Referrals

Introducing… The Communication Checkup!

First Words is now offering an electronic screening tool: the Communication Checkup.

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Are you worried about a child’s speech and language development?

As an Early Childcare Educator or Home Care Provider, you are in a unique position to observe the child and advise their family of a potential speech and language issue. If you think that a child might be having trouble learning to communicate, it is very important to get them the help they need as early as possible.

Referrals are simple!

  • Check out our communications milestones for help with identifying whether the child may be having trouble.
  • Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 / 613-PARENTS and speak to a Public Health Nurse to discuss any questions or concerns.
  • We strongly encourage families to complete the Communication Checkup rather than request an assessment. However, direct referrals to the First Words Intake Office at 613-737-7600, ext. 2500 can be made by parents, health professionals and physicians.

Are you worried about a child’s speech and language development AND have concerns about their overall development (i.e. play, Social skills, motor skills)?

To determine where to refer a family, consult the Referral Guide for Children with Developmental Concerns – Ages 0-4 Years – for Ottawa Residents.  This document will provide insight on what agency can best support the child needs so that the family can be referred appropriately and ensure faster access to services.

Are you worried about a child’s hearing?

For concerns regarding hearing loss except otitis media (ear infections):

  • If the child is under 2 years of age, parents should contact the Coordinator, Eastern Ontario Infant Hearing Program at 613-688-3979 ext. 3331 or 1-866-432-7447.
  • If the child is over 2 years of age, parents should contact their child’s doctor for a referral to an audiologist or CHEO Audiology department.

For concerns regarding otitis media (ear infections) in a child of any age, contact a physician for a referral to an audiologist or CHEO Audiology department.