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Therapy for Pre-verbal skills

Skills required before your child's first words! 

Speech-Language Pathologists can support children who have not started talking yet, or those who have less words than expected for their age. Working on foundational skills helps promote your child's ability to learn and use new words! 


There are many foundational skills that are essential for speech and language development. These are some of the foundational pre-linguistic skills children need to learn words: 

  • Responding to people and the environment

  • Ability to taking turns

  • Joint attention (the ability to focus on the same thing as someone else e.g., if you and your child are both looking and paying attention to the same dog at the same time)

  • Imitation 

  • Intentional vocalization (making sounds with a purpose and intention) 

  • Using gestures 

  • Longer attention span 

  • Understanding words and following directions

If your child is not talking yet, they may need some support with these foundational skills. 

What do we work on?


social awareness + skills

  • Eye contact

  • Expressions + gestures

  • Attention

  • Turn-taking

  • Imitating

  • Play skills


words + sentences

  • Following directions

  • Pointing to named items

  • Answering questions

  • Saying words or exclamations

  • Combining words

  • Baby signs


sounds + oral movements

  • Intentional vocalizing

  • Babble development

  • Speech sound development

  • Question intonation

  • Jaw + lip movements

  • Tongue movements

What does therapy look like? 

We will work with you to find a format fits your child's and your family's needs the best. We currently offer both in-home and teletherapy sessions. 

Play-Based Sessions

Our sessions are play-based. Young children learn best in play because they are interested and engaged. We are experts in following your child's lead in play, but targeting their interactions, language and speech at the same time. 

We use play-based techniques and strategies to teach and encourage your child to communicate. We structure and modify the play to create natural opportunities for your child to practice their communication skills. We keep the sessions fun because communicating and interacting with people should be motivating! 


Sessions will include teaching and showing parents how to directly support their child. When we work with your child, we will show you how to do the same strategies and activities to support your child's ability to learn to use and understand more words. We want to show you how you can help your child talk more, use more words and pick up language faster!

We will show you how to use baby signs as a bridge/another form of communication, and help you find the best first words to teach your child. 


We are passionate about parent education and empowerment because parent involvement leads to the greatest improvements. We also want to show you all the great things you are already doing, so that you can be confident in building upon your existing skills! 

Language-Rich Environments

We discuss with you about how you can modify your existing routines (e.g., bath time, meal times) and environment (e.g., in the car, in your bathroom) to increase your child's ability to understand and communicate with you. This is why most of our sessions are play-based and in your own home!

Communication opportunities are all around us! There are many chances you can help your child use and understand more words. 

What treatment approaches do we use? 

Hanen Approaches

The Hanen Centre has developed a series of treatment approaches dedicated to supporting parents and educators of young children to use their daily interactions to build lifelong social, language and literacy skills. Research shows that parental involvement in a child's early intervention is critical, as children learn best at home where they are motivated to communicate with the important people in their lives. 

The Hanen approaches are evidence-based coaching programs based on principles of adult learning. The goal is to train the adults in a child's life to use simple, effective strategies to facilitate communication development during every day conversations. Traditionally, Hanen sessions are delivered to parents and educators via online or in-person group classes, though the principles can be adapted and used in one-on-one coaching as well.

For more information, please visit

SCERTS Framework

We support children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families based on the SCERTS™ model (SC: Social Communication, ER: Emotional Regulation, TS: Transactional Support). SCERTS is an evidence-based model to help the child become a competent and confident social communicator, who is able to express themselves spontaneously with a variety of messages. As well, the SCERTS model supports the child's ability to learn and apply functional and relevant skills in the different situations they may encounter each day. Within this model, we collaborate with families and focus on abilities and supports that "lead to the most positive long-term outcomes as indicated by National Research Council (2001; Educating Children with Autism)"

For more information please visit

Get support today!

Man Carrying Child in Arms

Book your free consultation

Come chat with us! Ask your questions and share your concerns. We'll let you know if therapy would be helpful.

Mother and Child

Learn tips and strategies

We have great resources for parent tips and tricks, and also information on speech, language and feeding development. 

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