The first stop for any services related to Speech and Language is your local Alberta Health Services (Public Health) clinic. Once your child is assessed by the Speech -Language Pathologist (SLP) there, the appropriate intervention for their age and problem will be recommended. Initially this could be intervention in a group setting such as the “Encouraging First Words” program, or Individualized Intervention, depending on the severity at the initial assessment. There are also group intervention programs for children starting at age 2 and a half years old. If, after some of these interventions, there is no improvement, or if a child is highly suspected of having Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), the SLP would refer them for initiation of the appropriate therapy that uses the principles of Motor Speech Therapy using methods that have been shown to be effective for Motor Speech Disorders such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech. The number of sessions that your child will receive, depends entirely on the individual need and will be determined after due assessment of your child. Even after the maximum intervention at Public Health, however, most children with CAS will likely still need additional intervention and the services of a Private Speech Language Pathologist. Please note that under the current policy, children enrolled in PUF are not eligible for motor speech services by Alberta Health Services. However this policy is currently under review and a new framework of providing child and family centered services at the right place and right time is currently in the works. Stay tuned….
In the mean time look for a school that has an SLP experienced or comfortable in managing CAS, and apply for an FSCD contract.
- Alberta Health Services (AHS) Early Intervention Program (EIP) – No referral necessary:
- For less severe children that are not eligible for PUF or RCSD services, that reside of the Edmonton Area, Workshops are offered through this service. Call to see if this service is suitable for your child. Children up to the age of seventeen years can access this service.
- Alberta Speech-Language Association of Private Practitioners (ASAPP)- Find an SLP experienced with treating children with CAS from the directory.
Preschool Assessment for Complex Cases:
If your child has other medical/neurodevelopmental issues, or has a syndrome that includes Childhood Apraxia of Speech, they could be referred to:
- Glenrose 1-2-3 Go Child and Family Early Intervention Program : Provides education and teaching for children with complex neurodevelopmental problems. A referral is needed, and this can be discussed with your child’s peadiatrician if a referral should be done.
- For children with complex neurodevelopmental issues, the Preschool Assessment Services: 1-3 day assessments give parents a better understanding of the issues the child is facing, as well as a direct them to the appropriate resources. A referral is needed, again discuss this with your paediatrician or family physician.
- If there are ongoing challenges with children with complex needs, and children are already enrolled in a community program, then they can get further assistance from the Preschool Learning and Intervention
Program (PLAI). This program targets children who have complex learning, social, communication and behavioural needs, and a referral is again needed and will be determined by your child’s physician.
- If your child has other developmental/neurodevelopmental issues in addition to Childhood Apraxia of Speech/or has a Syndrome, they can be referred by their Family Physician or Paedriatician to the appropriate clinic run by the Division of Developmental Pediatrics, at Glenrose Hospital.
In-School Funding Supports:
Early Childhood Services
- Early Childhood Services Overview, Alberta Education
- Info Fact Sheet: Clarification of Special Education Coding for Mild/Moderate Speech Delay Funding.
- Parent Sheet: My Child Has been Diagnosed with a Delay or Disability, Where can I go for help?
- Full List of Private Early Childhood Service Providers in Alberta pdf
Edmonton Area Private Early Childhood Providers and Programs Supported by PUF:
- Community Options Preschool Program
- GRIT (Getting Ready for Inclusion Today) Preschool Program
- Corbett Hall Early Education Program (CHEEP) Specializing in Communication/Speech Disorders at the University of Alberta
- Tevie Miller Early Education Program (Edmonton Public School District)