At the Preschool Age, Early Childhood Services(ECS) provides programming for children with special educational needs. Children with Severe Speech Sound Disorders that are between 2 and a half and 6 years of age by September 1st are eligible for Program Unit Funding (PUF). This is a dollar amount provided by the Provincial Government to Schools to access services for children who qualify. SLP services can be accessed using PUF.
Children with Severe Speech Sound Disorders such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech should *ideally be in an Intensive Intervention Program (Special Education Program) at the Preschool Level that includes community children without disabilities to be peers and allow for the development of social and communication skills, by modelling speech and social behaviors. The additional services the child receives in terms of Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy are funded by PUF. Childhood Apraxia of Speech may not yet be diagnosed with certainty until the age of about four years old, however, the more intensive the treatment program early on, the better. During this time, children with suspected Childhood Apraxia of Speech may also need Private Speech Therapy for CAS, unfortunately, this is not an insured service, however, certain Private Medical Insurance plans do pay a certain amount per year. The challenges with the current system revolve around the understanding that while children in the school system who require Motor Speech Services to treat their Childhood Apraxia of Speech are eligible for Program Unit Funding, this funding cannot be used for Private Speech Therapy under the current model. Parents are limited with regards to which service providers they can utilize, and in the school system, the SLP may not necessarily have the necessary experience to target the unique needs of a child with CAS. Thus, this is an area that has great potential for review, in order for parents to utilize existing funding to best serve the needs of their child in terms of accessing speech services.
As of September/October 2016, Alberta Health Services will be working with partners in education to review the PUF model for children with CAS and putting forward alternates to the current system to enable children with CAS in Early Education to obtain Oral Motor Therapy.
More info about PUF can be found here:
- Early Childhood Services and Program Unit Funding
- What is Program Unit Funding (PUF)
- Alberta Government Supports for Families with Children with Disabilities
- Info Fact Sheet: Clarification of Special Education Coding for Mild/Moderate Speech Delay Funding.
- Early Childhood Education Programming info Alberta Education
- Special Education Coding Criteria 2015/16 pdf
- Full List of Private ECS Providers in Alberta pdf
- Early Childhood Services -programming-for-children-with-special-needs.pdf
- Autism Edmonton’s Preschool “Next Steps” 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)
Public School Districts Early Childhood Specialized Service Providers:
- Edmonton Public School District Early Education (List of Schools throughout Edmonton for Specialized Early Childhood Services)
- Edmonton Catholic School District Early Education Programs (Including Full day Kindergarten Programs)
- St Albert Public School District Early Education Programs
- St Albert Catholic School District Early Education Programs
- Strathcona/Sherwood Park District (Private Pre-school Provider Listing)
- Sturgeon School District
- Elk Island Catholic School District Early Education Preschool Programs (PUF)
- Elk Island Catholic School District Early Education Kindergarten Programs (PUF)
- Elk Island Public School District (Kindergarten only services)
Individualized Program Plan (IPP) information :
An IPP is a legal document that serves as a basis of intent for aiding your child achieve set goals set by teachers and Allied Health Professionals that make up the team of support staff involved in the educational development of your child in school. More information can be found here:
*Please note that the above information serves merely as guidelines based on programs that have the best access to services. Parents are free to choose any school they feel is in the best interest of their child. The administrator for Lets Talk Apraxia.org has put this information up based on the best access to available services that would be suitable for children with CAS or other conditions/ developmental disabilities.