Have you been told that the WAITING TIME for your child to see a Speech Pathologist is lengthy?

Unfortunately the demand for Speech Pathology services continues to far exceed the demand in many parts of Australia.  You are not alone.

All over this country there are children of all ages waiting far too long for the support they need to develop speech, language and communication skills.

We all know that Early Identification and Early Intervention are both crucial if we are to help our children reach their potential.


….you can either throw your hands in the air and sit and wait


….think outside the square and choose to be proactive in this waiting phase

This problem requires a few creative solutions but there is no reason why your child, a child you educate or care for cannot access support immediately.

Here are some ideas that you may have not yet considered:

Speech Pathologists are not the only professionals who can help your child!

Yes, that’s correct.  Everyone has a role in nurturing the speech, language and communication skills of children.

Start by building your own knowledge and skills around all things child communication by keeping an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram social media channels.

Take a deep dive into our WEBSITE where we share checklists, access to free texts as well as a weekly Chatterbox blog covering a wide range of topics.

Many speech pathology and allied health practices such as ours are employing and training non- Speech Pathologists with backgrounds in early childhood, education or disability to become Speech Pathology Therapy Assistants.  As Therapy Assistants come from a wide variety of backgrounds, it can often be easier to recruit them than qualified Speech Pathologists.  Therapy Assistants can deliver programmes to clients that are deemed suitable for such a service with close Speech Pathology supervision.

If your child or a child you educate is waiting for Speech Pathology, it may be worth asking

‘Does your practice provide a Therapy Assistant service?’.

If so, this might be an option whilst your child is waiting for a Speech Pathologist!

Many young children under the age of 7 who are eligible for NDIS funding have  Key Workers who are early childhood intervention specialists.  If your child has a Key Worker but is still waiting for a Speech Pathologist, encourage your Key Worker to Contact Us us to discuss the possibility of some

Face to Face or Zoom Coaching

to build valuable knowledge, skills and confidence to support your child’s speech, language and communication skills during this interim period.

We now provide a range of tailored Professional Development packages to meet the needs of Parent Groups, Key Workers, Early Childhood Educators and Disability Support Workers.

We just love it when we get contacted to discuss collaborating to help more children.

Consider Tele-Practice

Whilst most families prefer Face-to-Face Speech Pathology services, there are several who decide to embrace  Tele-Practice once they have given it a try.

Tele-Practice can provides a great start whilst children are waiting for a Face to Face Speech Pathology appointment.  At Learn2Communicate as well as in many other Practices, we now offer Tele-Practice consultations as both an ongoing service, for those who live some distance from our clinics, but also as an effective interim service for many of the families who are on our waiting lists.

All you need is reliable access to the internet and a device with video and microphone functionality.  Tele-Practice, especially for young children, will involve much parent training and involvement.  Therapy delivered in this manner can be highly effective.  If you are prepared to accompany your child or a child you educate child to Tele-Practice sessions and are currently on a Speech Pathology Waiting List, it may well be worth your while to try Tele-Practice.

There are now so many services that offer Tele-Practice.  Many do not have waiting times!  We recommend that families and educators check out Speech Pathology Australia’s Find a Speech Pathologist page where many Tele-Practice Speech Pathology services are listed.  You can search for someone who specialises in what your child needs.

Sure beats sitting on a waiting list biding your time.

Still not sure where to start?

Check out our FREE resources below or let us know if you would like us to develop something else for you as a tool to assist whilst on a Speech Pathology Waiting List.

Not combining words into short phrases by 2 years of age

Download your own copy of our 10 Tips for Talking where we provide you with weekly tips to start using in your day to day play, routines and activities with your little Late Talker.  There are so many simple things that you can do to help your child develop his or her expressive language skills.

Still difficult for others to understand by 3 years of age

If you have a Key Worker or willing Early Childhood Educator on board, then encourage them to download our free resources available  here to help identify any tricky sounds or phonological processes operating in your child’s speech.

If you already have a pretty good idea of which sounds your child is struggling to articulate accurately, then our Free Speech Home Programmes might be worth checking out.

Each of these resources have been designed to help parents and educators work alongside Speech Pathologists or to help children get started whilst still waiting to see a Speech Pathologist

Limited interest in responding to others and communicating

If concerns exist regarding this aspect of a child’s development, then it is worth first organising a hearing test.  Most public hospitals have community health services with free/government funded audiometry services.  There are also many private providers who provide hearing tests for children of all ages.  These hearing tests are different to the newborn hearing screen which only screens for sensorineural hearing loss.  Many children with speech, language and communication skills have fluctuating conductive hearing loss.  This can be tested for by an audiometrist or audiologist.

If this area of concern has been persistent for some time, it is recommended that concerns be discussed with your child’s GP as a referral to a Paediatrician or Clinical Psychologist may be required for further assessment.

In the meantime, keep a keen eye out on the Learn2Communicate Facebook and Instagram pages where we share helpful tips for engaging the seemingly reluctant communicator and for focusing upon emotional regulation and connection before and above compliance.  Don’t forget past editions of The Chatterbox like this that give specific tips for engaging children who show limited interest in play and interaction.

We hope that this has inspired you to get informed.

Start by growing your own knowledge, skills and confidence in order to nurture the speech, language and communication skills of your child or a child you educate.

No-one wants children to be sitting on Waiting Lists but unfortunately they are currently a fact of life.

We can choose to accept the status quo or get busy supporting children to access the help they need using creative thinking and collaboration.

Which would you prefer?!