Speech Pathologists are highly trained specialists who provide assessment and treatment / therapy for eating and drinking, language, communication and speech difficulties and disabilities.
Their training encompasses all aspects of communication including writing, signs, gestures, speech, reading and symbols. They also specialise in helping people who have difficulty swallowing food and drink (Dysphagia) often in conjunction with a paediatrician or dietician.
Communication is an integral part of life and one in seven Australians has some sort of communication disability. That means that they have problems being understood by or understanding people which can lead to poor self-esteem, behavioural problems and social difficulties.
Speech Pathology can assist children who have:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – including assisting in the diagnostic process.
- Attention, comprehension and listening problems
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Receptive Language Disorder
- Expressive Language Disorder
- Early language delays
- Hearing loss
- Auditory Processing Disorder
- Intellectual delay / disability
- Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
- Difficulties with eating and drinking
The types of therapy that Speech Pathology provides depends on the individual child but could include one-on-one sessions, collaborating with parents, teachers, carers and other health professionals, working in “social” groups or working with the child at kinder or school.
The therapy may focus on many things including:
- Understanding / comprehending words
- Play and social skills
- Speech clarity and early speech development
- Sentence structure and grammar
- Receptive and expressive language skills
- Early literacy skills including awareness of phonics
- Communication skills
- Fluency and voice
- Reading and comprehension
- Social Thinking