FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Early Childhood Educators are often the first port of call for Parents who have concerns regarding their child’s speech and language development. It is vitally important that Educators have ready access to the correct answers for parents.

 

Communication about such issues from Educators to Parents needs to be well informed, clear and accurate. This helps to build trust and rapport between Educators and Parents who can then work together to nurture the speech and language development of children in their care.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a Speech Pathologist?

A Speech Pathologist is a university trained professional qualified to assess, diagnose and treat individuals who have difficulties with communication and/or feeding. Speech Pathologists are also known as Speech Therapists or Speech Language Pathologists depending on where they completed their training.

What is a Speech Disorder?

Children diagnosed with Speech Disorders have significant difficulty in developing and using speech sounds clearly. These children are difficult for others to understand. Speech Disorders are also frequently referred to as either articulation or phonological disorders. xt.

What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a specific Speech Disorder characterised by inconsistent speech errors and particular difficulty with coordinating sounds in syllables for longer words. Dyspraxia is a complex but relatively rare Speech Disorder. Some children have verbal dyspraxia (also known as childhood apraxia of speech) whilst others have verbal and motor dyspraxia (involving fine and gross motor skills as well as speech).

What is a Language Disorder?

Children with Language Disorders have difficulty in either understanding and/or using words, grammar and sentences. Language Disorders are closely correlated to Language Learning Disabilities and need to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

What causes Speech and Language Disorders?

Most Speech and Language Disorders are of unknown origin however certain factors make children more prone to being diagnosed with a Speech and/or Language Disorder. This includes but is not limited to: recurrent ear infections and fluctuating hearing loss as a toddler, a family history of difficulties with speech, language, or learning, and a lack of exposure to good language environments. Other children have communication disorders related to other diagnoses such as Autism, Fragile X Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Disability, and Downs Syndrome.

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a specific disorder of fluency that causes speech to sound bumpy, stuck or prolonged. Children who stutter often have a family history of stuttering and significantly more boys than girls stutter. Stuttering is not caused by anxiety or nerves but can be exacerbated in situations that make an individual anxious, tired or stressed. Stuttering is very treatable in children aged 3-6 years of age if being treated by a qualified Speech Pathologist.

What are the links between Speech, Reading and Spelling?

Most Speech and Language Disorders are of unknown origin however certain factors make children more prone to being diagnosed with a Speech and/or Language Disorder. This includes but is not limited to: recurrent ear infections and fluctuating hearing loss as a toddler, a family history of difficulties with speech, language, or learning, and a lack of exposure to good language environments. Other children have communication disorders related to other diagnoses such as Autism, Fragile X Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Disability, and Downs Syndrome.

When should children start talking?

Children usually say their first word at approximately 12 months of age. Prior to the first word appearing and for several months following, there is a period of noisy babbling or jargon that resembles children speaking in a foreign language. First words are often those that are initially babbled and then shaped into words. For example, ‘dadada’ becomes ‘dada’ and then ‘daddy’. There is quite a wide variation on when first words will appear. Some children will say their first word as young as 9 months whilst others do not start to use true words until 15 months. By approximately 2 years of age most children have multiple single words and start to combine these into short phrases.

Where can I get help for children with speech and language difficulties?

If an Early Childhood Educator and/or a Parent have concerns regarding a child’s speech and language development it is always recommended that the opinion of a Speech Pathologist is sought. It is never too early to refer a child to a Speech Pathologist and the earlier a referral is made, the more positive the prognosis for a child experiencing difficulties with communication. The Australian Federal and State Government employ Speech Pathologists in the Department of Aging, Disability and Home Care (ADHC). Those Speech Pathologists employed by the Health department are usually located at Community Health Centres or Hospitals. ADHC employed Speech Pathologists can be located by accessing your local ADHC office or enquiring with your child’s Early Childhood Centre if there is a local Early Intervention Service. Several not for profit organisations such as the Cerebral Palsy Alliance employ Speech Pathologists and many Speech Pathologists also work in Private Practice. Speech Pathologists in Private Practice are located under ‘Speech Pathology’ in the phone directory. Speech Pathologists often have lengthy waiting times due to high demand for services so it is always a good idea to refer children as soon as you identify a difficulty or concerns arise.

Can I use my NDIS funding to access Learn2Communicate Speech Pathology Services

Yes.  Learn2Communicate Speech Pathology Services are recognised NDIS providers.  Call us for a quote regarding our hourly rate for NDIS clients and to learn more about the process of accessing our services using your child’s NDIS funding package.

Do I need a Doctor’s referral?

You do not need a doctor’s referral to access speech pathology services with Learn2Communicate. Limited Medicare Rebates are available however for some children who are referred by their doctor as part of a GP Care Plan. This possibility should be discussed with your family doctor. Referrals are also welcome from doctors should they have relevant medical and/or developmental information to share with your consent about your child or wish to collaborate in service planning to assist your child.

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