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Speech Pathology

Speech Pathologists also known as Speech Language Pathologists or Speech Therapists assess, diagnose, treat and help prevent difficulties related to speech, language, social communication, voice, swallowing and fluency.

We can help with your child's:

Speech

Language

Stuttering, Feeding, Reading & Writing

How can Speech Pathology help?

Speech Pathologists can help with communication and swallowing difficulties. Speech Pathologists work with children and young people to overcome communication and swallowing difficulty.

Speech Pathologists can support children and families with the following:

  • Speech
  • Language
  • Literacy (reading and writing)
  • Social communication
  • Stuttering
  • Swallowing and feeding

When should you take your child to see a speech pathologist?

If you have any concerns about your child’s development, it is best to seek professional advice as soon as possible, as it is a lot easier to make changes in a child’s early childhood years than later on in life.
Some red flags you should be aware of that may indicate your child should see speech pathologist are listed below. It’s important to remember that every child will develop at different rates. The following indicators are given only as a guide. Please click here, if you’d like to make an appointment with one of our Speech Pathologists.

Speech Pathology Developmental Milestones Checklist – Red Flags *

Speech Pathology Australia – Communication Milestones 12 months to 5 years.

12 months

Does not:

  • Understand any words
  • Respond to their name
  • Understand or use gestures such as waving ‘hi’ and ‘bye’
  • Recognise a few familiar people or objects (e.g. mummy, bottle teddy)
  • Make eye contact
  • Use or imitate sounds

18 months

Does not:

  •  Understand any words or short phrases
  • Follow simple instructions (e.g. throw the ball)
  • Point to familiar objects when named
  • Talk (I.e. say 6 to 20 words)
  • Copy words or noises
  • Name body parts
  • Use objects in pretend play e.g. hold the phone to their ear

2 years

Does not:

  • Follow simple 2 part instructions (e.g. give me the ball and the car)
  • Respond to simple what, where questions
  • Point to body parts or pictures in books when named
  • Say more than 50 words
  • Put two words together e.g. ‘bye nana’ or ‘big car’
  • Say ‘no’

3 years

Does not:

  • Follow complex two part instructions (e.g. give me the teddy and throw the ball)
  • Understand or ask simple what, where, who questions
  •  Recognise some basic colours
  • Say four to five words in a sentence

4 years

Does not:

  •  Ask and answer lots of questions
  • Count to five and identify some numbers
  • Name a few colours
  • Talk in longer sentences

5 years

Does not:

  • Follow three part instructions (e.g., put on your shoes, get your backpack and line up outside)
  • Understand some letters, sounds and numbers
  • Tell simple stories with a beginning, middle and end
  • Use most speech sounds but may still have difficulty with ‘s’, ‘r’, ‘l’ and ‘th’

How much does it cost to see a speech pathologist?

Youthrive is a fee paying service, however some Medicare and private health insurance rebates may be available. You do not require a referral to see a speech pathologist at Youthrive, however if you have a referral from your GP, Paediatrician or Psychiatrist, you may be able to receive a rebate for our service. Click here to see our full fee schedule.

We can help children with

  • Improving their ability to be understood by others
  • Strengthening their skills in reading and writing
  • Overcoming difficulties with social communication skills
  • Increasing their comprehension including ability to follow directions
  • Creating or recommending assistive devices to support their communication
  • Safe swallowing of food and drink
  • Reducing their stuttering

Speech Pathology Assessments

Assessments may be informal and include observations of your child, consulting with your child’s school and completing questionnaires about your child. Formal or standardised assessments are used to assess overall achievement and compare a child’s performance with other children their age. Standardised assessments may take more than one session to complete.

Assessment

Youthrive uses a range of informal and standardised assessments to assist with identifying articulation and phonological delays.

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Assessment

Informal assessments such as play-based observations and check-lists may be used. Standardised assessments include:

The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals – A comprehensive assessment of a student’s language skills. This assessment determines the presence or absence of a language disorder, the nature of the disorder and strengths and weaknesses in a student’s language development. This assessment is valid for children 5 years of age to adults 21 years of age.

The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Preschool – Evaluates aspects of language necessary for preschool children to make the transition to the classroom. This assessment measures a broad range of expressive and receptive language skills and identifies the presence or absence of a language disorder. This assessment is valid for children 3 to 6 years of age.

