About Shoreline

Shoreline’s clinicians strive to provide high quality, evidence-based care. As a team, we offer services to children and adults at Shoreline’s office, via telepractice, and in continuing care centres. Services are available in English, French, Swedish, and Greek. Services in other languages are available with the assistance of an interpreter.

Values & Mission

Our Values

Excellence, integrity, evidence-informed practice, dignity.

Our Mission

  1. To provide high quality clinical services.

  2. To extend services currently available to adults and children with communication disorders.

  3. To contribute to knowledge about communication disorders among the public and other health professionals.

Our Clinicians

 
 
 
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Pamela Coulter, M.Sc., SLP-Reg, Reg(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinic Manager

pcoulter@shoreline-speech.com | (902) 219-3065

Pamela provides clinical services to adults and children at Shoreline. She has worked in the field of speech-language pathology since 2007 - first as a Communicative Disorders Assistant (conducts treatment under the direction of SLPs), then as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Trent University, an advanced certificate in Interprofessional Stroke Care from Ryerson University, and a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Dalhousie University. She is Clinically Certified with Speech-Language and Audiology Canada.

 

In addition to her clinical work, Pamela has been involved with Georgian College’s Communicative Disorders Assistant program since 2008 as a Field Placement Monitor. 

 

Pamela’s clinical interests are in the following areas:

  • neurogenic communication disorders (r/t stroke, Parkinson's disease, dementia, primary progressive aphasia)

  • stuttering (adults and children)

  • adult voice (Parkinson's disease, muscle tension dysphonia, gender affirming voice modification)

  • childhood/adolescent speech sound disorders, particularly childhood apraxia of speech

 

Pamela provides assessment, consultation, and treatment services at Shoreline’s office. She also does site visits to nursing homes in peninsular Halifax.

 

Pamela has additional training for the following:

Professional activities and publications:

  • Scheduled as a presenter for the May 2022 CDAAC Conference on the topic of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

  • Nenadic, F., Coulter, P., Nearey, T. M., & Kiefte, M. (2020). Perception of vowels with missing formant peaks. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 148, 1911-1921. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0002110

  • Subject Matter Expert at Parkinson Canada Mind Over Matter Conference, April 13, 2019, Halifax, NS

  • Co-author for "Eating and Swallowing: Description, Assessment, and Intervention" in "Dementia: Person-Centered Assessment and Intervention" (2nd ed.), E.M. Hickey & M. Bougeois (Eds.), 2018, Routledge

  • Presenter at CDAAC Conference, "'Counselling' as a CDA: The Hard Lines Around this Soft Skill and How We Can Support Our Clients", with C. Lof, SLP, October 2012, Barrie, ON

  • Presenter at CDAAC Conference, "Working with Individuals with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia", October 2008, Orillia, ON

  • Past Board member of Nova Scotia College of Audiologists & Speech-Language Pathologists, Aphasia Nova Scotia, and Communicative Disorders Assistant Association of Canada

  • Member of the Policies Committee of the Nova Scotia College of Audiologists & Speech-Language Pathologists

 
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Myrto Brandeker, PhD, SLP-Reg, Reg(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

 

Myrto offers speech and language services to children of all ages. With 17 years of combined experience of clinical work, research, and teaching, she provides high-quality, research-based care for various developmental language and communication disorders as well as specialized assessments of reading and writing difficulties.

 

Myrto has a PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders from McGill University, focusing on language development in bilingual children, and a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the Karolinska Institute. She is Clinically Certified with Speech-Language and Audiology Canada. Myrto has also worked with the EIBI (Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention) program at the IWK, focusing on young children with autism spectrum disorder. She has extensively coached parents and other caregivers, as well as taught students in Speech-Language Pathology at McGill University as well as students in Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University. In addition to English, she is fluent in Swedish and Greek. 

 

Myrto’s clinical interests are in the following areas:

  • language or social communication difficulties in children with suspected or diagnosed autism spectrum disorders

  • reading and writing difficulties in school-age children

  • developmental language disorders in children and adolescents

  • childhood/adolescent speech sound delays and disorders

  • coaching for parents and other caregivers

  • bilingual language development

 

Myrto provides assessment, consultation, and treatment services at Shoreline’s office as well as home visits.

