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by Jane Buckman, Speech Pathologist, Fullarton House, Eastwood
The role of the speech pathologist is central to the assessment of the child’s communication skills. Difficulties with communication can include problems with speech, using and understanding spoken and written language, fluency, (stuttering), voice and auditory processing.
The speech pathologist may use a range of test batteries depending on the nature of the child’s problem. For children who present with learning difficulties, tests generally include evaluation of speech, auditory processing and the understanding and use of spoken language. The speech pathologist evaluates the relationship between any speech, auditory processing or spoken language problems with reading, spelling, written expression and general social and classroom performance. Assessment may also include classroom observations and questionnaires completed by parents and teachers.
A speech pathologist assists in the diagnosis and treatment of:
For example, the child may have trouble with:
For example, the child may have difficulty:
Such as problems with:
Some speech pathologists have specialised experience in the diagnosis and treatment of the communication needs of children with:
Once a child has been assessed and diagnosed, follow up treatment may involve:
It is helpful for the child to be reviewed regularly for a period of a year or more once treatment has ceased.
An initial assessment within the private sector may cost within the range of $200 - $400 with follow up sessions in the range of $80 - $120. Private speech pathology services can be claimed through “extras” cover in private health insurance. In some instances, the family can claim a Carers Payment through Centrelink and limited Medicare rebates.
Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) is the national peak body for the speech pathology profession in Australia, representing over 4,500 members.
SPA supports and regulates the ethical, clinical and professional standards of its members, as well as lobbying and advocating for all Australians living with communication and swallowing difficulties, how to find a speech pathologist in your area and the funding and supports available for specific clinical areas in which speech pathologists work, as well as information for referring professionals.
SPELD SA would like to acknowledge the support of the Douglas Whiting Trust in the development of this website.
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