The Preschool Language Scales – A comprehensive play-based developmental language assessment for children birth to 7 years 11 months.

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Assessment

These assessments give an overview of the child’s phonological and phonemic awareness skills required for literacy development.

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Assessment

These assessments review the way a child uses language within social situations.

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Rebates and Funding Programs

While Youthrive is a fee paying service, some Medicare and private health insurance rebates may be available for our services. Families are encouraged to speak with their GP and nominated health fund to find out whether they are eligible various rebates. Please note rebates listed below are subject to change without notice.

Chronic Disease and Complex Needs Initiative (Formerly known as Enhanced Primary Care Plan)
Follow Up Allied Health Services for People of Aboriginal - Medicare
Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) –Medicare
Better Start for Children with Disability – Medicare
Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) and Better Start for Children with Disability

We support families

Speech Pathologists at Youthrive utilise a number of evidence based therapeutic interventions when working with children and their families.  The intervention provided is dependent upon the child’s need.

Occupational Therapy & Speech Pathology Screening Sessions

This childhood screening package aims to assist early childhood educators and parents in identifying developmental challenges for children as early as possible.

To find out more, click here.

Learnersaurus Literacy Program

A multisensory approach to teaching literacy skills to all learners, including those with Dyslexia.

The Lidcombe Therapy

A behavioural treatment for children who stutter.

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

PECS is a communication device for children. It is particularly useful for children on the autism spectrum.

Hanen ‘More Than Words’

Designed specifically for parents of children aged 5 years and under on the autism spectrum. The program provides parents with strategies to support their child to reach their full communication potential.

Hanen ‘It Takes Two to Talk’

Designed specifically for parents of children aged 5 years and under and whom have been identified as having a language delay. Parents learn strategies to assist their child’ learn language throughout the day.

Speech and language difficulties are common. Parent’s instincts are often correct and if you are worried about your child’s development it may be worthwhile booking in for an assessment. Alternatively seeking information on whether they are meeting their developmental milestones by talking with your General Practitioner or your child’s educator.

No, although a referral from your General Practitioner, Paediatrician or Psychiatrist may provide you with a rebate off the cost of the session.

You and your child attend the initial appointment together. This is usually an hour in duration. During the first appointment, your speech pathologist will ask detailed information about your child’s family history, health, development and education, and about the current concerns you have. They will complete an assessment to assist with identifying goals for therapy. You will also be asked to complete a consent form if this has not been completed previously. Please bring any referrals or previous reports along with you to the first session. Information about your child’s developmental history such as milestones will also be discussed.

Therapy is different for every child, but it may include direct work with your child and also strategies for you to put in place at home to assist your child’s speech and language development. Sessions may be 30, 45 or 60 minutes long depending on your child’s needs and attention. You and your child will receive homework to complete between sessions – completing these activities is a very important part of the gains your child will make in therapy.

Yes! It is important that you attend the sessions with your child. You will be taught techniques and provided with activities to continue on with at home.

All children learn at different paces and there is no ‘quick fix’. It requires hard work and commitment from families. The number of sessions required will be dependent on your child’s needs and how they progress through set goals. Improvements may be gradual and occur over a period of weeks or even months.

Our workshops & group sessions

Youthrive runs regular interactive workshops for parents, caregivers, educators and children providing a great opportunity to learn how therapy works, receive practical advice and gain support from other families with the same experiences.

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The Youthrive team are passionate about helping kids and young people reach their full potential.

Our dedicated team of qualified professionals provide a number of therapy services including Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Dietetics and Psychology. They have worked with clients with a range of needs and embrace Youthrive’s collaborative approach to therapy.

First Appointment

If you are a parent who has not had any experience with therapy services for your child, the process can seem quite overwhelming. Here’s what to expect at your first appointment.

1

Initial Consultation

The initial appointment is typically one hour in duration. Your child will attend this session for Speech Pathology, Dietetics and Occupational Therapy. For Psychology appointments you will need to check if your child is required for the initial consultation at the time of booking.

2

Information Session

The therapist will ask detailed information about your child’s family history, health and development, education and any concerns you may have.

3

Goals & Assessment

An assessment may be commenced during this initial appointment and goals for therapy will be established.