Frequently Asked Questions


We are currently available for new intakes for both our Surrey, BC and Vancouver, BC clinics! We have Speech-Language Pathologists and Speech-Language Pathologist Assistants available to work with your family.

Is there a waitlist? If so, how long?

This is heavily dependent on your availability. Some of our therapists are completely full, while some are available to accept new clients. We also encourage our families to consider both SLP and SLPA options and/or virtual therapy.

What is the difference between a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant (SLPA)?

SLPs have a Master’s Degree and our SLPA’s have an undergraduate degree. SLPs complete assessments, carries out treatments, plans treatment, and oversees the plan for SLPAs. SLPAs only carry out planned treatment as directed by the supervising SLP.

At what age should I refer my child to an SLP?
You can refer a child at any age. There are established criteria for what is expected in communication growth from infancy. The clinic sees a lot of toddlers which is a great age to consult about a child as a baseline measure of that child is established and then that child can be monitored over time to determine the growth of speech and language skills.
Do you need a referral from a doctor?

A doctor’s referral is not required to engage in Speech-Language therapy. Families can self-refer. If your family is concerned about your child’s speech and/or language development, you can self-refer your child for an initial consultation with one of our SLPs.

Are we covered by the government or are we private?

Semiahmoo Speech Services is a private Speech-Language therapy clinic with locations in Surrey, BC and Vancouver, BC.

How often should we come in for treatment? How many sessions will my child need?

The number of therapy sessions will be dependent on the individual needs of your learner and family. Some clients require ongoing therapy services with frequent updates to their treatment plan, while other clients benefit from an intensive block of therapy. Some learners attend sessions weekly, some biweekly, some twice a week, and a few attend three times a week. The SLP working with your family will work with your family to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your learner.

Is home therapy available?

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are not providing home therapy at this time. We have previously provided home therapy and will look to do so again in the future.


If your learner has recently been working with another SLP through school or privately, please provide us with the assessment/progress notes and we can determine if another assessment is needed immediately. A Registered Speech-Language Pathologist (RSLP) will meet with your family at an initial consultation. At the initial consultation, the SLP will spend time discussing the learner’s history, concerns, and goals for Speech-Language therapy.

What information do I need to provide to an initial appointment?

Please provide us with any relevant medical or school documents including previous assessments/progress notes, test results, or teacher results.  It would be very helpful to provide as much detail as possible including but not limited to language samples either written or a video.

What will happen at the initial consultation?

A Registered Speech-Language Pathologist (RSLP) will meet with the child and parent(s). At the initial consultation, the SLP will spend time with the family discussing the learner’s history, concerns, and goals for Speech-Language therapy. A screening of speech, language and communication skills will be conducted through informal assessment and formal assessment when appropriate. A discussion of the areas of strength and weakness will occur. A consultation report may be given to you at this session highlighting areas of strength, concern and recommendations. If a significant concern is identified at the initial consultation, then assessment sessions will be recommended so that comprehensive testing can be undertaken.

What do sessions look like?

Our sessions lengths are 40 minutes or 55 minutes. The length of each session will be dependent on the individual needs of the learner and family.

Examples of sessions: 

Younger learners: Our sessions are child-centered and play-based. Children will be ‘playing’ with their therapist while practicing a specific speech sound, learning an identified language structure or enhancing a targeted social skill.

School-aged learners: We try our best to structure our sessions so that they are fun! Learners will be engaging with their therapist through play and table-work. Our therapists aim to build rapport with each learner and engage them in activities involving their interests. 

Teen and adult learners: At SSS, we strongly believe in generalization of skills. We work with our teens and adults through direct teaching and then engaging in role-play to practice skills learned. 

The session structure will be dependent on each learner! Connect with your SLP to discuss your learner’s best learning style. 


Please contact our office to get rates for assessment, consultation and therapy.

Do we accept Extended Health Benefits?

Some extended health benefits will cover a portion of therapy. The amounts of therapy covered are specific to each extended health benefit plan and each family is encouraged to call their provider to determine what their coverage would be. We do not bill Extended Health Benefits directly. The family is required to pay upfront and a receipt will be provided to submit to the insurance provider.

Do we accept funding sources?

Your child may qualify for funding from one of the following programs:

  • Autism Funding Unit
  • At Home Program
  • Variety Children’s Charity
  • CKNW Kid’s Fund
  • Distributed Learning Schools (e.g. HCOS, KLEOS, Self-Design)
Does the parent participate in sessions?
We encourage parents to be present during the initial consultation when the screening takes place of speech and language skills. During regular therapy, we welcome parents to be an active participant in all sessions to the degree that they are comfortable. Some parents will participate in the latter portion of therapy sessions so that they are fully aware of the targets taught during the session and what the expectation is for homework. Our general philosophy is that parents are always welcome to join in or observe any session.
Does the SLP collaborate with other professionals?

Absolutely! We love working with other team members including family members, daycare staff, school teachers, behaviour consultants and others to support our learners. We are able to attend team meetings and/or set-up phone consultations to consult with other professionals.

My 15-Month Old Child Isn't Saying Any Words, Should I Worry?
This comment has been reprinted with permission from, to read the original comment click here, to read the original article click here

I recently wrote about my daughter not speaking at 15 months old in my “Mom at Home” Column. Today I received an email from a reader who provided me with some very valuable information about when a child should speak – what the norm is and what you can expect. She is a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist located in White Rock.


It is so hard to know what is normal and what is abnormal when you try to compare your child’s development with another child or sibling. (I did this with my son as he was an early talker – and found it quite distressing that my daughter wasn’t saying anything). With the Pathologist’s permission, I have attached her information, in hopes that it will help other moms out there determine if there is a problem with their child’s speech development.


Kelley Scarsbrook


What parents need to know is that there certainly are some markers that we look for in speech and language development, for example, first words typically are spoken at 12 mos. A vocabulary ‘spurt’ is expected at 18 mos where children rapidly learn new words, in fact, they can be learning a new word per day or more!


At 2 years, we expect to see the beginning of word combinations which is two words in a tiny sentence like ‘eat cookie’ ‘go bye-bye’. Having said this, there is also a very wide range of what is still within the realm of normal development as not all kids follow this ‘textbook’ scenario of development (in fact none of my three did and they are all excellent oral communicators at 5,7 and 8 years).


What we as specialists in communication try to determine is if a child is within the wide expectations of these developmental norms, and along with it, we need to determine if the child’s comprehension of oral language is on target as often it is a very good predictor of when a child will begin to talk.


I thought your article was timely given that May is ‘Speech and Hearing Month’ and if parents have concerns about their child’s speech and/or language development they should contact a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist. This can either be through the public sector (although waiting lists are months long) or through the private sector (the Association holds a roster at


Petulla M. Dedish