Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right speech-language pathologist can be challenging. A lot of potentially confusing information is available about the private services available in Manitoba, and not all private practices are the same. Before making an informed decision, it is important to have some basic information about the speech language pathology services offered in the province. Our FAQs, below, provide some basic information that anyone looking for speech language pathology services should have.

They also discuss the regulation of practitioners in Manitoba through the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba (CASLPM). The college is a public institution that regulates clinicians in Manitoba to help maintain the health and well-being of people receiving both private and public speech-language pathology. Members of the public can seek information through the college about practitioners in the province.

The following are links to some important speech-language pathology organizations.

The College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba (CASLPM) – The provincial regulatory body for speech-language pathologists and audiologist. All practicing clinicians in Manitoba must be a registered CASLPM member.

The College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) is a sister college to CASLPM, and regulates speech-language pathologists in Ontario. Some of the clinicians at Buchel Speech and Language Group are also registered to practice in Ontario through CASLPO.

Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) – The Canadian national advocacy and clinical credentialing body for speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – The American national advocacy and clinical credentialing body for speech-language pathologists and audiologist – many Canadian speech-language pathologists and audiologists who trained in the United States are credentialed by ASHA.

Speech-language pathologists in Manitoba must register with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba (CASLPM) and complete annual continuing education work to ensure that their skills meet current standards of practice. The letter R or word Registered should be listed as part of a Manitoba speech-language pathologist’s signature to denote their registration with the college. Many speech-language pathologists in Manitoba also have a clinical credential through the Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC). This optional credential requires the successful completion of a national standardized exam. As SAC notes, the credential is both nationally and internationally recognized. Practitioners with this credential may use the designation SLP (C), or S-LP (C). Others are credentialed through ASHA and use the designation CCC.

Other formal credentials or educational courses that a speech-language pathologist in Manitoba may have completed are optional. These are normally meant to enhance knowledge in a specific area of treatment. Managing clinician Caitlin Buchel is a registered CASLPM member, Council Member of the CASLPM board, has her clinical credential through SAC, and continues to complete a variety of additional courses in rehabilitative speech-language pathology. All other clinicians working for the Buchel Speech & Language Group are registered CASLPM members, with some holding additional credentials. All participate in regular professional development activities and continuing education.

It is important to know about the clinician who will be treating you, before you begin private speech-language pathology.

Although all registered speech-language pathologists in Manitoba can provide a range of basic services, there are important differences between them. Many private and public practitioners will focus on one or more areas of treatment, and on particular client groups. Although the Buchel Speech & Language Group is a full-service, private, speech-language pathology practice, each of the group’s clinicians works in specific areas. For example, Caitlin Buchel focuses on the areas of stroke and brain injury rehabilitation, neuro-degenerative disorders, the treatment of voice disorders, and the area of fluency. When you contact us for services, we will match you with the most appropriate clinician.

As in other health care professions, clinical focus benefits clients. The detailed knowledge that comes with this focus helps provide the best possible care and treatment results. In addition, this helps clinicians understand important differences between their treatment groups and others. Finally, their comprehensive knowledge can benefit a treatment team including other health care providers.

Public speech-language pathologists work in the public health care system at facilities like hospitals, health care centres, and personal care homes, and schools.

Private speech-language pathologists work independently of the public system on a fee-for-service basis. Many speech-language pathologists in Manitoba will split their professional time, working as both public and private practitioners.

Free, public speech-language pathology services are available to children and adults in Manitoba. However, there are several important reasons for considering private services.

People who have had a stroke or a brain injury will receive treatment in a hospital or another care facility. During this time, they may get treatment from a speech-language pathologist working there. These services are free until the client is discharged and goes home. Once someone is discharged from a hospital, they can then put their name on the Central Outpatient Waitlist for the Adult Outpatient Communication and Swallowing Program, in order to get public speech-language pathology services for free.

However, there can sometimes be a considerable delay between the time that someone puts their name on the Central Outpatient Waitlist, and when they eventually receive services. Many times, clients recovering from a stroke or acquired brain injury show the most improvements during early treatment. Private speech-language pathology provides an opportunity for people to continue their recovery after leaving the hospital, without having to wait. It is a good way for many clients to continue with their recovery while waiting for an available public clinician.

