Initial Assessment Session:
Once you have a made an appointment for your Speech Pathology session a form will be sent out to you which will ask you to describe your concerns and to provide information regarding your child’s early development. This information helps the clinician you will be seeing to plan the initial session in the best way for you and your child.
If your child attends a child care or educational setting, where appropriate and with your permission, we will contact the child care worker or teacher to discuss your child’s Speech and Language skills or ask them to fill out a questionnaire. This information is very important in order to develop a holistic and detailed picture of your child’s Speech and Language Skills.
Within the first session there will always be time allocated to sharing information, including discussing your concerns and what you are hoping to achieve from Speech Pathology. You will also be provided with information about what we will be doing in the session and why, and we will discuss your child’s current Speech and Language skills.
For the younger child (under 3.5 years), an assessment of your child’s Speech and Language Skills will be done through fun play-based activities and the Therapist will often use floor-based and /or table-top activities. For many young children, the parent/carer will be encouraged to join in with the play activities.
For the older child, the first session may be more structured and your child may be encouraged to participate in some table top activities which may involve looking at pictures, answering questions, describing pictures etc.
The first session is tailored to the individual needs of the child and will vary dependent on the nature of the child’s difficulties (e.g. speech sound difficulties vs. difficulties understanding what is said), the age of the child, their interests (e.g. likes trains and cars vs. dolls and books) and the ability to engage in more structured table top activities (e.g. for those children who find it hard to sit at a table and look at pictures, the session will be more play based).
At the end of the session, there will be time allocated to provide you with information about your child’s Speech and Language Skills and discuss “where to go from here”. Where there is a lot of information to share and discuss, it may be appropriate to organise another time in which to do this in.
A written report will be provided summarising the findings within the session and recommendations. A short summary report is provided for those children who have attended a short screening assessment session (45 minutes) and a longer, more detailed report is provided for those who have attending a full assessment (90 minutes).
Following an assessment appointment it will be decided together whether therapy is needed.
Therapy sessions are usually once a week or once a fortnight, although some children will attend less regularly.
Sessions are tailored to meet the individual needs of the child and the family and will target the areas identified within the assessment. The sessions are intended to be fun and engaging and the child is encouraged to learn through motivating play activities and games. Building confidence is important and the sessions are planned so that the child will achieve success within the session.
Specific Speech and Language goals will be discussed together and after a few therapy sessions a written copy of the goals will be provided to you. Together we will review these goals and monitor your child’s progress.
Your child will make the maximum progress if work can be revised and completed between speech sessions. We recommend five minutes practice a day.