Speech-Language Pathology Services

District Learning Support Services, Burnaby Schools


Welcome to the Burnaby School District Speech-Language Pathology Services website!

We hope this site will provide you with resources to support your child with his/her speech and language goals.  We invite you to explore the different pages on the top of the navigation bar. Whether your child is working on their articulation skills, language skills, social skills or learning to use their augmentative/alternative devices, you will find lots of information and links to useful resources in each of those areas.

As always, please feel free to contact your child’s speech-language pathologist if you have any questions or concerns.  We’re always happy to help and you can find our contact information on the “About” page.

We’re still building sections of our website so come back often for updated resources.  You can also subscribe to our site so that you will be notified every time we have updates.

Thanks for stopping by!

Growing with DLD

What is Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)? It’s the most common childhood disorder that most people have never heard of. DLD  affects 1 in 14 people causing difficulties understanding and using language for no known reason. In Canada, there are approximately 2.6 million people with DLD. DLD is a lifelong problem and affects people of all ages.

Today is international DLD Awareness day and the 2022 theme is Growing with DLD. DLD is a lifelong, permanent disability. People do not grow out of DLD but can thrive with supports that can include speech-language therapy and educational adjustments. It’s about growing with DLD.


RADLD Canada

DLD and Me

Raising Awareness about DLD video

How Was School Today?

Welcome back to school! Many children often give a one word answer to the common question, “How was school today?” Try some alternative questions to help your child share more information about their day:

  • What was your favourite/least favourite part of today?
  • Tell me something that was exciting/scary/funny/gross/cool.
  • Who did you help today? How were you helped today?
  • When were you happiest today?
  • Where did you play and who did you play with at recess today?
  • Tell me the most interesting thing you learned about.
  • What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

Some children will also use a  home/school communication book to help them share important information about their day. Please click here for examples. Please see the About page for the name of the speech-language pathologist for your child’s school.

Autism Experts

Who better to learn about autism from than the experts – not just people who study autism, but people who are actually autistic! As our knowledge about autism as a society progresses from awareness to acceptance, there is much to learn from autistic folk themselves. Below is an infographic with ways you can educate yourself about autism by listening to autistic voices.

Ask An Autistic YouTube channel
Why Everything You Know About Autism is Wrong TedTalk

Two Sides of the Spectrum podcast

The Autism Spectrum According to Autistic People website
What is autism? blog post
Uniquely Hari AAC user blog

Books for kids about Autistic experiences
Loud Hands book

All Things Sensory Shop for fidgets
Divergent Minds Club Canadian jewelry & chewlery store

AAC – Modelling Without Expectation

We can create authentic connections with our AAC users by remembering one simple rule: model without expectation!

Modelling without expectation means using the AAC device yourself to model language without asking the child to respond. It’s simple! You are showing the child how to express language in a natural setting. Think of how many times a child hears a word before they express it themselves – the same is true for our AAC users. They require lots of modelling of vocabulary before they can use those words independently.

Kate McLaughlin explains more about modelling without expectation in this video. Watch here

Remember that using an AAC device should not feel like ‘work’ for the child. Language learning should be fun. Here are some activity ideas for Touch Chat.

  • Does your child love animals? Touch Chat has an extensive animals page. You can explore the different types of animals along with their homes and there’s even a page for animal sounds. Pair this with animal toys that you already have around the house and make a zoo. Maybe the animals have wandered out of the zoo and it’s your job to round them up. There are lots of opportunities to model words such as:
    • Questions: WHERE are the animals, WHO is hiding
    • Core words: look, put, help, come back, go, find
    • Places: zoo, farm, ocean, safari
    • Adjectives: talk about whether the animal is big/little or fast/slow, describe their colors, if they have a short/long tail
  • Increase engagement in reading by using the included pre-set vocabulary pages for books such as Brown Bear by Eric Carle and No, David! By David Shannon. This is a perfect opportunity to model while reading with the related vocabulary already there on the page for you. If your child has a favorite book you can add it to the device and include relevant vocabulary. Ask your SLP to help you add a new book page or watch this video on how to edit and add pages in Touch Chat  Check it out here

Today is World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day observed on the 21st day of March, the 3rd month of the year. This date was chosen to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down Syndrome (Down Syndrome International, 2022).

The Burnaby Speech-Language Pathologists work with students with Down Syndrome as well as their families and school teams.

This year’s World Down Syndrome Day campaign theme is “Inclusion Means…” What does inclusion mean to you?

For more information, please check out these resources:

World Down Syndrome Day

Down Syndrome Resource Foundation



Down Syndrome International. (2022, February 10). About WDSD. World Down Syndrome Day. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/about-wdsd

Articulation Workshop 2022

Thank you to those who took time to attend our virtual Articulation Workshop. We believe that parents and caregivers are a child’s best teacher and we hope you learned some strategies to help your child practice their sounds at home. Speech sound practice can be fun!

If you have questions about the home program, need more materials or have any feedback about the workshop, please contact your school speech-language pathologist. Remember to fill, sign and return the consent form if you would like us to follow up with your child. Have fun practicing!

How to Play with Your Child’s Toys

Playing with toys can create a rich environment for developing your child’s communication skills. It allows your child to learn a variety of speech and language skills that are meaningful to their lives.

Here are some ideas on how you can play with some of the things you already have around the home:

  • Combine pieces from various playsets to encourage flexibility in play. For example, once you have built a castle with your Magna-Tiles, you could include a Spider Man action figure into the play.
  • Learn the rules of the game from your child. Have them give you directions using a “First, Then, Last,” structure when explaining how to play a board game or a video game. Let them be the teacher.
  • Toys with multiple pieces give opportunities for both of you to take turns in conversation (e.g., requests, or turn-taking language). Examples of these types of toys include Magna-Tiles, Lego, marble tracks, pretend play sets like grocery store or restaurant.
  • Copy what your child does with their toys. This shows them that what they did is interesting and continues to encourage interactions. You can then expand on the action to teach them something new.
  • Avoid questions when possible. Instead you can:
    • List out choices of things you could play and then wait for a response (e.g.,“We could build a plane, we could build a house, we could build a castle …”).
    • Talk about what you are doing in your play.
    • Repeat what they have said and add one or two more words to it (e.g., if your child points and says “car”, repeat back to them “more cars”, “red car”).

Have fun!

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