Other adults who have not been in hospital, but are interested speech-language pathology services, can add their name to the Central Outpatient Waitlist too. This might be an option for someone who is looking for fluency or other speech-language pathology treatments. However, the wait time for these services can also be quite long, and private speech-language pathology provides an opportunity to start treatment right away.

Individuals can either self-refer or have one of their healthcare providers – like their doctor – refer them to the Central Outpatient Waitlist for the Adult Outpatient Communication and Swallowing Program. However, you can feel free to contact the Buchel Speech & Language Group for more information about these public services.

Pre-school children in Manitoba are also eligible for free, public speech-language pathology services. Anyone, including parents, daycare providers, and physicians can refer a pre-school aged child to Central Intake through their respective Regional Health Authority. Once the referral is received, it is sent to a Community Access Site (e.g. Access Centres, Health Sciences Centre) and you will be contacted within a week to schedule an appointment. That appointment will typically be within the next couple of weeks, and eventual treatment will vary based on the speech-language pathologist’s assessment of your child.

The Regional Health Authorities, including the WRHA – through its Pre-school Speech-Language Pathology Service – have worked hard to eliminate waitlists and be responsive to families. However, some parents may still elect to pursue private speech-language pathology services for reasons such as the availability of after work or weekend appointments, a possible delay between assessment and the availability of treatment, or the desire to add to their child’s public SLP services.

School age children can also access free, public speech-language pathology services. Their school division will generally employ one or more public speech-language pathologists. Parents who are interested in these services can contact their child’s school for more information. Many public speech-language pathologists working in the school system provide treatment on a consultative basis, with a limited amount of time for direct one-on-one interventions. Private speech-language pathology provides an opportunity for parents to give their children this one-on-one treatment time, which may not be available through their school. Some parents also choose to add a private speech-language pathologist to their child’s therapy team to supplement treatment available through the school system.

Of note, there is a separately funded program for school-aged children who stutter. Please contact the Children’s Therapy Initiative for more information about the program

Many private insurance policies provide coverage for private speech-language pathology services. Often this is up to a maximum annual amount.

Each policy is different, and you should check with your own insurance provider about the details of your plan. If your plan does cover “speech therapy” or speech-language pathology services, your speech-language pathology services at Buchel Speech and Language Group will be covered by your plan. All private insurance plans require that the speech-language pathologists providing services in Manitoba be registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba (CASLPM) – as this is a minimum mandatory requirement to practice speech-language pathology in Manitoba.

It is important to understand that every client is unique.

For example, in the case of a stroke or acquired brain injury, numerous factors may affect a client’s prognosis and options for treatment including the location of the injury and the extent of the damage. In the case of a child who is not using as many words as her peers, there may be a variety of contributing factors, all of which must be considered before deciding on a treatment plan.

It is critical that individual treatment plans be developed for each client, rather than assuming that a single treatment approach is “best” for everyone. That being said, it is also crucial that treatments be based on a foundation of current clinical evidence. Research in the field of speech-language pathology continues to evolve and so too does best practice. This is why the SLPs at Buchel Speech and Language Group are constantly participating in continuing education to ensure that we are providing the best possible services for each client.

Understanding the available and appropriate options is the key to making good decisions about treatment.

The clinicians at the Buchel Speech & Language Group always discuss treatment after a formal assessment of new clients. Unlike an initial consultation, a formal assessment uses proven clinical assessment techniques to fully understand a client’s difficulties and needs. Once the assessment is complete, our clinicians review the results, to make sure that all options are well understood by the client, their care giver, and anyone else involved in their recovery or treatment planning.

This also includes talking about the assessment results so that caregivers and others understand what is reasonable in terms of treatment or management. Changes to treatment plans are discussed as needed on an ongoing basis.

If you or someone you know is looking for private speech-language pathology services, it is a good idea to talk to your other health care providers. Doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, or other professionals can often provide great advice. If you or someone you know is receiving speech-language pathology services while recovering in hospital, their current speech-language pathologist can provide a full list of private practitioners in good standing with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba (CASLPM).

Please feel free to also give us a call and speak to managing clinician Caitlin Buchel directly. She can help you decide if our services are the right for you, or if another health care professional would be a better fit.