Communication and Counselling

Communication and Counselling-Stroke

Our communication and counselling program is offered weekly for clients wanting to work on communication skills while connecting with other people and families with aphasia. This program is offered in small groups of 3-6 persons led by speech-language therapy and social work staff, with support from trained volunteers and students. This group provides enhanced opportunities for participating in conversations in a natural setting. Learning and use of alternate communication strategies, such as gesture, drawing, key wording, and others to supplement ongoing recovery of language. This program is also offered in French.

Communication and Counselling-Non-Stroke

This program supports the unique needs of people who are living with aphasia due to neurological conditions, neurodegenerative disease, or who sometimes may not have a clear diagnosis. Many of the people in this group have been told they are living with Primary Progressive Aphasia. The focus of this program is to maintain a functional level of communication for as long as possible. Therapy is offered in a group format with extra support available for family members. The non-stroke program is supported by both speech-language therapy and social work staff. This program is also offered in French.


We offer a unique physiotherapy program that has been adapted to be aphasia-friendly. Our goal is to help people with aphasia and their families maintain a level of fitness to support activities of daily living. This program focusses on cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, balance, and functional strengthening. As part of our family-centered approach we encourage family members to also participate in their own fitness program. This program is also offered in French and to clients with other neurological conditions.

Individual, Couple, and Family Counselling

Counselling is provided by our social work staff who have many years of experience working with people with aphasia and their families. Counselling is made more fully accessible to people with aphasia by utilizing the expertise of our speech-language pathology staff in a co-therapy format.

Individual, couple, family, and group therapy are available.

Common issues that you and your family may seek counseling for include:

  • Self-image and self-respect
  • Marital and family relationships
  • Adolescent / parent relationship
  • Social isolation
  • Stress and depression
  • Anger and frustration
  • Financial and employment worries

Individual Speech and Language Therapy

For members who wish to supplement their group therapy, we offer individual speech and language therapy. Therapy is supported by our Speech-Language Pathology Staff. Communicative Disorders Assistants (CDAs) work under the supervision of Speech Language Pathologists (S-LPs) to provide ongoing therapy for specific speech or language goals. Individual therapy goals are tailored to meet the member’s specific needs. Members can focus on a personal project like re-connecting with friends through writing or therapy could target the speech or language challenges that aphasia causes.


Is aphasia keeping you or a family member from participating in activities you previously enjoyed? Our activity program provides people with aphasia the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities with communicative support. Examples of these fun and engaging activities include watching a film together, painting, baking, and sharing stories. Discussions are held at a pace comfortable to all participants, and individual support is provided to make sure everyone can express their ideas. We have seen that participation in activities such as these contributes to improving communication skills, building self-confidence and promoting emotional well-being.

Reading and Writing

Participating in our reading and writing group with a volunteer is a great way to complement your speech therapy program. The aim of this program is to enhance reading comprehension, word recognition, writing skills, and other written-word based skills. Activities can be low-tech (pencil and paper) or high-tech using specialized therapeutic electronic applications on iPads, provided by the centre. A staff member or volunteer provides support and encouragement.

Communication, Rhythm, and Movement

Facilitated by ACO staff, this program blends speech therapy with music in a group setting. This program is intended to stimulate language and communication through rhythm, melody, and conversation. Benefits may include: increased word finding abilities, speech fluency, breath support, and alternative individual communication strategies to supplement ongoing recovery of language.