Tips for parents helping children with speech and language skills

at school or at home in remote learning.

Access to speech and language services has been significantly impacted by the restrictions imposed during the pandemic. Speech and language service providers in the community and at school boards have responded by enhancing the resources for families on their websites and by providing virtual therapy sessions.

Getting the Services You Need

If you have a concern about your child’s speech and language development seek help.  If your child is preschool you can contact the local preschool speech and language program by checking the contact information at: Find a Preschool Speech and Language Program

If your child is attending school, either in person or in remote learning, speak to the classroom teacher. The teacher has access to school board services and can develop a plan to help your child.

Website Resources

Since the start of restrictions, related to COVID-19, speech and language services have tried to respond by increasing the information for parents on how they can help their child at home.  The following website resources are just a few examples of the tip sheets, videos, webinars and other parent resources that  have been developed to support the development of speech and language skills.

Preschool Speech and Language Services

First Words – Preschool Speech and Language Program in Ottawa – The program staff have responded by making sure that families can still contact them if they have concerns and by providing webinars and other resources for families.  Webinars topics start with, Module I: Act early: know the signs to Module 8:   The impact of screen time on language development.  First Words Webinars

Durham Preschool Speech and Language Services – Grandview Kids – Tips for parents in a downloadable book, called Growing with Communication – A Speech and Language Guide for Parents with Children Under 5 Years of Age.

School Boards

Many school boards have resources for families of children with special needs.  These are just a few:

Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board – As technology has become more and more present in our lives, “screen time” has begun to dominate leisure time and social interactions for some children. Resource so this website includes:

  • Screen Time and Talk Time: Considerations for Families
  • 50 Screen-Free Ways to ‘UNPLUG’ and COMMUNICATE

Dufferin-Peel Catholic DSB Speech and Language Services Website

Thames Valley District School Board: – The school board Speech – Language Pathologists have enhanced the information available to families on the website. This link will take you to a section on story telling, and resources include a calendar with everyday activities that will promote your child’s story telling skills and tips on Reading Together. Early Literacy Story Skills

Toronto Catholic District School Board – The Speech and Language Department staff have developed the following resources to support parents whose child presents with challenges in the areas of speech, language and literacy.  They include tips in multiple languages on promoting speech and language skills through story telling, reading together and writing stories. TDSB Resources for Promoting Speech and Language Skills

December 2020