First Words Services

First Words provides free services for families with children from birth to eligibility for Senior Kindergarten. The program partners with community workers, early childhood educators, primary care providers, and clinicians.

We have changed how we provide speech and language screening in Ottawa.  Check out the First Words Communication Checkup online screening tool!

This new screening tool takes about 15-30 minutes to complete.  It looks at different areas of your child development such as:

  • Speech and language
  • Fine and gross motor
  • Social communication
  • Social behaviour
  • and much more!

Get instant results and next steps to take to support your child’s development.  Click here to get started!

 

Direct referrals to First Words in Ottawa

Families are encouraged to complete the First Words Communication Checkup online screening tool. By completing the tool, you can be sure that your child will be supported by the agency that best suits their needs. You can also choose to provide a copy of your child’s results to the agency to inform their assessment.

You can make a self-referral to the CHEO Access Team (centralized intake) if:

  • You do not wish to complete the First Words Communication Checkup and you suspect a speech and language delay
  • You suspect a speech and language delay and/or your child is not meeting the communication milestones.

Call 613-737-2757 to start your referral.

 

Direct Referrals to First Words in Renfrew County

You can make a self-referral to First Words Renfrew County Intake Office if:

  • You suspect a speech and language delay and/or your child is not meeting the communication milestones.

Call  613-732-7007, ext. 5905 or 1-888-421-2222 to start your referral.

 

Clinical Speech-Language Pathology services. The First Words services include these steps:

  1. Parents access our First Words Communication Checkup online screening tool for their child or can self-refer to the CHEO Access Team.
  2. Parents must complete and return the First Words Intake Package.
  3. The child will be assessed by a Speech-Language Pathologist.
  4. The child and family access treatment and intervention.
  5. The Speech-Language Pathologist will support the family with transition to school.

Community Outreach and Health Promotion. Public awareness, prevention, and education activities are offered to parents, the community and health professionals in Ottawa and Renfrew County. Check out strategies and resources.