 

Myrto has additional training for the following:

·    Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT)

·    Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Publications:

  • Brandeker, M., & Elin Thordardottir. (In print). Verbal fluency in bilingual school-age children: Looking at switching, clustering, and the effect of language experience. International Journal of Bilingualism.

  • Brandeker, M., & Elin Thordardottir. (2015). Language exposure in bilingual toddlers: performance on nonword repetition and lexical tasks. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 126-138.

  • Elin Thordardottir, & Brandeker, M. (2013). The effect of bilingual exposure versus language impairment on nonword repetition and sentence imitation scores. Journal of Communication Disorders, 46(1), 1-16. [Awarded a certificate for Highly Cited Research, December 2016]

  • Burchell, D., Bourassa Bedard, V.,  Boyce, K., McLaren, J., Brandeker, M., Squires, B., Kay-Raining Bird, E., MacLeod, A., Cleave, P., Chen, X., Rezzonico, S., and FrEnDS-CAN. (Under review). Exploring the validity and reliability of online assessment for conversational, narrative, and expository discourse measures in school-aged children. Frontiers in Communication.

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Margaret Walker, M.Sc., SLP-Reg, Reg(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

mwalker@shoreline-speech.com | (902) 405-7856

Margaret offers speech and language services to children of all ages.  Margaret has over 10 years of clinical experience and has provided therapy to children with various developmental speech and language disorders.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mount Allison University and a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Dalhousie University. She is clinically certified with Speech-Language and Audiology Canada.

Margaret has additional training for the following:

  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Level 1

  • Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS ©)

Margaret’s clinical interests are in the following areas:

  • developmental language disorders in children and adolescents

  • language or social communication difficulties in children (including autism spectrum disorder)

  • childhood/adolescent speech sound delays and disorders

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Mary Biggs, M.Sc., SLP-Reg, Reg(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

mbiggs@shoreline-speech.com | (902) 405-7855

Mary provides clinical services to adults and children at Shoreline. Mary has worked as a Speech Pathologist since 2013, starting her career in Calgary, and moving back to Nova Scotia in 2019. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of Ottawa and a Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Alberta. She is Clinically Certified with Speech-Language and Audiology Canada. 

 

In addition to her clinical work, Mary has mentored Speech Pathology and Speech Pathology Assistant students through the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, and Medicine Hat College.

Mary's clinical interests include:

  • early language development

  • augmentative and alternative communication systems 

  • autism spectrum disorder

  • speech sound delays and disorders

 

Mary has additional training with the following programs:

  • Hanen More Than Words

  • Hanen It Takes Two to Talk 

  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECs)

  • Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD)

  • PROMPT

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Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Students

 

Throughout the year, Shoreline provides formal clinical education opportunities for students of Dalhousie University's School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Working with students offers many benefits - clients have the opportunity to practice their communication skills with another clinician (in training), students bring fresh ideas and energy to the therapeutic process, young clients like 'teaching' the students how to be speech therapists, and adult clients frequently enjoy the chance to share their experiences and contribute to the students' training and future practice.

 

Not all clients are a good fit for working with students, nor is everyone comfortable with it - the choice is completely up to the client whether or not they will work with our SLP students. Our SLP graduate students are 100% supervised by Shoreline's clinicians. Clients must give their full informed consent before students are involved in their services.

Undergraduate Student Volunteers

Shoreline has an active volunteer program for undergraduate students preparing to apply for SLP graduate studies. Our volunteers gain valuable exposure to the field of speech-language pathology by observing clients' sessions. Sometimes they also participate in sessions as a conversation or play partner when an unfamiliar or additional communication partner is therapeutically beneficial for a client. Not all clients are appropriate for observation (e.g., children who are very shy or easily distracted), nor is everyone comfortable with it. It is a client's choice whether or not to allow student volunteers to observe their session. Clients much give their full consent before student volunteers are invited to observe.

 

Our Clinic

Shoreline Speech Therapy is located at Paddlers Cove on Lake Banook in Dartmouth. The clinic is in unit 206 on the second floor of the building. Information about how to find the building is located here.

