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Speech and Language Centre
PATHOLOGY, ACADEMIC TESTING/ TUTORING
& ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY REHABILITATION SINCE 1987
Happy summer! Hope you are finding time to enjoy the beautiful weather!
We are welcoming more than seventy campers to "Talk about Fun" camp this year. The kids’ glowing faces and happy squeals are a daily reminder of the reason for our work. What a tremendous feeling it is to hear a child unveil themselves to others, sometimes for the first time, through improved communication skills. It’s like watching a beautiful flower unfold in front of your eyes!
I am also working with colleagues from the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists to provide input on impending auto legislation changes in this province. We are hoping to prevent additional erosion of rehabilitation provisions for seriously injured drivers. If you would like to learn more about this key election issue and lend your voice to the debate, give me a call. We have a small window of opportunity here! I encourage you to get involved!
We officially incorporated on May 31, 2003! London Speech and Language Centre is now a division of Kerry Erle, Speech Language Pathology, Professional Corporation. The move prepares us for additional expansion. You may notice new letterhead and business cards, but our staff and great service are all the same!
Jump Start Preschool
Early childhood education can give a child a foot up in school. Many independent studies demonstrate the value of quality programs and their influence academic achievement. When it comes to school, starting ahead can mean staying ahead.
Jump Start Preschool is our newest program, offering communication and academic enrichment to 3-6 year olds. These half- day sessions teach language and literacy fundamentals, like effective oral communication, listening, social skills, pre-reading and pre-writing skills. Academic readiness testing, small classes and individually designed programs allow us to accommodate children with a range of skills and abilities. Additional speech-language therapy or academic tutoring services are offered on-site for family’s convenience for an extra fee.
For more information or flyers, please give us a call!
New Child Disability Benefit (CDB)
The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) announced a new Child Disability Benefit (CDB) for children under 18 with severe and prolonged mental or physical impairments. The CDB is a tax-free supplement to the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the Children's Special Allowance. It is designed to help families with the cost of caring for high needs children.
The benefit provides up to $133.33 a month in financial assistance for each eligible child. First payments will be issued with the March 2004 CCTB payment and will include retroactive payments for July 2003 to March 2004 inclusive. The CCRA will automatically calculate and include CDB payments for families who have already submitted Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate. If you receive the CCTB for a child with a severe impairment but have not submitted Form T2201 on behalf of that child, you will need to do so. Request a copy of Form T2201 go to CCRA’s website www.ccra.gc.ca/benefits or call the CCTB enquiry line at 1-800-387-1193. Families are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible to prevent payment delays.
Youth Helmet Law Reduces Bike Injuries
New youth helmet laws are having a positive impact! A recent study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that serious bicycle injures have declined significantly over the past five years. Between 1998 and 2002, hospitalizations were down 12.5 percent while head injuries were down 26 percent.
In spite of this encouraging trend, injuries are on the rise among adults and seniors who are far less likely to wear protective headwear. Given the dramatic effect of helmet laws on preventing brain injuries among youth, governments should consider expanding helmet laws to include persons of all ages.
Source: Globe and Mail, Oct 2002
The Hidden Hurt:
Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Providing Support in Everyday Life
Acquired brain injury (ABI) can suddenly alter the way a person thinks, communicates and behaves in everyday life. Simple tasks can be difficult, and feelings of anxiety, panic and depression can ensue.
Speech-Language Pathologists have a key role in helping individuals with ABI to understand their cognitive-communication changes and how to cope with them. Most speech pathology rehabilitation programs focus on education, daily routines and improving cognitive-communication skills. These and general coping strategies for families are described below:
Accident survivors and families adjust better to ABI when they understand its impact on day- to- day life. This helps them make adjustments in the way they approach tasks, and in using compensatory strategies more effectively. With treatment, difficulties with thinking, communication and/or behaviour become more clear, and survivors and families can set more realistic long and short- term rehabilitation goals as a result.
Many individuals with ABI function best when their lives are structured (i.e. scheduling, steps in task completion and physical organization of space). Families can help to establish routines for daily or weekly events (e.g. personal care, chores, social time, appointments). They can encourage the use of routines for completing multi-step tasks like day planning and laundry. They can help assign, label and use designated locations for household items (e.g. car keys). To reduce anxiety, which can occur with changes in routine, families can:
Communication impairments, although subtle, are one of the most common consequences of ABI. They can range from a reduced capacity to listen and remember conversations, to difficulties naming words or structuring verbal descriptions. Consider the following during interactions:
Here are some other ways to provide general support to an individual with ABI:
Listen: welcome discussion about problems and frustrations.
Guide: during stressful times or times of change help guide them through the decision making process.
Speech- Language Pathologists can identify specific areas of cognitive-communication strength and weakness in testing, and help you to develop appropriate and effective plans for home, school and/ or work reintegration. Services include:
Ask The Expert
Q: What is verbal apraxia and how can it affect adults?
A: Verbal apraxia (also referred to as apraxia of speech or dyspraxia) is a motor planning disorder that affects the speech centers of the brain. It can be present from birth, co-occur with other developmental disorders such as autism or result from acquired brain injuries like trauma, aneurysms or stroke. Verbal apraxia is characterized by difficulties selecting and sequencing sounds necessary for speech. Individuals with this disorder often know what they want to say, but the words get jumbled. They may substitute whole words (i.e. semantic paraphasias, e.g. saying "dog" for "horse"), substitute sounds in words (i.e. phonemic paraphasias, e.g. saying "tog" for "dog") or use neologisms or nonwords (e.g. saying "yos" for "dog").
