A Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is a health professional who helps people of all ages develop their full potential in the areas of communication, feeding and swallowing.

Communication may include:

  • Understanding language
  • Using language to connect with others in conversation and play
  • Using clear speech sounds
  • Speaking smoothly (versus stuttering)
  • Socially connecting with peers and adults (social communication)

SLPs use purposeful, play based activities as therapeutic tools, striving towards independence and function in daily life. SLPs at the CVCDA work with infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their parents or caregivers, as well as other team members, using a family-centered approach.


When Do You Need A Speech Language Pathologist?

Children are often referred to SLP when they have:

  • Speech errors that make it difficult for you or others to understand
  • No or fewer words than expected
  • Difficulties using words to tell others what they are thinking
  • Difficulties understanding language and/or following directions
  • Repetitions of sounds or get stuck on sounds and words
  • An unusual voice (scratchy, raspy or nasal sounding)
  • Difficulties eating a variety of foods or managing liquids


Who Can Refer?

If you have concerns or questions about your child’s speech and/or language, you can refer your child yourself. Public Health Nurses, Family Physicians, Pediatricians, Daycare Providers and other service providers at the Child Development Association can also refer for you.


What Happens After The Referral?

  1. You will be seen by our Family Advocate to gather relevant information and gather consent for services
  2. You will be contacted to arrange an initial consultation
  3. During the initial consultation, while your child plays, you will have an opportunity to talk about your priorities, will be provided with information on your child’s development and receive suggestions on how you can help your child.
  4. Plans for further services will then be determined. This may include more formal assessments, direct intervention, consultation or monitoring.


What Happens After The Assessment?

The SLP will work with your family and team members to:

  1. Identify priorities and a program suited to your child’s individual needs
  2. Provide therapy or consultation as needed
  3. Provide service in the environment best suited to your child’s specific needs (home, Children’s Therapy Centre, and/or childcare centre)


How Can I Help My Child At Home?

  • Have your child’s hearing evaluated if there is a concern
  • Celebrate your child’s communication attempts
  • Talk about the activities you do and places you go
  • Expand on what your child says by adding more information
  • Model correct speech (it is not necessary to ask your child to repeat exactly what you say)
  • Emphasize sounds that your child may find difficult to say, such as “sssssocks”
  • Speak slowly and clearly, repeat for your child if necessary
  • Give your child lots of time to respond
  • Read books and talk about books with your child every day
  • Practice using new words
  • Provide opportunities for your child to talk and play with others

Meet The Team

Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis

Speech Language Pathologist and Therapy Program Manager

Phone: 250-338-4288 ext 229
Email: slp@cvcda.ca

Mary McKenna
Mary McKenna

Speech Language Pathologist

Phone:  250-338-4288 ext 228
Email:  mary@cvcda.ca

Tara Moose
Tara Moose

Speech Language Assistant

Phone: 250-338-4288 ext. 243
Email: tara@cvcda.ca

Jenn Legarie
Jenn Legarie

Speech Language Assistant

Phone: 250-465-0420
Email: jenn@cvcda.ca

Aryn Franklin
Aryn Franklin

Speech Language Pathologist for Aboriginal Children and Families

phone: 250-334-9591
Email: aboriginalspeech@cvcda.ca

Janice Forsey
Janice Forsey

Speech Language Pathologist for Aboriginal Children and Families - On leave

Phone: 250-334-9591
Email: aboriginalspeech@cvcda.ca