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Communication Disorders

View looking up from the atrium with colourful glass walls framing the way to the roof

Professionals in audiology and verbal therapy

The Department of Communication Disorders is responsible for the assessment, identification and rehabilitation of hearing, speech, language and voice impairments in children 0-18 years. Our department is committed to helping families understand communication development and to remediate, support and foster communication using whatever methods are most appropriate for a given child. 

The Department of Communication Disorders includes professionals in Audiology, Speech Language Pathology and Auditory Verbal Therapy. These professionals must be registered members and in good standing with their respective regulated college. Our department also includes the professionalism of supportive personnel, such as Communicative Disorders Assistants. 

How to find us in the hospital

We are located on the 6th Floor of the Burton Wing. Patients with appointments in AudiologySpeech Language Pathology and Auditory Verbal Therapy can be registered in the Otolaryngology Clinic, Clinic 19. 

For information on how to refer, please see the specialized clinic in question: Audiology, Speech and Language Pathology and/or the Cochlear Implant Program. 

Our department phone number is 416-813-6100 and fax number 416-813-8467. 

Contact us for more information on clinic appointments.

Programs and services

  • We are a primary, secondary and tertiary care centre for the Infant Hearing Program in Ontario
  • We triage referrals across all regions of Ontario and Canada 
  • Unique testing services, including sedated auditory brainstem response testing
  • Best evidence-based practice for hearing aid fitting and habilitation 
  • Prevention program for children at risk for ototoxicity 
  • Teaching and research clinic, affiliated with the University of Toronto 
  • T.E.A.C.H. clinic

Expand the sections below to see helpful information if you're preparing to visit the Communication Disorders department at SickKids.

Patients may have paired appointments between Audiology and Otolaryngology. For example, a hearing test first, then a specialist appointment immediately afterwards.

More information coming soon.

When a hearing loss is identified, audiologists will prescribe a suitable hearing aid(s) and continue to follow the child with the hearing aid(s). The Audiology Clinic at SickKids does not sell or dispense hearing aids. The family must select a Hearing Aid Dispenser from whom to purchase the hearing aid(s). A complete list of vendors in your area can be provided by your audiologist.   
The audiologist, in consultation with the family, will select a hearing aid(s) most suitable for the child. This primarily depends on type and severity of the child’s hearing loss. Once a hearing aid(s) has been selected, the audiologist will prepare the prescription for that aid(s) and the family can take the prescription to a Hearing Aid Dispensary of their choice.

The Fitting Specialist (Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Practitioner) will fit the hearing aid on the child for the first time based on the settings outlined in the audiologist’s prescription. The family is expected to follow up with their audiologist during the hearing aid(s) trial period, this is most often within four weeks of the initial fit (known as the four-week check appointment). It is recommended that the family bring the hearing aid(s) to any and every appointment the child has with the Audiology Clinic and Otolaryngology Clinic. 

The Assistive Devices Program, funded by the provincial government will contribute $500 per hearing aid. The child may be eligible for this grant every three years.  For more information on this program, see Assistive Devices Program, Hearing Aids-Children. 

Please visit the Craniofacial Program on the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery page for more details.

If you're preparing for a VOICE lab assessment, please see the Otolaryngology department's Programs and services.

Key staff

We are leaders in paediatric speech language pathology and audiology, operating on the principles of best evidence-based practice for newborn children and up to 18 years of age. We understand the importance of early identification and (re)habilitation and work hard to provide a variety of services to help maximize communication and hearing for each child accordingly. 

Expand the sections below for lists of key staff in the Communication Disorders department at SickKids.

Anne Scofich, MSc, BSc (PT)  

Clinical Director, Clinical Services - Child Life, 

Communication Disorders, Creative Arts Therapy, Rehabilitation 

The Hospital for Sick Children 


Vicky Papaioannou, M.Cl.Sc., AUD(C)

Clinical Manager Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery and Communication Disorders 

Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine 


Paula Klaiman M.Cl.Sc., CAGS, Reg. CASLPO

Practice Leader in Speech Language Pathology 

Senior Speech Language Pathologist 

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Graduate Department of Speech-Language Pathology 

  • Sarah Burey
  • Louise Tsukamoto 
  • Suzanne Jones 

Education and training opportunities

SickKids is a teaching hospital that prides itself on mentoring students. We are continually accepting requests for internships in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from various programs across Canada and the United States. Please speak to your Program’s Clinical Coordinator to learn more.

Contact Communication Disorders at SickKids

Phone: 416-813-6100
Fax: 416-813-8467


Communication Disorders
555 University Avenue 
6th Floor, Burton Wing 
Toronto, Ontario 
M5G 1X8 

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