Speech Pathology Assessment – Severe

Our youngest child is a young JK student. She is a December baby so she had the option to not start school this year. Being the youngest of four, we felt she would do fine. She is eager to learn and usually ahead of other children her age. All but her speech. Having two kids who had already seen a speech pathologist before I knew she would as well. The sounds were their so was the lack of understanding from her peers and adults. 

swimmingOne month into her school year her teacher asks me to take her into the Early Years centre to get a brief assessment done for her speech. I was not able to go due to scheduling but my mom took her. The next day I received a call saying wee needed to have her fully assessed because she was showing problems with her speech. Living in a large county the speech pathologist is hard to make an appointment with. She travels from centre to centre and has her weeks fully booked. After a few months we were finally able to get an appointment to have out daughter interviewed. That interview was yesterday.

We drove 30 minutes to get to the office she was at for the day. If we did not go that day it would not be for another few weeks. The pathologist is not allowed to remove students from their class and children can not be working with one through the school board here until grade one. So parents are willing to jump through hoops to get anything done for their children who need it before hand.

We arrived and Katy, who was the lady who assessed our daughter was waiting for us. She also was the lady who did the initial assessment. After about 40 minutes and a lot of Q&A as well as flash cards, conversation and some toys and games. We were told our daughter could do a few tricky sounds. Was really excited about learning and very knowledgeable. Things like this were and are positive to hear. Then we were flashcardtold she is considered severe and needed to be seen weekly. Katy then looked into her day planner and asked me what days worked for me and her. Thinking this was going to happen right away I started giving dates. Then I was told April would be the earliest. There is a waiting and over 300 kids are on it in our area alone. DD being considered severe was put on the top of the list. The reason for being severe is she is difficult to understand, she can not say many sounds easily. The “s” and “TH” to name a couple. The thought is that maybe she can say them, but has developed a few bad habits and gotten use to saying words this way. I was surprised the wait was so long. But seeing that the school does not even do anything for another 2 years for her, I was willing to wait and schedule accordingly.

We are now are waiting for the weekly meetings and in the mean time the speech pathologist is sending home some homework so we can get started. I am feeling positive about this and know from past experience how valuable the time spent with a speech Pathologist truly is. We are fortunate to have resources in our community like this.  So often parents do not take recommendations from teachers and peers seriously. If we had not we would be in limbo. Now we are ahead of the game. 


Have you had your child’s speech assessed?


  1. Yes, my oldest had a speech delay, and as soon as I started noticing problems with my youngest I took him in. He has speech issues too. We are hoping his upcoming surgery will help a lot but we can't be sure until it's done. Although it will help a lot of other things.
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  2. My oldest had a severe speech delay… We have been working with a private SLP for 18 months, and now pair it with one funded through the province (she comes to his school every 2 weeks)

  3. It's great that you were able to get it evaluated so quickly! Sounds like she's going to be in good hands. Let us know how it goes 🙂
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  4. Language is my number one concern with my boys. It is so hard to know what is the right thing at their age. I saw a speech pathologist when I was a young child. I had a bit of a lisp and after weekly sessions it disappeared. Thank goodness my parents took me and made it a priority. It would be hard to be taken seriously in my job if I had continued to have that.
    Good for you for making it a priority and seeking help. Your daughter will be so grateful!
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  5. mystikafaith says

    I had issues with pronunciation as a child as did my two oldest children and now my youngest who is 22 months has been diagnosed with a severe speech delay. Needless to say we're very familiar with the speech therapy thing! It can be a bothersome hassle while going through it all, but in the long run it is well worth it!

  6. The waiting time can be soooo long, but at least once the kids are in the "system" the ball start rolling. My oldest son has been in speech since 1st grade, and he is now in 4th.
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  7. Cheryl Morreale says

    My son is 3 (will start JK in September) and has been going to speech therapy since he was just over 2 years old. We have seen a speech therapist paid for by the government (for 3 months) and we are currently seeing one that we are paying for privately. My son has a speech delay but with the help for the therapists, he is getting better. I notice his speech becoming more varitied each day. I want to prepare him for school as much as I can before he gets there. The private speech therapist can be expensive but it's worth it for us because I'm seeing results in my son's speech! Good luck!

  8. My grandson had similar speech problems and went to get assessed. With lots of work at home from mom, dad, and big sisters, with suggestions from the speech therapist his next appointment was very positive. His speech had improved and further sessions were not required. It will probably be the same with your little one. Speech therapists really do a great service for children and give such good advice.

  9. I also had to go to speech therapy when I was a kid, but my problem was actually my ears. My ears were so horribly clogged with wax that I couldn't hear the sounds, therefore I couldn't properly repeat them!

    Here, our preschools through the school district do offer the speech testing. If children are severe, they qualify for service through the school system.

    Fingers crossed that it all works out well for your little one!
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  10. Wow. Kids get flagged here by Public Health around age 3. I was very on top of everyone with my son— I knew he wasn't meeting sound targets and we do have speech issues in the family. Public Health told me my son was FINE and needed no help.

    I put him in preschool at age 3.5yrs and my son received THREE FULL YEARS OF FUNDED SPEECH (once per week at home, in class help) due to an assessment of Severe.

    We are currently working through Year 2 and he has improved immensely. I also chose to hold him back from Kindergarten this year (he was an 'early' candidate and is definitely academically ready) so that he would be able to receive all three years. If I had placed him in Kindie early, I would have duped him of a year of funded speech he was entitled. The speech help basically stops in Grade 1– unless the speech is REALLY bad. Alberta is BIG on fixing speech in the early years.

    I hope you get the help you need as quickly as you need it. I'm still pissed that Public Health told me there was NOTHING wrong with my kid… but am very glad that I am his biggest advocate and got him the help I knew he needed.

    Good luck!
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  11. When our youngest needed speech therapy, the wait was beyond ridiculous and we live in a large city. I was working at the time, so was able to use my entire paycheque to pay the therapist. I am not complaining, because it was necessary but I am complaining about the insane amount of time the school board makes you wait.

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