Speech Language Pathology

Speech Language Pathologists...

What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

  • Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP’s) are specialists with a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders and are members of the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC (CSHHPBC, cshhpbc.org).
  • SLP’s work with School-Based Teams, Classroom Teachers, Educational Assistants, and students to address a broad range of communication issues.
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Services are provided for students with severe communication disorders who are unable to communicate effectively using verbal speech.
  • Speech-Language Pathologists are supported by Speech-Language Assistants (SLA’s) on a rotational basis. SLA’s are support personnel who hold a diploma or equivalent and are qualified to provide therapy under the direction of an SLP.

Who Do Speech-Language Pathologists Work With?

SLP’s work with students who have communication difficulties in the following areas:

  • Speech sounds
    • difficulty discriminating and producing speech sounds
  • Language understanding and expression
    • difficulty understanding and using language in the classroom and in social situations
    • vocabulary and concept development
    • word order and word endings (grammar)
  • Social communication
    • using language for different purposes such as greeting, taking turns, and having a conversation
  • Fluency (stuttering)
    • abnormal disruptions in the flow and rate of speech (e.g., sound repetitions at the beginning of words)
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
    • used by students with severe communication disorders who are unable to communicate effectively using verbal speech due to physical and/or developmental disabilities
  • Voice
    • differences in pitch, loudness and/or quality when compared to peer

Description of Services

  • Assessments / Screenings
  • Consultations with Teachers, School Personnel, Parents and Outside Agencies
  • Direct therapy with individuals, groups and classrooms
  • Monitoring of student progress
  • Programs for home and/or school practice
  • In-servicing
  • Report Writing

Does My Student Need to Be Referred to the SLP?

For speech sounds:

There is quite a wide range in age in which sounds are learned, as children vary in their development.  The table below is a general guide to show by what age most English-speaking children will be using a sound.



Sounds Acquired


m, n, h, w, p


b, t, d, k, g, f


v, j, s, l, r


z, ch, sh, th


As a rough guide, a child’s speech should be understood by a stranger:

  • 50 percent by age two
  • 75 percent by age three, and
  • 90 percent by age four

For language understanding and expression:

A school-aged child should be referred if he/she:

  • Has difficulty using words to express himself
  • Has difficulty using proper word order and word endings (e.g., uses the wrong pronoun, omits words)
  • Has limited vocabulary and concept use
  • Has difficulty answering questions
  • Has difficulty following a series of directions
  • Has difficulty interacting with other children

For voice and fluency:

A school-aged child should be referred if he/she:

  • Has a hoarse or husky voice
  • Stutters

Referral Process

If parents are concerned about their child's communication skills they should ask their child's teacher if a referral to the SLP is needed.  The teacher will share their concerns with the School Based Team. If the SLP recommends a referral, parents will be asked to sign a permission form.

What Can I Do as a Teacher to Help My Student?

  • Referral flow chart
  • Following directions
  • Fluency (stuttering)
  • Language processing
  • Phonological awareness
  • Concepts
  • Verb tenses
  • Social language
  • Auditory Memory
  • Problem solving
  • Selective mutism
  • Graphic organizers
  • Using visuals in the classroom

What Can I Do as a Parent to Help My Child?

  • Helpful hints for speech and language
  • Late blooming or language problem?
  • When you don’t understand your child’s speech
  • Concepts
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Selective mutism
  • Attending speech therapy sessions

Our Speech Language Pathologists are:

Our Augmentative & Alternative Communication Support Teacher is:

Our Speech Language Assistants are:

  • Darla Rintjema
  • Jenna Snow
  • Melanie Paisley
  • Nicola McCulloch