Speech Pathology in Engadine for children and adolescents between the ages of 0 and 18 years of age.
We see children for a large variety of reasons including communication and language difficulties. Often the cause of these difficulties is unknown, however some factors include:
- Hearing issues e.g. glue ear, chronic ear infections, nerve damage, hearing loss;
- Oral structural issues e.g. cleft palate, tongue tie, nerve damage, low oral or facial tone;
- Medical issues e.g. genetic conditions, long term tube feeding, particular diseases;
- Learning difficulties e.g. general learning problems or specifically related to language;
- Motor planning e.g. dyspraxia, difficulty sequencing planned movements;
- Autism and sensory integration problems;
- Family history of speech, language, literacy difficulties
ASSESSMENT AND THERAPY
Initial & Review Assessment
Your child’s first appointment involves a detailed case history and assessment of your child’s communication skills. Standardised assessment and clinical observations are used to help us understand your child’s strengths and skills. Consultation with other professionals including teachers, school counsellors’ paediatricians, medical specialists, occupational therapists, audiologists, psychologists, or other support services may also take place when required.
Based on the assessment results, an intervention plan will be recommended. You will receive a full report of findings.
Intervention / Therapy
Following assessment, the Speech Pathologist may recommend therapy sessions targeting areas of concern. Recommendations will vary according to your child’s needs and take into consideration the needs of the child and family.
Therapy sessions are individually planned to help your child achieve their communication and learning goals. Parents are encouraged to participate in therapy sessions and to evaluate progress.
Practicing techniques at home is essential and materials and activities are given at each session. We also encourage collaboration with schools, preschools and other professionals, so your child can achieve their goals in a range of environments and maintain progress.
WHAT DO WE TREAT?
Areas of assessment and intervention may include:
- Articulation: Pronunciation of speech sounds
- Language: The understanding and use of words and sentences in both speech and writing. It includes comprehension for following instructions, understanding questions, and remembering information from stories or conversation. It also involves using specific vocabulary, grammar, sentence structures and communication skills.
- Literacy: Pre reading skills such as rhyming, breaking words into sounds and identifying the position of sounds in words can be examined as they are the basis for later literacy success. Spelling and reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension of written information can also be determined.
- Stuttering: Treatment for and assessment of speech and analysis of stutters for type, frequency and severity.
- Voice: Voice quality and the presence of nasality, hoarseness, strain or indicators of vocal nodules.
- Structural, oral and feeding skills: Assessment for the presence of structural issues with the tongue, lips, teeth, palate etc. Often related areas such as persistent dribbling, poor facial or oral tone, difficulties with feeding skills or coordinating oral movements, are also considered.
Group Therapy Programs
Group therapy programs are particularly effective in building children’s experience and success in communicating with others.
- Family and toddler programs focus on techniques for families to stimulate language in children who are late to talk, experiencing a delay in general development, have a significant family history of communication difficulties or who are diagnosed or suspected of having autism, medical issues such as recurrent ear infections or structural difficulties affecting speech and language.
Preschool programs build an awareness of basic language concepts, and focus on increasing both sentence length and complexity. School readiness programs are also available focussing on language and pre reading skills essential for school.
- School aged programs improve language skills using classroom themes and texts such as procedure, description and narrative as a basis. This provides continuity with classroom goals and enables school aged children to experience success in both spoken and written tasks.
- Social skills programs are conducted for children of similar ages who are experiencing social language difficulties. Areas addressed include starting and maintaining a conversation, answering and asking questions, identifying facts and opinions, inferencing and drawing conclusions from information and subtle language concepts such as jokes, idioms and words with multiple meanings.
- An assessment is required before starting any group therapy, to establish the areas of difficulty and determine the most appropriate type of group.
School / Preschool Visits
These can be requested in conjunction with your child’s assessment or therapy program. Regular visits may also be negotiated based on the needs of children and their families.
Professional Consultation & Training
Inservices for training and development purposes are available to other organisations such as schools, preschools and community groups. Training may focus on the role of speech pathologists, referral, collaboration regarding specific cases or general training in areas treated by Speech Pathologists. The Hanen ‘It Takes Two To Talk’ program is also available for parent groups with children experiencing communication delays.