Characteristics of Apraxia
A speech-language pathologist must first identify the nature and extent of verbal apraxia in assessment. Treatment then focuses on specific areas of concern, e.g. retraining muscle programming using longer sequences of words, improving word retrieval skills and/or developing augmentative communication strategies (e.g. picture board). Treatment often involves teaching clients to slow their speech rate (i.e. "pacing") to increase speech intelligibility. Family education and involvement is encouraged to maximize treatment gains.
Source: www.asha.com, 2003
I. Free Screening Clinics
Communication disorders are best treated early to prevent social, emotional, and educational and vocational maladjustment. To this end, we offer FREE speech and language screening tests each month. If these brief evaluations indicate concern, families will receive information and support on how to access a complete speech-language pathology assessment in the community. Please call the office to book an appointment.
II. Public Information Workshops:
We also continue to offer low cost public education workshops each month. Learn about a variety of communication and education related topics, and meet other professionals and parents who share your interest. Workshop enrolment is limited to allow plenty of group discussion and interaction. Pre-registration is required. Call the office for more information.
Understanding the puzzle of learning disabilities and how to help the exceptional student succeed
Tuesday September 23/03
6 to 8 pm
Language problems are the primary cause of learning disabilities, constituting the largest handicapping condition in schools today. In the current educational climate, it is important that parents and educators understand the needs of these students and how to work with them.
The "Square Pegs in Round Holes" workshop describes the characteristics of language-based learning disabilities, and provides advise on helping students succeed in school and in life.
Tuesday October 21/03
6 to 8 pm
About ten percent of children demonstrate speech and language delays that place them in the high- risk category for literacy and learning problems.
The "More than Just Talking" workshop describes red flags for communication impairment, and strategies for helping communicatively impaired children build a solid foundation in language and learning skills.
Tuesday November 18 /03
6 to 8 pm
At least half of students with ADHD and Auditory Processing Disorders (CAP) have associated language and learning impairments. Their listening, organization and memory difficulties must be considered in helping them to cope with the demands of school.
The "Children who Tune Out" workshop provides practical strategies for modifying the home and school environment to maximize learning, for teaching to students’ strengths, for improving student behaviour to facilitate social-emotional adjustment.
Communication Strategies for the Workplace
There are many articles on how to improve the communication skills of managers and employees in business publications and newspapers. This is because interpersonal skills can impact almost every aspect of office morale and productivity in corporate culture. One writer (Judith Briles, July 2003) suggested that the following skills are critical in getting a job, remaining competitive:
Where caring counts: Kerry Erle makes a difference by Len Lesser of The Londoner
Speech and language health care workers have always had a special meaning for me. When I was young I fell down the stairs and cut off my tongue. After the physical healing I was left with a speech impediment that tormented me for many years. Stuttering and stammering, standing up in front of the class was my nemesis. In Grade 4 I had the good fortune to work with a speech therapist who helped me overcome my fears and learn to speak again.
Last week I was happy to spend a couple of hours interviewing Kerry Erle, president of London Speech and Language Centre. In her youth she wanted to be part of the health care profession. She received her undergraduate and graduate training in communicative disorders from Western in 1982. Frustrated by long waiting lists and funding inadequacies in schools and hospitals she opened her own private practice for children and adults.
Ten per cent of children suffer language and learning disabilities. Early intervention is critical in preventing children's behaviour deteriorating, creating academic and social difficulties.
School age children with speech concerns often have emotional baggage, source of which needs to be identified. Stuttering can't be cured; however, individuals learn to control their problem. Inappropriate tensions, shame and embarrassment, if not treated, can play havoc with one's self-confidence. Kerry and her staff provide a collaborative approach with families and teachers, offering effective learning strategies.
Brain-injured clients make up one-third of Kerry's clientele. At age of 14, 'David' was involved in a horrific car accident. After spending eight months in a coma he was discharged from the hospital. The prediction for success was limited, his chances of graduating from elementary school was in doubt. With amazing patience from therapist, teachers and family he was the top student of his Grade 9 class this year.
Programming and assessment are available year-round at the clinic. Saturday and summer speech camps are augmented by educational workshops for parents and professionals. After hearing the complexities of Kerry's program, I was impressed but exhausted. Married to Frank, who is the absolute antithesis of Kerry's driving personality, provides the balance. Three children - Sarah, like unto mom; Christopher, similar to his father; and Rebecca, her own person - rounds out a happy, busy family.
Kerry describes herself as an "ambitious, passionate, professional perfectionist." Helping people stand on their own feet is her goal. She sure as heck ain't no pacifist.
I asked her if she could change the world or herself what would she choose? She chose to change herself: "Contentment would be wonderful attribute but there is a driving need to be ambitious and help those in need." If I had to go into a battle on behalf of a disadvantaged student I sure would want Kerry Erle standing beside me. She is a pro who loves her work and will not be intimidated.
& Language Centre
1589 Fanshawe Park Road East
London ON N5X 3Z9
Phone: (519) 642-7370
Fax: (519) 642-2470
To optimize the social, emotional, educational and vocational advancement of individuals with communication and learning challenges.
"If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place and to see things from his point of view – as well as your own"