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Speech Pathology

What is Speech-Language Pathology for children?
Speech Pathologists (or Speech Language Pathologists) are allied health professionals who focus on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment in support of communication disorders. Speech-language pathology aims to enhance each child’s communication skills so they can fully participate in everyday life.

Every child is different, so speech-language therapy goals will depend on their individual needs. Paediatric speech can help children if they are struggling with communication such as understanding instructions, expressing themselves, pronunciation of words, or stuttering. Speech therapy can also support older children who require support with literacy (reading, writing and spelling) and developing the confidence needed to reach their potential in their academic and social environments.

Paediatric speech pathologists can help children and young people in the following areas:
– Early feeding and swallowing support & Neurodivergent and Sensory sensitivity considerations – difficulty coordinating sucking and swallowing, limited food choices and mealtime support.
– Tongue Thrust– a behavioural pattern whereby the tongue protrudes between the front top and bottom teeth when at rest. This can impact swallowing and speech articulation.
– Early Language Development for “Late Talkers” supporting receptive language (understanding) and expressive language (speaking).
– Speech development – speech sound difficulties (articulation and phonological disorders), fluency (stuttering disorders for children 2 – 7 years of age), and childhood apraxia (motor planning difficulties).
– Literacy skills – reading, writing, and spelling.
– Voice modulation – quality, volume, tone, pitch and awareness of voice.
– Cognitive communication skills – problem-solving and visualisation to support social and academic abilities.
– Pragmatic communication skills – Practical language and social skills related to non-verbal and verbal language skills to support peer relationships and other social interactions (groups).