Speech Pathology for Children
Our approach to Speech Therapy is evidence based, which means we only use therapy approaches which have been thoroughly tested by experts. We specialise in the area of complex speech and language needs for children. Our Speech Pathologists love working with children and are passionate about the work they do and are highly trained.
All our Speech Pathologists are Certified Practising Members of Speech Pathology Australia and are approved Medicare, HCWA, Better Start and NDIS providers. Our Speech Pathologists can help your child in many ways, as speech therapy is more than just about helping your child talk.
helping a primary school student understand what their teacher is telling them
working a child with a stutter to speak more fluency and confidence
assisting children who have difficulties learning to read
working with children who are difficult to understand
Our Speech Pathologist areas of interest and expertise include:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Stuttering - Lidcombe Program
- Language delay & disorders (global developmental delay)
- Hearing Impairment
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Articulation & Phonological Disorders
- Cleft lip/palate
We see preschoolers and school aged children up to 18 years of age.
We have selected a number of fact sheets that we found useful in explaining to parents some of the development milestones for your children. We've included a short introduction and the fact sheets.
Helping your baby talk.
Language is fundamental to your baby’s development. Every baby learns to speak by listening, playing with sounds and talking to others.Babies begin to learn from the moment they are born – first receptive language skills (understanding what they hear), then expressive language skills (speaking). Learn more about how you can help your child here.
Learning to speak is a crucial part of a child’s development and progress made in the preschool and early school years is crucial to mastering the rules of language.
Even though children vary in their development of speech and language, there are certain ‘milestones’ that can be identified as a rough guide to normal development. Learn more about those milestones here.
Sounds of Speech: pre-school aged children.
People who have difficulty communicating may require assistance with Speech, Language, Literacy, Social Communication, Voice and Fluency. Communication impairment is more common than most people think, learn more here.
How do we learn to communicate?
We have had a number of questions from parents who ask us about speech and language development and how it works. We have put together a simplified version of the Communication Development Pyramid. The skills at the bottom of the pyramid (purple and blue) must be acquired before the skills at the top will be developed
How to help late talkers with developing language to communicate?
A question commonly asked to Speech Pathologists is why is my child not talking yet?
It is a good question with no ‘one answer’ response. As Speech Pathologists, we look at a child’s overall communication ability and gain information to deduce whether there may be something underlying a child’s late talking, or whether the child is just not ready yet.
Part of our role is to discuss with families reasonable expectations for their child’s current level of development and work out through modelling and trialing different strategies what will work to encourage their child to the next level.
Often, children may not talk yet as they are not quite ready, due to a variety of reasons. Some late talkers go on to develop language typically, while others may take more time to get to the next communication stage.
Two strategies which can typically work to increase meaningful interactions between parent and child include:
Reducing questions and increasing commenting - this is a powerful strategy which may feel unnatural at first as an adult, as it is human nature to ask questions to elicit a verbal response. Working with parents to decrease the amount of questions and replacing them with comments is the first step to decreasing pressure on the child associated with talking and increasing the chance of words happening. For example, instead of asking:
“What’s this Dean?” Saying: “Apple!” and then waiting expectantly. If a child is already using single words and not yet combining, saying “Crunchy apple…” then waiting expectantly for the child to hear the language model in context to make the link between the words and the object and action.
Giving things ‘little by little’ is a second strategy which increases communication opportunities for children. Instead of opening up a packet of crackers and giving the child the whole packet to eat independently, showing the crackers, modelling “crackers…” and waiting. The child, if motivated by the food item, may indicate they want it opened. Modelling “open…” and waiting for a communication attempt, before opening it up. Giving the child a cracker, waiting until they finish it and approach you to request for ‘more’ means that you are needed for the child to access what they want and therefore, motivation to communicate further is present, giving your child the best chance to develop meaningful interactions in context.