What is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)?
Speech-language pathologists, also called SLPs or speech therapists, are experts in communication. SLPs work with people of all ages, from babies to adults. SLPs treat many types of communication challenges and swallowing problems. They are registered and regulated by the Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA).
What do SLPs do?
Speech sounds—how we say sounds and put sounds together into words.
Language—how we understand what we hear and how we use words to tell others what we are
thinking. This could include children who are late talking as well as older children with
challenges expressing themselves or understanding spoken language.
Nonverbal communication – how we communicate without words using pictures, sign language
or speech generating software for people who can not talk.
Social communication—how we follow social rules, like taking turns, how to talk to different
people, or how close to stand to someone when talking.
Literacy—how we read, spell, and write. Includes pre-literacy skills such as sound-letter
Voice—how our voices sound. We may sound hoarse, lose our voices easily, talk too loudly or
through our noses.
Stuttering—how speech flows. Someone who stutters may repeat sounds, like t-t-t-table, use “um” or “uh”,or pause a lot when talking.
Cognitive-communication—how our minds work and organize information. Challenges may
involve memory, attention, problem solving, organization, and other thinking skills.
Feeding and swallowing—how we suck, chew, and swallow food and liquid. A swallowing
disorder may lead to poor nutrition, weight loss, and other health problems.
Signs a child may benefit from SLP?
- Child is difficult to understand when they speak
- Child struggles to express their ideas
- Child struggles to follow directions or understand conversation
- Child has fewer words than peers
- Child uses behaviour rather than words to communicate
- Child stutters or has unusual voice quality
- Child has challenges eating a variety of foods
- Child has hearing loss
- Child has developmental, neurological or intellectual delay or disorder
Jenny McNab MSc, R.SLP
Language and communication have always fascinated me. This fascination combined with my passion for working with children led me to a career in speech language pathology (SLP). Raised in Revelstoke BC, I received my Masters of Speech Language Pathology from the University of British Columbia in 2009. Since moving to the Bow Valley in 2011, I’ve worked in a variety of clinic, community and school settings where I’ve gained a wide range of experience. My focus is on toddler, preschool and school
aged children including those with mild to severe challenges in a variety of areas.
My experiences as an SLP and as a mother have taught me the value of empowering families. With this belief as a foundation, I focus on a family-centered and holistic approach which takes into account the child as a whole. I also have a flexible approach and am available to work with your family independently or as a member of a collaborative therapy team in direct therapy or consultatively.
I am honoured to work with families in the Bow Valley and help children reach their potential and experience the power of communication.
Barbara Kostyk M.Sc., R.SLP
Born and raised in Edmonton, I graduated from the University of Alberta in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, followed by a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in 1996. After graduation I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where I worked in the public school system. Next I relocated to Calgary, where I established a private practice focused on language and literacy in learning disability, as well as neurological rehabilitation. In 2005, I answered the call of the mountains and made Canmore my permanent home, working with preschool and school-aged children with a wide variety of diagnoses and communication challenges.
My 24 years in practice have taught me the importance of meeting children where they are at developmentally, tailoring my approach to the individual child and family, and doing everything I can to ensure programming is not only effective, but fun! I’m grateful to be able to collaborate with such an experienced and knowledgeable multidisciplinary team of therapists, and above all, I’m honored to accompany so many amazing children and families along their journey to better communication.