Speech Therapy for Children


The Ontario Autism Program (OAP) allows parents to access speech therapy from the service provider of their choice. Speech Therapy Centres of Canada’s speech-language pathologists (speech therapists) are part of the Ontario Autism Program grant to provide increased capacity and to provide services to those families in need.


The Ontario Autism Program (OAP) offers support to families of children and youth on the autism spectrum. Children and youth who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by a qualified professional are eligible for the program. Children receive services and supports until the age of 18.


  • To register for the Ontario Autism Program, your child must:
  • be under age 18
  • currently live in Ontario
  • have a written diagnosis of autism from a qualified professional

For more information about the Ontario Autism Program, please visit:

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulty with socialization, communication and language. Other challenges include repetitive behaviors and interests, such as constantly stacking objects, and echolalia (repeating noises, sentences and phrases that one hears but that are not meaningful or appropriate in that context). Children with ASD are diagnosed on a spectrum from mild to severe.

Your child may have difficulties with:

  • Making regular eye contact with parents or other close
  • Responding (with looking or speaking) when their name is called
  • Understanding words or following directions
  • Using words or gestures (i.e., waving, pointing etc.) to explain needs or wants
  • Sharing toys or taking turns with adults or other children
  • Playing simple games (i,e., peekaboo) with parents or other children
  • Repeating words or phrases over and over again

How Can a Speech-Language Pathologist Help?

Speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) are very important members of an ASD team. We work closely with ABA therapists, teachers and others. By teaching children to communicate we help reduce the frustrations and behaviors they may feel as a result of their inability to express themselves. Early intervention with an S-LP helps children reach their potential to communicate wants, needs, ideas and opinions with others.

Through play and games, S-LP therapy will help your child understand, communicate and socialize in a fun and engaging environment. S-LP therapy will support your child in:

  • Playing and getting along with other children
  • Using words or other communication styles (iPad, picture cards etc.) to explain what they want or need
  • Asking and answering questions
  • Making comments
  • Asking for help
  • Taking turns in play and conversations
    Telling stories

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