What To Do After Screening

Did the screening results indicate that your child could benefit from a complete speech and language assessment? 


If no, then your child does not currently need help from our speech-language pathologists. Keep working with your child to help them get better and better at talking, and refer to our communications milestones to make sure they’re staying on track! You can always complete another screening (based on your child’s age at that time) if new concerns develop.  Check out our webinar for tips for building your child’s communication.


If yes, here is how our program works:

  • Complete the referral process online through the First Words Communication Checkup.
  • If you have not completed the referral process online, call the CHEO Access Team at (613) 737-2757. They will send you an Intake package that you must complete for your child to be added to our waitlist for services. If possible, you can attach a copy of the results from the First Words Communication Checkup online screening tool.
  • Alternatively, you can fill out the First Words Communication Checkup again and complete the referral process at that point.
  • Watch a Parent Education Webinar. This series of short webinars gives parents information about First Words services, preschool speech and language development, strategies to encourage your child’s communication skills and community resources.
  • Receive a call from our intake staff to book your child’s assessment appointment.
  • Attend your child’s assessment appointment. You and your child will meet with a speech-language pathologist who will do assess of all areas of communication and determine if your child needs direct treatment.  At the assessment, you will be provided with a home program with specific goals to work on with your child while you wait for in-clinic treatment to begin.
  • Start treatment. This may include parent training, parent-child group sessions, group therapy, individual therapy, and consultation. The kind of treatment your child will receive depends on your child’s age and their communication needs.


There may be wait times between the different steps in the program. If you have not been called within 6 months of sending your intake forms, contact our office.

Ottawa: 613-737-7600 ext. 2500

Renfrew County: 613-732-7007, ext. 5905 or 1-888-421-2222


Private speech-language pathologists

Parents sometimes wish to use a private speech-language pathologist for their child at their own cost. Families who have worked with a private speech-language pathologist can still receive First Words services.

First Words keeps a list of Private Speech Pathologists who see children in the Ottawa area.  Please note that First Words does not confirm the practitioner’s certification or qualifications.  The included checklist includes suggested questions to use when working with a private speech-language pathologist.