Speech-Language Pathology Services

posted May 14, 2015, 7:53 PM by Jim McNeil   [ updated Jun 1, 2016, 5:32 AM by Genevieve Richardson ]

Speech-Language Pathology Services

Speech-Language Pathology Guidelines


Speech-Language Pathology Services

The speech-language pathology services department provides assessment and intervention to students with communication difficulties from grades primary to twelve. We work within a consultative collaborative model which involves the provision of both direct and indirect services. Direct services include assessment and therapy sessions while indirect services include consultation, parent or school meetings, programming and conducting workshops. We follow the six-day school cycle and schedule services in schools on one or more of these days depending on the caseload size and needs in each location.

Speech-language pathologists are important members of the student services team.  We participate in program planning for students in the areas of communication, social skills development, and literacy.  Along with providing direct therapy  to students individually or in small groups, we also consult with teachers and parents on effective strategies to help students with communication challenges.  We may also consult with other professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, early childhood interventionists, and other communication specialists depending on the needs of a specific student.  Speech-language pathologists often belong to specialized student services teams or lead teams such as those for autism, assistive technology, learning disabilities, and behavior.

Specific Services Provided

Speech-language pathologists have a circuit of schools and support the school program planning process.  The services provided may include:



Speech-language pathologists participate in program planning teams.  We work collaboratively with school personnel, parents, and other professionals to address and promote understanding of student communication challenges.  We consult with teachers regarding speech-language intervention strategies in the classroom.


All referrals for speech-language assessments come through the school-based program planning team.  These referrals can be initiated by parents, teachers, school-based professionals such as psychologists or guidance counsellors, as well as by outside agency personnel (mental health, doctors, etc.). Parental consent is required for all speech-language services. The  Information for Parents letter and Speech-Language Parental Consent Form can be found on the Student Services Website under Forms.  Assessment may involve classroom/school observation, standardized testing, as well as informal assessment through play, conversation, and interaction.


Students receiving direct therapy are generally seen once per six-day cycle, either individually or in a small group. Some students are placed on a waiting list until an opening becomes available. Direct therapy is provided for two consecutive cycles followed by a cycle of indirect service at the school.  Parents are welcome to attend a therapy session or speak with the S-LP to better understand the therapy process.

Indirect therapy services are provided in the form of a home program or classroom-based service. The speech-language pathologist may consult with teachers or provide periodic monitoring to evaluate progress for students receiving indirect services.

Home practice is essential to the speech-language program. Students enrolled in therapy receive homework at the end of each session. This homework needs to be practiced regularly and returned for the next session. Students who do not practice consistently may not progress in their speech and language development.

Professional Development

Speech-language pathologists can provide professional development to school staff, parents, and outside agencies on a variety of topics related to communication.  We keep current on speech-language and educational practices and share this with our school teams.

Types of Speech-Language Difficulties

  • Articulation: mispronunciation of speech sounds

  • Language: difficulty understanding or producing language (e.g. difficulty understanding concepts, following directions, poor grammar, limited vocabulary, inappropriate responses to questions, etc.); social communication development

  • Fluency (stuttering): interruption in the normal flow of speech (e.g. repeats words, prolongs sounds, has difficulty getting the words out)

  • Voice: hoarse, breathy or nasal voice quality

  • Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC): use of assistive strategies or devices for students with limited verbal communication

Location of Speech-Language Pathologist Offices

Sydney River Assessment Office

Sydney River Elementary School   


Northside Assessment Office

Thompson Middle School


Bridgeport Assessment Office

Bridgeport School


Greenfield Assessment Office

Greenfield School


New Waterford Assessment Office

St. Agnes Elementary School


Websites of interest

Speech-Language & Audiology Canada

Picture Exchange Communication System

Speech and Hearing Association of Nova Scotia




http://www.do2learn.com/ (games for students on early elementary concepts)


http://www.hanen.org/ (understanding language delay)

http://www.nsnet.org/autismns/ (Society for Treatment of Autism)

http://www.westutter.org/ (National Stuttering Association)