• Home
  • The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Happy New Year! Let’s get 2023 started with a message of clarity, one that will hopefully lay the foundation for what I’d like to share with you in 2023. I hope you found some of my 2022 ramblings useful. A lot more goodies are coming your way!

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Speech Pathologist looks at communication as part of a pathway: what comes INTO the brain, what happens INSIDE the brain and what comes OUT of it (and you).

There are many ways by which people communicate to us: speaking, writing, gesturing, singing…you name it. How we take information IN is the first step of the pathway, and the first thing SLPs should look at when examining someone. We need to hear, see, or feel messages so we can do something with them. SLPs also look at ways the environment can impact these messages. Noisy classroom ring a bell?

A lot of things happen once messages get inside. Hearing, visual and other sensory centres deliver information to parts of the brain that make sense of it. Our thinking centres then decide how to act on the message: do we laugh, shrug, say nothing or say something? Do we put our tablets away like mom said or keep watching YouTube? If we have to say something, our thinking brain puts together the words and sentences we need to express ourselves and sends them off.

Our brains then let things out: what we all understand as “expression”. At this point, you’ve figured out that expression isn’t just speaking. There are a lot of ways we can communicate: a side-eye or a smile, a thumbs-down or a wave, a text. There are many ways we can respond to information or express thoughts that pop into our heads.

An SLP works with people who have problems along this pathway. (As an interesting aside, we also assess and treat feeding and swallowing problems in all ages). Throughout the year, I’ll be referring to the communication pathway in order to spread understanding and awareness about various topics relevant to our community. 2023 is going to be great!


Mohamed (Mo) Oshalla, MHSc.,
Speech-Language Pathologist & Executive Director,
Ontario Speech & Language Services


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

News Letter