Services for Children
Speech Sound Disorders
Children can have trouble saying sounds clearly and it may be hard to understand what they are saying. They learn some sounds earlier and other sounds take longer to learn. A child who does not say sounds by the expected age may have a speech sound delay or disorder. Learn more.
Developmental Language Delay
Developmental language delay can affect how a child talks or understand language. It can also affect their social interactions and be a barrier to learning. Signs of a developmental language delay could be that the child is not talking very much, is often misunderstood, talks like a younger child, struggles to find the right words, or that they don’t understand others. Learn more.
Late Language Emergence ('Late Talkers')
Many children who are late talkers seemingly "catch up" to peers by their early school years. These children score within the average range on standardized tests designed to help identify children with language delays and disorders. However, most score within the range considered 'low performance' compared to their peers. Later on, these children may have difficulty with reading and more complex language including grammar. Other children who are late talkers may eventually be diagnosed with developmental language delay after the age of four. Learn more.
Reading and Writing Disorders
Children can have trouble learning to read and write, which can make it hard to learn and do well in school. Difficulties with reading and writing can have different causes, for example problems with connecting letters to sounds (decoding) or reading comprehension. Learn more.
The most common fluency disorder in childhood is stuttering. Many preschoolers go through periods with stuttering and/or speech disfluencies. Stuttering could be repetitions of whole words or part of words ("D-D-D-Danny"). It could also involve prolonged sounds ("mmmmm-mom") or blocks ("gimme.........that"). Some children do not grow out of the stuttering by themselves and might need treatment, especially if they are showing signs of frustration or tension, if there is a family history of stuttering, and if they are male.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Children with autism with difficulties with social communication, expressive language, and comprehension can benefit from working with a speech-language pathologist. To learn more about the individualized programming offered at Shoreline, contact us to book an exploratory meeting (no charge). Learn more.
Is my toddler a late talker? Does my child have a language delay or disorder? Does my child have reading or writing difficulties?
The purpose of assessment is to diagnose speech or language disorders. By evaluating communication strengths and impairment, we can identify activity limitations and participation restrictions for both home and school environments. The assessment informs treatment planning and recommendations, with the focus of helping the child reach their potential.
A brief hearing screening is typically a part of assessment.
For children learning more than one language, we also offer specialized bilingual assessments. Learn more.
I want to get professional support to help my child with their development of speech, language, and communication skills.
Treatment is available for children in the areas of speech, language, reading, writing, and stuttering. All treatment plans are individualized to the needs and preferences of each client and incorporate evidence-informed procedures and programs. Treatment plans incorporate both impairment-based goals (e.g., saying "s") and functional/real-life goals (e.g., saying "s" clearly when saying their name "Simon" in play).
Should my child have an assessment?
Screening is sometimes used to help identify people who may require an assessment. It does not determine the presence or absence of a communication disorder, nor does it provide a profile of communication impairment and strengths. They are often done with children getting ready to go to school, or who are at risk due to a family history.
Screening is available for preschool and school-age speech and language development.
Paediatric Audiology Services in the HRM
While SLPs may screen hearing as part of best practice when assessing children's communication skills, a diagnostic hearing test can only be performed by a licensed audiologist. Guardians may self-refer (i.e., you do not need a doctor's referral unless required by your insurance provider) or be referred by their doctor, SLP, or another professional. The following providers offer services for children in the HRM. Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by Shoreline Speech Therapy.
Dalhousie Audiology Clinic
no fees for service
5850 College Street, Halifax
Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia
provincial MSI program
locations throughout the province
East Coast Hearing
fee for service
several locations in the HRM
Alderney Hearing Centre
fee for service
44-46 Portland St Suite 204, Dartmouth
Private Paediatric Psychology Services
Dr. Kiran Pure and Associates
services include ADHD and psychoeducational assessments
90 Portland Street, Dartmouth
Dr. Melanie K. Vanier, Psychologist
services include ADHD, ASD, developmental, and psychoeducational assessments
Suite 495 - 5991 Spring Garden Road, Halifax
services include psychoeducational assessments in English and French
1480 Fall River Road, Suite 304, Fall River
Erika Baker Psychological Services Limited
services include ADHD, ASD, and psychoeducational assessments
1331 Brenton St., Halifax
Private Paediatric Occupational Therapy Services
Jenna Bower Therapeutic Services
home base services
"Speech Language Development Chart"
"Speech, Language, & Hearing Milestones"
Speech-Language and Audiology Canada
This checklist provides a list of 'red flags' to watch for as your child develops. If you check 'yes' to one or more item, you may wish to consult with a speech-language pathologist. The information gained during an assessment helps you to make informed decisions about supporting your child's development.
This chart provides a general guide for parents about when speech sounds are acquired by children.
This chart provides a general guide of the milestones for expressive vocabulary, sentence length, and grammar development. It also provides several red flags to help guide parents to known when to consult with a speech-language pathologist.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Most children achieve saliva control by age two, but some typically developing children may continue to drool up to age four. If you have questions about your child's development of saliva control, speak with your speech-language pathologist, dentist, and/or family doctor.
"Saliva Control in Children: An Information Guide for Families and Clinicians"
The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne
van Hulst, K., van den Engel-Hoek, L., Geurts, A. C. H., Jongerius, P. H., van der Burg, J. J. W., Feuth, T., . . . Erasmus, C. E. (2018). Development of the Drooling Infants and Preschoolers Scale (DRIPS) and reference charts for monitoring saliva control in children aged 0-4 years. Infant Behavior and Development, 50, 247-256. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2018.01.004
"Why Does My Toddler Drool Non-Stop?"
Dr. Marla Shapiro for Parents Canada
The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto)
"Pacifiers (soothers): A user's guide for parents"
Caring for Kids (Canadian Pediatric Society)
"Position Statement: Recommendations on the Use of Pacifiers"
Canadian Pediatric Society