WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?
Making an appointment with Newcastle Speech Pathology is a simple process. Firstly you will want to discuss your concerns and needs with someone on our Speech Pathology team. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need before making the appointment.
To book an appointment, we will ask you for some specific details including the client’s date of birth and best email and phone contact. After we have made the appointment you will receive an email confirming the date and time, along with some general information about our practice. Depending on the age of the client, you may also be sent a Client Questionnaire which we ask you to complete and bring in to your first appointment.
At the first appointment we will discuss your concerns in greater detail and commence the assessment process. At the end of the appointment we will discuss ‘where to from here’. A written summary report will be provided for preschool and school aged children at the conclusion of the assessment process.
Newcastle Speech Pathology welcomes the opportunity to answer your questions and respond to your concerns.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST
TO SEE A SPEECH PATHOLOGIST?
Newcastle Speech Pathology is committed to keeping services accessible. This means we work to keep our costs low. We are registered panel providers under the Better Start initiative, Helping Children with Autism package and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
A Medicare rebate is available to clients who are under an appropriate Care Plan which is formulated by a GP. Clients are responsible for discussing this with their GP. Speech Pathology services are covered by private health insurance however clients are responsible for determining their personal level of cover.
Newcastle Speech Pathology welcomes all inquiries and is happy to discuss our pricing structure with you.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A SPEECH PATHOLOGIST?
Choosing a Speech Pathologist is a very personal decision. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started:
Does the Speech Pathologist understand me and where I am on my communication or learning journey?
Is this person someone who listens to my concerns and helps me to set clear goals?
Do I feel comfortable in their clinic environment?
Is the Speech Pathologist a member of Speech Pathology Australia? Many excellent clinicians are not current members of our professional association, however choosing a Speech Pathologist who is recognised as a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist ensures that you are working with someone who is committed to ongoing learning and implementing the latest evidence based practice.
Do I feel comfortable asking my questions?
Does the practice have a complaints policy?
Has the Speech Pathologist obtained a working with children police clearance?
At Newcastle Speech Pathology we are committed to providing all our clients with the highest quality clinical care. We are professional communicators and we would love to share your communication journey with you.
WHAT AGE GROUPS DO YOU WORK WITH?
The short answer is 'all ages’.
Communication is a skill we develop from birth throughout our lifespan. Challenges to our communication can occur at any stage in our development. This could be due to congenital disorders, developmental delays, the emergence of learning difficulties, accidents or injury which can occur at any point in our life.
A Speech Pathologist can assess and help manage a wide range of communication, learning, literacy and swallowing issues. Newcastle Speech Pathology offers a service to clients of all ages and can assist in supporting speech, language, voice, fluency, literacy, swallowing and communication development.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN SPEECH & LANGUAGE?
Speech refers to the sounds that come out of our mouth. How the sounds take shape and form words is a complex process that involves the coordination of breath, voice, lips, tongue, cheeks, jaw and soft palate. Speech Pathologists assess the strength and coordination of muscles, the motor planning and execution of the individual sounds and their sequencing to form words.
Speech is the “how you say it”.
Language refers to what is said and what is understood. Language is a complex system of symbols which are governed by rules and are used to convey a message. The symbols can be spoken or written, words or gesture. Language involves understanding and using words and sentences. Strong language skills are vital for developing thinking, reasoning and problem solving abilities. For the average child, strong speech and language skills are vital for developing learning and literacy.
Newcastle Speech Pathology provides assessment and therapy for the full range of speech and language skills. Alison’s particular interest is in how these skills impact thinking and academic skills such as reading and spelling.
WHAT DOES A SPEECH PATHOLOGIST
HAVE TO DO WITH SWALLOWING?
You may not have realised, but the muscles we use for speech are the same muscle groups we use when we swallow. Swallowing safely requires the coordination of 30 pairs of muscles. If your muscles become weakened or are no longer well coordinated, then you may have a swallowing disorder, also known as dysphagia. Dysphagia may be the result of an accident or injury, stroke or degenerative disease. When your swallow is “not quite right”, then you are at risk of aspiration (taking food or fluid into the lungs) or choking. Speech Pathologists provide assessment and management of dysphagia.
In order to maintain her skills in dysphagia assessment and management, Alison at Newcastle Speech Pathology, regularly engages with other Speech Pathologists who work in this field. She enjoys working on a casual basis with Speech Pathology teams in the Hunter New England Health District to develop and hone her skills in this specialist field.
WHAT DOES A SPEECH PATHOLOGIST DO?
A Speech Pathologist works with adults and children to improve their communication skills. Speech Pathologists help identify and treat people who are at risk of swallowing, speech, language and communication difficulties.
Communication difficulties can take many forms, and Speech Pathology services may be required if an individual is:
Slow to start speaking
Taking longer than average to learn new words and build sentences
Having trouble being understood
Slow to follow instructions
Having difficulty understanding what is said
Having oral motor and feeding issues
Beginning to experience a decline in their thinking, communication or swallowing skills
Experiencing vocal difficulties (e.g. persistent hoarse voice, ongoing cough, changes in vocal quality)
Experiencing challenges developing accurate reading and spelling skills
Identified with a learning difficulty or is having trouble keeping up with learning in the classroom
Becoming frustrated as he / she is finding it difficult to communicate
Having trouble communicating fluently
Having difficulties relating to others (social skills / pragmatic development)
Speech Pathologists work in a wide range of settings including schools, health facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, with specialist organisations and in private practice.