Simcoe County Preschool Speech and Language Program has temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but parents and caregivers waiting for services have options while they wait.
Lauretta Tulipano, a Speech and Language Pathologist at Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) says intake services at the hospital are still open. “If a parent is concerned about their child’s development, they can give us a call. When we speak with a parent, we will complete a developmental screen over the phone called the E.R.I.K. (Early Referral Identification Kit).”
You can call the hospital at 705-739-5696 and press 2 or 1-800-675-1979.
Based on how the parent answers the questions on the E.R.I.K, the intake office can process referrals to Infant Development, Resource Consultation, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology.
In the meantime, many helpful tools are available online to help nurture speech, language, and Occupational Therapy.
RVHCDS (Children’s Development Services) has a Facebook page filled with videos and articles to help parents get the ball rolling.
Some advice includes singing simple songs like “Row Row Row your Boat.”
Tulipano says the Hanen Centre is another excellent website to explore, and has a Youtube channel parents will find helpful. There are videos on how to use music, games, and toys to stimulate language.
Simcoe County Early Intervention Services also provides plenty of printable resources for parents .
While EarlyON Child & Family Centres are currently closed, the EarlyON Child & Family Centres in Collingwood/Alliston and Simcoe North are offering services online such as story-telling and circle time through their Facebook pages.
More information can also be found at Simcoe County Early Intervention Services.
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