Mississauga: Ontario is helping 10,000 more children with speech and language difficulties by reducing wait times for speech and language services.
Additional funding is being provided to Ontario’s 31 Preschool Speech and Language lead agencies which provide services to children with communications challenges from birth to the time they start school. These services include:
• Assessment of a child’s communication skills
• Interventions such as parent workshops, group therapy and individual therapy
• Transition planning when a child is eligible to start school
• Referrals to other agencies if needed
Says Harinder Takhar, MPP Mississauga-Erindale, “ErinoakKids does terrific work in our community. Over the past decade, I have had the opportunity to witness the results ErinoakKids provides to members of our community who desperately need these services, and the benefits to those young children and families who receive the services. We are fortunate to have this organization working so hard for us, right here in Mississauga.”
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development, the lead agency for the Preschool Speech and Language Program in Halton-Peel, will receive an additional $557,616 this year and an additional $330,082 next year, bringing total funding for the program in 2015/16 to $5,991,005. The additional funding will help children in Mississauga and beyond get the support they need sooner.
Says Bridget Fewtrell, President and CEO, ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development, “We are grateful for this much-needed additional funding for the Preschool Speech and Language program in Halton and Peel. When young children are having difficulty, early intervention is vital to their development and future success in school and beyond.”
Supporting children and youth to reach their full potential is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
Dr. Jean Clinton, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, “Speech, language and literacy development in the early years play a critical role in all aspects of children’s development and are essential in developing their love of learning. Arriving at school with these skills helps them learn and be curious and successful in school and in life. Addressing speech and language challenges early, when their little brains are most sensitive to change and support, helps prepare children for life and succeed in school.”