended that you make a referral to Early Abilities for speech and language services.
Early Abilities is a government funded preschool program that provides free services to children from birth to school entry.
Our program is divided into the three areas:
- Preschool Speech and Language Program (PSL)
- Infant Hearing Program (IHP)
- Blind-Low Vision Program (BLV)
The PSL program provides services to approximately 8000 children a year and receives approximately 5000 new referrals each year. There are 20 main locations, (with additional satellite sites within EarlyON centres) throughout Toronto so that families can easily access services.
At Early Abilities our main goals are:
- to improve your understanding of your child’s speech and language skills
- to help you become a partner in your child’s speech and language development
- to provide you with the strategies you will need to work on speech and language goals in your child’s natural environment
For more information:
- Early Abilities
- Help your Child Now for the 3 part video series on how to use language strategies for additional support
- Getting ready for you baby’s 18 month Well Baby Visit
- Call 416-338-8255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
As of April 1, 2022 the Preschool Speech and Language, Blind-Low Vision and Infant Hearing programs have moved from Toronto Public Health (Early Abilities) to Surrey Place. To register for services or learn more about the programs, please visit Surrey Place or call 416-925-5141.