St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph’s Speech-Language Pathology Department offers services for adults with a developmental need,  adults experiencing communication difficulties, and preschool children with a diagnosis of Autism that are part of the Ontario Autism Program Caregiver-Mediated Early Years Program.

SJHCG n’est pas en mesure de fournir des services en français pour le moment, mais peut vous aider à vous référer à un pourvoyeur qui peut répondre à vos besoins linguistiques. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter et nous pourrons rediriger votre référence.

Speech & Language Programs

Ontario Autism Program Caregiver-Mediated Early Years Programs

As part of the changes to the Ontario Autism Program (OAP), all children who are 12 to 48 months (4 years) old and registered in the OAP are eligible and will be invited to participate in caregiver-mediated early years programs for free.

Caregiver-mediated early years programs help young children learn new skills and meet individual goals. All programs are play-based, child-led and developmentally appropriate. Programs are free of charge and available for a period of up to six months per child.

Through these programs, you will learn therapeutic strategies and specific techniques from professionals based on your child’s individual needs. The programs aim to build your capacity to support your child’s skill development in:

  • social interaction
  • play
  • communication
  • emotional development
  • adaptive development and self-help skills

Once you receive an invitation from the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services, visit to learn more about the service and other opportunities available to you.

When you choose the program that’s right for your child, you register directly with the service provider. For a full list of service providers, click here.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph is a service provider for the Ontario Autism Program Caregiver Mediated Early Years Services in Guelph/Wellington County and Ontario Central Region. Children who are 12 to 48 months (4 years) of age and have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder may register through the Ontario Autism Program to be eligible to access our services. We are offering two different Caregiver Mediated Early Years Programs: PLAY Project and Project ImPACT.

PLAY Project

Age range: 12-48 months at the start of the program

Type of program: Individual parent coaching sessions

Location: Coaching sessions are currently virtual. In person accommodations can be discussed for families with technology issues. (Future sessions may take place in home/in clinic as possible)

Duration: up to 6 months

Visits: Individual parent coaching sessions biweekly for 60-90 minutes

Homework: Parents are expected to practice 2 hours per day/ broken into shorter practice times in day to day activities and play time.

The PLAY (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) project ™ is an evidence based parent-mediated intervention for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is a playful, practical, parent-implemented program that supports the development of social interactions, communication, play and pre-academic skills in children with ASD. This program is appropriate for children 12-48 months at different levels of development and different levels of communication (no words – sentences). Practice takes place in play and day-to-day activities.

The PLAY consultant provides parents with video and written feedback and supports parents to develop an individualized PLAY plan so parents’ play is fun and effective and helps their child make progress.

PLAY consultant can work with families to find solutions, if there are scheduling issues. This format of individual parent coaching may be beneficial for clients that need interpreter service.


Project ImPACT

Age range: 12-48 months at the start of the program

Type of program: Parent-only Group classes + Individual parent coaching sessions (parent and child)

Location: All sessions are currently virtual. In person accommodations can be discussed for families with technology issues. (Future sessions may take place in home/in clinic as possible)

Duration: 12 Weeks + 2-3 monthly follow up sessions

Visits: 6 biweekly parent-only group classes 2 hours each

Alternating with 6 biweekly individual parent coaching sessions (parent and child) for 60-90 minutes

Homework: Parents are expected to practice between sessions in play and day-to-day activities.

Project ImPACT (Improving Parents As Communication Teachers) is a Parent-Mediated intervention for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).. This program teaches parents strategies they can use to help their child develop social communication, imitation, and play skills during daily routines and activities. Project ImPACT incorporates both developmental science and applied behavioral analysis (ABA) principles.

Our Speech-Language Pathologist will work with parents to develop individual goals for their child and help parents to use specific strategies, in order to support development in the areas of social engagement, communication, imitation and play skills using daily activities. Caregivers will learn strategies they can use with their child during natural daily activities at home to promote their child’s social communication development (i.e., during play, meals, bath, bedtime).

Adult Developmental Services Community Speech-Language Pathology

Clients who have a developmental needs, live in Ontario and are 18 years of age or older may be eligible for support with their communication and/or swallowing needs. Clients already enrolled in Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) can easily call to request a referral to Speech-Language Pathology services for communication and/or swallowing supports.

A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) works with clients and their caregivers to complete an assessment. The client, caregiver and SLP develop a plan and set goals together; treatment or consultations are based on the client’s and/or caregiver’s needs.

The program aims to build capacity to support development in: eating/swallowing, speech clarity, stuttering, social language, language comprehension and expression, and augmentative and alternative communication (for individuals who are non-verbal or who have limited verbal).

If you are not registered with DSO, please note the application process can be long. It is recommended that clients start their application process at age 16 in order to access services by age 18.  For more information, visit the DSO website at

If you are registered with DSO, call to request Speech-Language Pathology services. 1-888-941-1121.

Click here for a brief information sheet on the Adult Developmental Service.

Referrals to this program come directly from DSO.

Adult Services

Adults who are patients of SJHCG in the complex medical or rehabilitation programs, have access to communication and feeding/swallowing assessments and intervention. Adults in the Guelph community may access outpatient communication services.

A Speech-Language Pathologist works with clients for whom communication has been affected by stroke, traumatic brain injury, or degenerative disease. They also provide services for voice disorders (vocal quality, pitch, loudness), and fluency.

Help with communication difficulties may involve assessment and treatment to improve one or more areas of communication or cognitive language skills, including receptive and expressive language, speech, reasoning, problem-solving, memory, and organization skills required to communicate effectively. A Speech-Language Pathologist may also promote social participation and support for family members by connecting clients and families to additional resources and programs in the community.

A swallowing disorder can harm the health of those affected. Early identification and treatment of swallowing disorders can help prevent malnutrition, dehydration, and pulmonary problems. It can also promote greater independence in elderly people.

Outpatient Adult Referral Form

Important Information to Note

  • SJHCG does NOT offer outpatient swallowing services
  • Participants for outpatient services require a physician’s referral
  • All voice referrals must be accompanied by a recent ENT report
  • Preschool Children with other Communication disorders can access the Preschool Speech and Language Service through KidsAbility Centre for Child Development. School-aged children (eligible for senior kindergarten) have access to Speech-Language Services through the school system.


To enquire about Speech-Language Pathology at SJHCG, please contact the Speech-Language Clerk at 519-824-6000 ext. 4303.

More Information

Follow the links below for more information about Speech-Language Pathology: