In Ontario, no Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) can use the terms (or variations of) “specialize” or “expert”. Our licensing body (the College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists of Ontario; CASLPO) clearly states the use of these terms is prohibited. You can look for words like “special interest” or “extensive experience” and you want to be sure they are licensed in Ontario to practice speech-language pathology (look for a CASLPO # or “reg. CASLPO” with their name). You will want to ask about their experience with treating CAS, their approach to treatment, and what professional development they have related to CAS. CASANA has an excellent article here on finding a SLP when your Child has Apraxia of Speech. It includes some excellent questions that should be considered when you’re searching for/selecting a SLP. Don’t be shy about asking for a phone or face-to-face meeting when seeking a SLP for your child. Many SLPs offer a free consultation or meet-up that will allow you to get to know each other a little bit. While the SLP’s experience is important, equal weight should be placed on your and your child’s comfort with them. Speech therapy should be hard work but it should also be fun and productive. If it’s not, be sure to speak to your SLP about your concerns.
Most SLPs do not graduate from school with much knowledge or experience of CAS as it is a rare disorder relative to what the graduate school curriculum has to cover. Furthermore, training for CAS is very specific and typically more applicable to a SLP once they have some clinical skills and experience in the field, making it difficult to include in a graduate school program. OPPEN CAS is hopeful to change this in the future but in the meantime is meant to be a resource for those SLPs who need support in their clinical skill set. If you have or are working with a SLP who doesn’t know about OPPEN CAS please tell them!
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