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Speech Therapy for Autism



The Speech Associates understands the complex challenges faced by families in today's health care and education system. Our interdisciplinary approach to health care encompasses the expertise and support from a broad range of perspectives including Speech-Language Pathology, Clinical Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Behavioural Therapy. Simply, we treat the “whole child.”

In-home and on-site therapy offers the benefit of training and including individuals who have the most interaction with the child; namely primary care givers, teachers, family members and friends and helps to facilitate generalization of target behaviour, communication and social skills within the child's natural environment. Speech Associates' highly trained Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and ABA Therapists work collaboratively with families to provide comprehensive services for children with a wide range of needs.


Our therapists offer assessment, program development/design and implementation, to address:

  • Receptive and expressive language
  • Play skills, shared and joint attention
  • Attending skills and hyperactivity
  • Social and pragmatic skills
  • Hypo and hypersensitivity issues
  • Aggression and emotional regulation
  • Behaviour management and compliancy shaping
  • Theory of mind (social cognition)
  • Executive functioning
  • Self-help and life skills
  • Pre-academic and academic skills

Effective treatment approaches include verbal behaviour based aba/ibi therapy, DIR-Floortime Therapy, PROMPT, the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol.


For children who demonstrate limited potential for speech, the Speech Associates also encourages the use of iPads and Assistive Technology with voice output that emulates natural speech. Apps can be used for teaching language / academic skills / behaviour tracking and customized to meet the communication needs of individuals in single words, phrases and complete sentences. Worth noting though, the potential of the iPad is not achieved by the iPad alone, nor by simply placing it in the hands of a child with autism. The potential of the device is realized by the way professionals like speech-language pathologists, occupational and behavioural therapists apply their skills and knowledge to use the iPad to effectively support and shape social development of children. The potential is realized by engaged parents working with our professionals to explore how the device best meets the individual needs of their child.


Children with Autism living in low income families who received a medical diagnosis may qualify for charitable funding from certain foundations including President's Choice Children's Charity and the Jennifer Ashleigh Foundation - a Speech Associates staff member would be pleased to assist with your application.


The term "autism spectrum" is often used to describe disorders that include autism, Asperger syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. These disorders are typically characterized by social deficits, communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviors and interests, and/or cognitive delays.

Symptoms / Signs of Autism


  • Not speaking or very limited speech
  • Loss of words the child was previously able to say
  • Difficulty expressing basic wants and needs
  • Poor vocabulary development or regression in language skills
  • Problems following directions or finding objects that are named
  • Repeating what is said (echolalia)
  • Problems answering questions
  • Speech that sounds different (e.g., lacking prosody and inflection or speech that is high-pitched)

Social Skills:

  • Poor eye contact with people or objects
  • Poor play skills (pretend or social play)
  • Being overly focused on a topic or objects that interest them
  • Problems making friends
  • Crying, becoming angry, giggling, or laughing for no known reason or at the wrong time
  • Sensitivity to being touched or held

Reacting to the World Around Them:

  • Rocking, hand flapping or other movements (self-stimulating movements)
  • Not paying attention to things the child sees or hears
  • Problems dealing with changes in routine
  • Using objects in unusual ways
  • Unusual attachments to objects
  • No fear of real dangers
  • Being either very sensitive or not sensitive enough to touch, light, or sounds (e.g., disliking loud sounds or only responding when sounds are very loud; also called a sensory integration disorder
  • Feeding difficulties (accepting only select foods, refusing certain food textures)
  • Sleep problems


Services will be clinically appropriate based on the child’s needs.


Services will include clinical supervision by: Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA or BCBA-D) with experience supervising the delivery of ABA-based services and supports for children diagnosed with ASD.

For more information contact our main office at: 416 800 4259 for a consultation with a speech-pathologist or email us at: