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Solutions for Ontario Students with Communication Disorders

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Dear Premier Wynne,

Our education system is one of our most important institutions as it literally shapes our future. During the years of education, communication development is the key to learning and communication skills are key to success in adult life. Communication disorders, alone or as a factor in other disorders, affect 6-10% of Ontario’s elementary and secondary student population.

60-80% of students with learning disability,

100% of students with autism spectrum disorder,

80% of students with behaviour disorder, and

80% of students with developmental challenge,

have a communication disorder as a major factor affecting their academic and social development.

In July, 2010, Deloitte issued the final report of its review of School Health Support Services [SHSS].  (See Solutions for Ontario Students with Communication Disorders at http://slpservicesontario.wordpress.com/) It says the following about speech language pathology [SLP] services for students with communication disorders:

“Through [the Interministerial Guidelines for the Provision of Speech and Language Services], children requiring SLP services receive language support from the Board SLP, and speech support from the SHSS SLP. This results in fragmented service delivery for the child and family.” p. 5

“throughout the provincial and local area consultations, the majority of stakeholders consistently identified the need to address this divide between speech and language by consolidating the service into a single speech language pathology service for children in schools.” p.38

This is a long-standing and well-documented issue. The Ontario Association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders, in its position paper, Support for Speech and Language Services in Educational Settings, 1994, states: “The only sensible and practical solution to educating those with communications disorders is integrated, not fragmented, educational services administered by … Speech-Language Pathologists in educational settings.” (OAFCCD, Support for Speech and Language Services in Educational Settings)

The present system has been studied thoroughly. The unfortunate fragmentation of services among several ministries results in duplication and inefficient use of resources.  We believe, along with the majority of stakeholders, that resources would be most effectively used by basing services where the students are, in the educational system.  Thus, repectfully, we petition the government to mandate, consolidate and fund speech language services for students with communication disorders as an integral part of our educational system.

Solutions for Ontario Students with Communication Disorders


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Solutions for Ontario Students with Communication Disorders

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