What to do before you make an appointment for a private Speech - Language Assessment.
If you are concerned that your child under three years is not talking the way you expect him/her to: 

A: Make an appointment with your Family Doctor, and request a referral to a Paediatrician. There may be underlying developmental or medical reasons behind your child's delayed speech and language. General developmental and medical concerns must be ruled out before correct diagnosis and management decisions can be made.

B: Make an appointment with your local health unit for a hearing test for your child. Hearing loss or hearing health factors can affect your child's speech and language development.

C: Make an appointment with your local health unit for a Speech-Language Assessment. You may be eligible for provincial funding for Speech Therapy services. Often there are long wait lists, but it is advisable to get onto these wait lists as soon as possible to benefit from services while your child is still eligible.  Services are usually available until the age of five years in BC.

D: Consider a period of private diagnostic Speech Therapy while you wait for provincial services to become available. Many extended health plans offer coverage for Speech Therapy. Early intervention in this age-group is crucial.

If you are concerned that your child over three years is talking but other people can't understand him/her:

A: Mention your concerns to your Family Doctor. Your Family Doctor will know if there are more general health or developmental conditions that warrant a referral to a Paediatrician.

B: Make an appointment with your local health unit for a hearing test. Hearing loss and hearing health conditions could affect speech clarity.

C: Make an appointment with your local health unit for a Speech-Language assessment. You may be eligible for funding if your child is under five years of age. If your child is school-aged, you should make your concerns known to the school's resource teacher to arrange for the school Speech-Language Pathologist to become involved.

D: Consider private Speech Therapy if you are not eligible for provincial funding or if the school Speech Therapy services at your child's school are not readily available. Many extended health plans provide some coverage for Speech Therapy.

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