Part of our vision is to create a "neighbourhood" of health professionals. One of our clinical rooms is available for rent by other independent health professionals on a part time basis. We currently have to counselling therapists who share our space.

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our office dog Kate (she stays in the back office)
our office dog Kate (she stays in the back office)

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Referrals

 

Clients may be referred by their family physician, audiologist, neurologist, early childhood educator, or other health/education professional. Clients can also self-refer without a professional.​

If an employee assistance program is funding your services, they may require a doctor's referral. Some insurance plans also require a doctor's referral.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is a speech-language pathologist?: Speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) are the health and education professionals qualified to evaluate and provide care for people with communication delays/disorders. This includes assessing someone's difficulty with saying sounds and words (including stuttering), verbal expression, voice production, understanding what others say, cognitive-communication skills, interaction/social skills, reading, and writing. At times this includes diagnosis of a specific speech or language delay/disorder. After an assessment, an S-LP will provide recommendations; this may include some form of treatment or periodic reassessment to monitor a child's communication development or a client's maintenance of their gains. 

To do clinical work in Nova Scotia, S-LPs must have a Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology or its equivalent. Prior to entering a Master's program, they will have completed a Bachelor's degree in a related field (e.g., psychology, linguistics, neuroscience). Some S-LPs later go on to earn a Doctoral degree to advance their skills in conducting research.

 

As of November 2019, S-LPs must be licensed to practice with the Nova Scotia College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists (NSCASLP). The purpose of the College is to protect members of the public by regulating who is entitled to practice. Only those licensed with NSCASLP may practice speech-language pathology or provide "speech therapy". Many S-LPs also choose to be clinically certified with Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC), the national professional association for S-LPs and audiologists. To be clinically certified with SAC, an S-LP must pass a comprehensive knowledge-based exam and provide evidence of ongoing continuing education.

 

When would a parent want to consult with an S-LP?: You may wish to contact an S-LP if your child isn't meeting communication milestones for their age, has begun to stutter, has been diagnosed with autism, was born with Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy, is having communication difficulty following a head injury (including concussion), or is having persistent difficulty learning to read. If a parent is concerned, it's often with good reason. An initial assessment and consultation can provide assurance that your child is developing typically, give you access to professional advice specific to your child, or alert you to the need to start intervention. It is important to note that among health and education professionals, that it is S-LPs who are qualified to diagnose communication delays and disorders. This includes instances such as when a young child is exhibiting possible late language emergence ("late talker"), has started to stutter, or is suspected of experiencing delayed or disordered speech sound acquisition. It also includes the identification of children who may have developmental language delay or a reading deficit. In the case of reading deficits, it is important to understand that although S-LPs can identify and treat "reading and writing deficits", that "learning disabilities" (e.g., "dyslexia" - a type of reading deficit that impacts a child's learning) must be evaluated and identified by a psychologist

When would an adult want to consult with an S-LP?: There tends to be a low level of awareness of adult communication disorders among the general population and even many health professionals. This is often because persons with these conditions have disabilities in expressing themselves - thus, with sharing their experience with others. Often, adults with communication disorders are socially isolated. Additionally, communication disability is frequently "invisible". If someone has a problem with mobility and uses a walker or wheelchair, for example, it's easily noticed. If somebody has a communication or other cognitive issue, however, it is not readily noticed unless you interact with the person, and sometimes, not even then. Nevertheless, these communication difficulties (whether mild or severe), can have a substantial impact on a person's quality of life, independence, social life, academics, and employment. S-LPs work with adults who have survived a stroke or head injury (including concussion), were born with a condition that affects speech and language (e.g., Down Syndrome), have communication disorders that emerged in childhood and have persisted (e.g., stuttering), or have developed a degenerative condition (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease). With assessment, an S-LP can identify a specific communication disorder (e.g., Broca's aphasia, hypokinetic dysarthria), develop a profile of a person's strengths and areas of difficulty, and offer individualized recommendations. Recommendations may include strategies to optimize communication with an individual, caregiver training/coaching, or direct treatment.