I really want a group for my child, not for me. Do you offer this?
At Connections SLP, we focus on working with both children/teens and their parents or other invested adults to build skills that transfer beyond our courses, and therefore we do not offer groups solely for children and teens without an adult coach to assist with this. After more than 20 years of working with children and youth with social learning challenges, we strongly believe that for the skills learned in a group to be used outside of the group, parents or other supportive adults must be directly involved in learning the strategies being taught. By helping parents learn how and when to coach, children and teens can continue to succeed long after the course is complete. You will leave each week of your program with a specific plan to coach your child or teen as you apply the skills and concepts introduced in that week’s session to their activities, interests and routines. Each week builds on the next, and participants leave our programs with a set of tools that allows them to continue to achieve their social goals beyond the duration of their work with us. If you are looking for a group for your child or teen only, we would be happy to provide resources for you.
Will you assess my child or teen?
Because we provide a very focused service, built on our passion for and expertise in working with groups of children and teens and their families, we do not offer general communication or social communication assessments. We are happy to review previous assessments or therapy summaries prior to beginning our programs, and will work with your family to build on these as we determine your child or teen’s current strengths and needs in order to set goals and provide personalized strategies during our programs. Each of our programs begins with an individual online consultation to discuss your child or teen’s specific profile of strengths, interest and needs. The TalkAbility™ and PlayGreat @ Connections SLP programs include 60-minute pre-program consultations and the PEERS® program begins with a 90-minute consultation appointment.
We already have a therapist whom we love. Can we keep working with our therapist while we see you?
Absolutely! Because we provide a short-term, focused service, you can certainly continue with other therapists while working with our clinicians, or you may choose to pause other therapies for a short time to focus on our courses and return to other supports after the course is complete. With your permission, we’ll communicate with other professionals working with your child or family so that we can help you ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals in complementary ways. All of our staff are very experienced in working collaboratively with clients, families and other professionals.
Are your programs in person or virtual?
We are pleased to offer our programs through virtual care (telepractice) at this time. Parents and teens participate online in the evenings, through our secure online platform. Parents of younger children also attend evening sessions online as part of our adult group learning and participate with their child in periodic online sessions during the day.
Can I use Ontario Autism Program funding or extended health benefits for your programs?
Yes, you can. All of our programs are delivered by speech-language pathologists registered to practice in Ontario, therefore they would be eligible under the OAP funding and under extended health benefits covering speech-language pathology services.
Are any of your programs available in the publicly funded systems?
Yes, some children may be able to access TalkAbility™ through provincially funded programs. Teens with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder may be able to participate in the PEERS® Program through regional autism services or their school system. We encourage you to explore these options. At Connections SLP we welcome all children and teens with social learning and friendship needs. Our services do not require any documented diagnoses.