Speech-Language Pathology Services

District Learning Support Services, Burnaby Schools

Welcome!

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!

Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is a day that we honor and remember the Indigenous children who were taken from their families and sent to residential schools across Canada.

Why do we wear an orange shirt on September 30th?

Phyllis Webstad was given an orange shirt by her grandmother before she was sent to a residential school. When she got to the school, they took her clothes and belongings, including her beautiful new orange shirt. She never got it back. When this happened to her, she felt as though “my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing.”

For more information, please watch Phyllis’ story here.

Your child may be learning about this and participating in special activities related to this day at school. Here are some ways you can further the conversation with your child at home. It is a great time to target some language goals too!

  • Read books that talk about the first day of school: Jessica by Kevin Henkes, Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt or The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.
  • Talk about feelings: You and your child can take turns to talk about your feelings about your first day of school. Brainstorm feelings words about how children would feel to be at residential schools (e.g. scared, angry) and then how they should feel (e.g. safe, happy, respected) instead.
  • Retell Phyllis’ story: Read or watch Phyllis’s story and retell the story in order using words such as first, next, then, later, in the end.

For more child friendly resources and information, check out these websites:

https://www.cbc.ca/kidscbc2/the-feed/what-is-orange-shirt-day

https://www.orangeshirtday.org

Also check out these children’s books by Indigenous authors: Some great books are featured right here on CBC Kids!

Welcome back!

This will be a back to school year like no other! We will be smiling behind our masks and are excited to see everyone again.  Wearing masks helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community but it can sometimes make communication more difficult, especially for people who have trouble speaking or hearing.

Communication challenges:

• Masks make voices muffled and harder to hear.
• Masks cover facial expression and prevent speech reading. Without visual cues, people with hearing loss or communication difficulties may have even more trouble understanding what they are hearing.
• People with communication difficulties may not be able to make themselves understood through a mask.

Communication strategies when wearing a mask:

• Move to a quiet place, or reduce competing noises in the environment.
• For those who wear hearing aids, ensure they are working well.
• Face your communication partner and make sure nothing is blocking your view.
• Get the attention of your communication partner before you start talking.
• Ask what you can do to make communication easier for both of you.
• Speak a little more slowly and slightly louder than usual, but do not shout or exaggerate your speech.
• Use your eyes, hands and body movements to add more information to your speech.
• Use a voice amplifier.
• Ask if your communication partner understood you. If not, repeat, rephrase or write it down.
• Use speech-to-text apps to transcribe speech in real time.

Please see General Public Masks Info Sheet by Speech-Language and Audiology Canada for further information.

Have a safe and healthy school year!

SUMMER BINGO!

Many parents are looking for ideas to to keep their kids busy over the summer at this time of year.  Here are some fun activities to try that target speech and language goals (you can also print out Summer Speech & Language Bingo)

For more ideas, check out our handouts on how to support your child’s language during everyday activities.  See our articulation section for ideas and materials to practice specific speech sounds.  Dr. Henry reminds us to “Be kind, be calm and be safe.” As the unique school year ends, also try to have a FUN summer!

Talking to Kids with Communication Difficulties About Racism

When a child has a communication disorder it may feel like talking about difficult topics, such as racism, with them is too challenging. Some children can and usually do sense when there are big feelings (like anger, shame, confusion, anxiety, fear) being felt by those around them or they may see or be exposed to difficult topics being covered in the news or social media. Your child may also be experiencing big feelings that they may or may not understand or know how to express. Talking about these topics with your children at their level is important and doable.

Right now, Black Lives Matter and antiracism movements are topics that are on the minds of many people. Kids may also be learning about this in class or hearing about it  from their peers. As parents, it is important for them to hear it from you and discuss it with you. Here are some ways to support those conversations with kids who have difficulties with communication:

Continue reading

Another Speech and Hearing Month Contest

As May is coming to an end, so too is Speech and Hearing Month.

Speech & Hearing BC is holding a contest with a chance to win a gift card worth $150 to a local bookstore for your family and a $500 gift card for your school or community library! All you have to do is take a picture of yourself reading with your child. Click here for more details on how to enter.

Reading with your your child can support the development of many speech and language skills. Visit our Everyday Activities section to see how you can incorporate speech and language goals into your daily routines.

May is Speech and Hearing Month

In the month of May, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and other professionals working in the field raise awareness about communicative health. Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) aims to “highlight the importance of early detection and intervention in the treatment of communication disorders, and the role that our members and associates play in helping people to “Speak well. Hear well. Live well.””

Take a moment to reflect on how communication affects your life everyday.

If your child is under 11, SAC is holding their annual contests for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Visit the Kid’s Hub on the SAC website for more information.

This could be a great opportunity to target language goals. For example: Continue reading

What Can I Do with My Child All Day?

What Can I Do with My Child All Day? Strategies for Supporting Young Children

ACT Autism Community Training is hosting a free presentation by a behaviour analyst/special educator and a speech-language pathologist to provide a framework for thinking about how to provide support. This will include resources for engaging children in activities that can enhance informal learning and support social-communication development. This presentation is intended for parents and early intervention service providers.  No registration is required. The presentation is at 3pm on April 30. A recording will also be available after the live stream ends.
Please click here for more information

Supporting your child’s language skills when watching TV or movies

As we are spending so much time at home, we are facing the dilemma of how to keep our children entertained. Thoughts of children sitting in front of a screen while many parents are still trying to get some work done dredges up mixed feelings.  At least they’ll be entertained and kept out of mischief, but we know that too much TV cannot be a good thing. But TV does not have to be only negative. Television (with controlled and limited  screen time) can be part of a balanced program for kids. You can actually support your child’s language skills when you watch TV or movies together! Keep reading below or click here to download a handout on supporting your child’s language when watching TV or movies and handouts for other activities.

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Supporting your child’s language skills when reading and exploring books

Your child’s teacher and school librarian always encourage reading books at home.  Keep reading below or click here to download a handout on supporting your child’s language when reading and exploring books and handouts for other activities.

WHY is reading and exploring books so important for promoting language and literacy development? 

  •  Children need to hear many words often.  Reading to your child often exposes them to more words and builds his/her vocabulary. 
  • Children learn words when they are interested.  Books motivate children to communicate and, when parents respond to what the child is interested in, it helps the child learn new words. 
  • Reading builds vocabulary and meaning.  Children learn what words mean when parents read with them and explain what new words mean while pointing to the pictures. 
  • Vocabulary and grammar are learned together.  Children need to hear new words in grammatically correct sentences in order to learn language efficiently. Reading books with your child exposes them to new words used in grammatical sentences.
  • Positive, extended conversations support cognitive and social development.  When parents read with their child this promotes a positive interaction and shared conversation. 

Continue reading

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