First Words Preschool Speech Language Program: New Resources to Connect Families During COVID-19

Posted Thursday April 29, 2021

Posted By: Jeffery Satchwill

Category: General

Families with children have had to adapt and use technology, screens, and electronic devices to get through the pandemic. Children are spending more time than ever on screens. We know that young children learn best from the back-and-forth conversations with parents, caregivers, friends, and family. To help get the message out, First Words has launched its newest resources and services, including messages and materials on how to  Unplug to Talk and Read.

Research initiatives such as the Reach Out and Read Project have demonstrated the effectiveness of the primary care professional role in educating high-risk urban families to talk and read to children. Find the newest resources and services available on First Words: Resources for Health Professionals, including:

Early intervention is an effective strategy to address developmental concerns as children build speech and language skills critical to their future success in school and later in life.


Roxane Bélanger, M.O.A.(C), reg. CASLPO
Speech Language Pathologist
First Words Ottawa & Renfrew County

Physician Resources

  1. Find information on the Unplug to Talk & Read to Your Child and the Use Screens Less. Connect with Your Child posters on First Words, under resources :
  2. For more information on the First Words services, access the First Words resource page for service providers.
  3. Refer to the CHEO Access Team by faxing the Access Team's referral form at:  613-738-4841

Parent Resources

  1. The First Words Communication Checkup free online screening tool for parents and legal guardians of children between the ages of 6 to 48 months, living in the Ottawa and Renfrew county area.
  2. Families can access resources and webinars at
  3. A new First Words Instagram account shares daily activities and milestones to help grow a child’s speech and language skills: @firstwords_psl.

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