What happens when my child attends an initial assessment?
Appointments are usually made over the phone where we will obtain a brief description of your concerns about your child. At the initial assessment we will obtain further information from you to help us understand your child and form a diagnosis. Sometimes we may use standardised tests but we also obtain information by observing your child playing and talking with you. This is especially useful when seeing young or very shy children. At the end of the session we will discuss the outcomes of our testing/observations and whether further testing or therapy is required.
What about the cost?
As Private Practitioners we operate on a fee for service basis. Please ring us to discuss our current fee schedule.
We are registered with all major private health funds so check with your own fund about speech pathology extras cover.
We accept cash, cheque and direct deposit payments on the day of service.
Is there any government funding available?
Medicare provides funding for 5 allied health sessions (including speech pathology) per year for children with chronic or complex care needs. A referral from a general practitioner is required to access this funding through the Chronic Disease Management Programme (formerly known as the Enhanced Primary Care Plan)
Children undergoing assessment for autism or who require speech pathology services following a diagnosis of autism may also be eligible for Medicare funding. These children must have a referral from a paediatrician or psychiatrist. Please discuss this with your relevant practitioner.
Do I need a referral?
No. Anyone can ring and make an appointment to see us. If your child is eligible for any Medicare funding (see below) a referral from an appropriate medical practitioner is required.
How do I know if my child needs a speech pathology assessment?
Parents sometimes rely on the opinions of doctors, maternal and child health nurses, kindergarten teachers and other professionals about whether their child needs a speech pathology assessment. Such opinions are often useful but you know your child best and if you are concerned, seek advice and help. Sometimes even a phone call can alleviate concerns without the need for an appointment. Speech Pathology Australia has some excellent information on their Factsheets: The Sounds of Speech and What to Expect in the First Five Years.
How long does therapy take?
Each child is an individual and comes to therapy with his/her own particular requirements. Some mild impairments can be remediated with a few visits, whereas severe difficulties need therapy over a much longer period of time. We are usually able to give you an idea of how long therapy may take after the first few visits and we can ascertain what rate of progress has occurred. We always work with parents in the room and offer advice and suggestions for follow up home practice. This follow up at home is pertinent to a child’s rate of progress through therapy.
How often would we need to come to appointments?
Appointments are usually scheduled at the same time on a weekly or fortnightly basis. The frequency of appointments can be agreed upon through discussion and your requirements.
How do you work with very young children?
As with most childhood concerns, early intervention is usually the way to successful remediation, particularly in helping a child prepare for literacy, learning and the social requirements of formal schooling. Therefore we encourage early referrals and intervention if necessary. Our way of working with very young children is to work with parents, teaching them how best to do ‘therapy’ in everyday play and daily living.
I’m concerned about my child’s stuttering and have been told that children “grow out of it”
Some children have speech that sounds like stuttering particularly during a period of rapid language development. However if all children grew out of stuttering we would not hear adults that stutter. Unfortunately this is not the case. If stuttering has been prevalent for three months or more an assessment by a speech pathologist can determine if it is a true stutter developing or if it is the non-fluency associated with language development. Early therapy (preferably before a child starts school) is very successful in overcoming this debilitating condition. Both Sue and Alison have been trained in the Lidcombe Programme which is a proven therapy technique for early remediation of stuttering.