What is a Speech Pathologist?

A Speech Pathologist (also known as a 'speech therapist' or 'speech-language pathologist') is a university-trained professional with expertise and experience in the area of communication. In Queensland, Speech Pathologists must be registered with the Speech Pathologists' Board of Qld. Speech pathologists can work with children and adults and work in a variety of settings including schools, community organisations, private organisations and government health departments. The benefit of accessing private speech pathology services is that you will not be placed on a long waiting list and your child will be able to access services for as long as you and the speech pathologist feel is necessary. Certain private speech pathologists also have areas of special interest/expertise which may suit the needs of your child. Finally, private speech pathology provides you with the choice of which therapist is best for your child.

Does my child need speech therapy?

Does your child experience any of the following?

  • Mispronounces speech sounds or is difficult to understand (You should understand 75% of what a 3 year old says and 100% of what a 4+ year old says    

  • Has difficulty understanding what you say

  • Does not follow your instructions

  • Uses fewer words or shorter sentences than peers of a similar age

  • Mixes up grammatical words in sentences or has word finding difficulties

  • Has difficulty using appropriate social communication skills or developing friendships

  • Stutters (repeats words or phrase), elongates sounds or is unable to get the word out

  • Has a husky or whispery voice quality or sometimes loses his or her voice

  • Experiences difficulty with reading accuracy, reading comprehension, spelling or has learning difficulties

How do I access speech pathology?

You do not need a doctor's referral to access speech pathology services. However, if you think you are eligible to access government rebates (see rebate section), you may want to discuss this with your doctor or speech pathologist prior to your initial appointment. Usually your first appointment with the speech pathologist will be an assessment or evaluation session. The speech pathologist will endeavour to make your child feel comfortable by playing fun games while discussing your concerns, taking case history and observing their communication skills.

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