where do we start?
It can be more than a little overwhelming when you realise that your child needs speech pathology services. This may have been recommended by your child’s teacher, another health professional, or you may have realised yourself that your child would benefit from some support. At Pursuit Speech Pathology, we strongly believe that a family-focused approach to your child’s development is essential when it comes to supporting them to reach their full potential. That’s why we are here to help you navigate your child’s therapy journey.
What is the first step?
At Pursuit Speech Pathology, we will always start by familiarising ourselves with your child’s unique story! We do this to gain a clearer understanding of your concerns and goals, and to ensure we can explain our services and how they work.
We highly recommend that all new clients undergo an initial assessment when commencing services with us. This allows us to fulfil our ethical obligations as Speech Pathologists registered with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) by ensuring we provide your child with the most relevant services for his/her individual needs.
If your child has been assessed by another Speech Pathologist prior to coming to see us, another assessment may not be required. This will depend on how long ago the assessment was completed and whether there is a written report with information that we can use. Please feel free to chat to us further to discuss your options.
An initial assessment will allow us to evaluate your child’s speech, language and/or literacy skills to identify any skills that may require additional support. Your child’s initial assessment will generally involve the following:
- Completion of a case history questionnaire.
- Completion of a case history interview where the speech pathologist will ask you a range of questions about your child’s medical and developmental history. This will help us gain some understanding about factors that may be impacting on your child’s speech and language development, as well as provide space for you to outline your concerns.
- Completion of standardised assessments relevant to your child’s age, abilities and specific areas of concern.
- Free play and interaction with your child. This will enable your child’s speech pathologist to observe and attempt to elicit various speech and language skills during your child’s interactions with others.
- Liaison with other professionals involved in your child’s care (with your permission) to ensure that all of your child’s needs are managed appropriately.
Our assessments are usually completed in one or two appointments, each approximately 1 – 1.5 hours long. The exact length of your child’s assessment will depend on the specific nature of his/her individual needs. This will be discussed with you when you call to make an appointment.
Following your child’s assessment, you will be provided with a written assessment report that will explain the results of your child’s speech pathology assessment and list recommendations for treatment. Not only is it regulation according to Speech Pathology Australia to have written documentation of all assessments completed, but we also believe it is essential to ensure that we can provide services that are tailored specifically to meet your child’s unique needs. We particularly pride ourselves on the quality and detail of our assessment reports, and will spend as much time as you need discussing your child’s results with you to ensure all of your questions and concerns are addressed appropriately. You are also more than welcome to share this report with your child’s GP, teacher or other professionals involved in their care. We feel that everyone involved in your child’s care should have easy access to this information to ensure consistent and evidence-based management of their speech, language and/or literacy needs.
Therapy will generally commence as soon as possible following your child’s assessment. During therapy, we will target those areas of speech, language and/or literacy that have been identified as areas of concern for your child. Pursuit Speech Pathology is a family-centred practice. This means that we will work closely with you throughout the therapy process to ensure that all services are tailored specifically to suit your child and your family. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide therapy services that are fun, flexible, and evidence-based to ensure that we help your child achieve their learning goals in a motivating and engaging manner.
Your child will generally be allocated weekly or fortnightly therapy sessions. At Pursuit Speech Pathology, we offer 30-minute, 45-minute and 1 hour treatment sessions. The exact frequency and length of your child’s therapy sessions will depend on a number of factors, including the specific nature of his/her speech and language difficulties and appointment availability.
It is difficult to estimate the exact duration of your child’s speech pathology intervention. Every child presents with different speech and language difficulties and responds to therapy in different ways, which makes it challenging to estimate the length of their speech pathology treatment. We monitor your child’s progress on an ongoing basis during his/her time at Pursuit Speech Pathology, and we will provide feedback to you at the end of every session so that you remain informed regarding your child’s progress and changing needs. We also always encourage you to contact us via phone or email between appointments if you have any questions or concerns.
how can i help at home?
As part of therapy services at Pursuit, we will provide you with guidance about how to best support your child’s speech pathology goals at home, daycare and/or school. Your Speech Pathologist will work with you to determine an achievable home practice plan and will provide you with advice, ideas, strategies, handouts, and/or pictures at the end of each session. This will help your child practise his/her new speech and language skills in his/her everyday interactions, which will encourage generalisation and progress outside of the clinic environment. We feel that this is an incredibly important part of our therapy services, as we want to equip every child with the skills they need to thrive in every area of their lives.
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