Ontario Government Reviewing Services for Students with Communication Disorders

The Ontario government is currently running pilot projects to determine how best to provide services to school-aged children with language, stuttering and articulation disorders.  The present system is badly fragmented as noted by the Deloitte Report (p.8) of July, 2010. Students in Junior Kindergarten are serviced by the Preschool Speech and Language Program. After Year One, students with language disability are serviced by school board speech language pathologists (SLP) while students with stuttering and articulation disorders are serviced, in the school, by the School Care Program administered by Community Care Access Centres (CCAC).

Problems With The Present System

The CCACs use an expensive medical case management model that is completely inappropriate for students with articulation and stuttering problems.

Schools have the infrastructure (teams, referral procedures, record-keeping, etc.) to handle all communication problems. The present system duplicates these structures and operations. Parents must provide consent six times before a CCAC SLP sees their child.

At least 30% of students with articulation problems also have language problems leading to two SLPs seeing the same student.

Oral language disability directly affects reading, writing. mathematics and academic progress in all other subject areas.

The majority of students with behaviour disorders (60%) have a communication disorder as a contributing factor. These students need language assessment and intervention and academic program modification.

Where should services be based? The answer is obvious – within the school system. Parents will have easy access to the service, the full range of direct and consultative services can be provided as needed and the service will be appropriately integrated within the academic program. This will eliminate the fragmentation, duplication and wasted taxpayer dollars that characterize the present system.  Please sign our petition to urge the government to do the right thing.  http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/sos-cd/

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About Solutions for Ontario Students with Communication Disorders SOS-CD

Speech language pathologist working in the Ontario school system
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