Speech Pathology

Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties  with speech, language, fluency and voice. They work with people who have difficulty communicating because of developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disability, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, dementia and  hearing loss, as well as other problems that can affect speech and language. People who experience difficulties swallowing food and drink safely can also be helped by  a speech pathologist.

Using assessment tools, speech pathologists are able to diagnose each person’s specific problem and devise a treatment plan that best suits their needs. Speech pathologists are specialists who work with people across  their entire lifespan. An adult  might visit a speech pathologist to help them understand and find the right words to use after a stroke, while a child might need treatment to help their expressive language(putting words together and being understood) or receptive language (understanding instructions and meanings). Speech pathologists also work with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), devices that help people who find it difficult to speak or write to communicate more easily. This can include ‘unaided systems’ like signing and gestures or ‘aided systems’ like picture charts, books and special computers or devices.

Speech Pathologists work with many different people with lots of different communications challenges.

  • Giving feeding advice to a mother whose baby has a cleft palate
  • Working with children who are difficult to understand in a child care centre
  • Helping a primary school student understand what their teacher is telling them
  • Working with a high school student with a stutter to speak more fluently and with confidence Training a teacher who constantly loses their voice to use it more effectively
  • Working with a young man with severe brain injury due to a motorcycle accident to speak   clearly again
  • Helping an elderly man with dementia to communicate with his family and carers
  • Working with a woman post-stroke to regain her communication skills
  • Providing education about different ways to communicate for teachers, doctors, the police and  parents
  • Providing communication strategies and assistive devices for a person with cerebral palsy who cannot communicate  verbally
  • Teaching a person to swallow safely and without choking following a stroke
  • Assisting children and adults who have difficulties learning to read

It takes two to talk program is designed specifically for parents of young children (birth to 5 years of age) who have been identified as having a language delay. in a small, personalized group setting, parents learn practical strategies to help their children learn language naturally throughout their day together.

It takes two to talk program teaches you, step-by-step, how to become your child’s most important language teacher. the program shows you how to:

  • Recognize your child’s stage and style of communication so that you know which steps to take next
  • Identify what motivates your child to interact with you so you’ll know how to get conversations started
  • Adjust everyday routines to help your child take turns and keep interactions going
  • Follow your child’s lead to build his confidence and encourage him to communicate
  • Add language to interactions with your child to help him understand language and then use it when he is ready
  • Tweak the way you play and read books with your child to help him learn language
  • Change the way you speak to your child so that he’ll understand and learn new words

It takes two to talk program teaches you, step-by-step, how to become your child’s most important language teacher. the program shows you how to:

  • Recognize your child’s stage and style of communication so that you know which steps to take next
  • Identify what motivates your child to interact with you so you’ll know how to get conversations started
  • Adjust everyday routines to help your child take turns and keep interactions going
  • Follow your child’s lead to build his confidence and encourage him to communicate
  • Add language to interactions with your child to help him understand language and then use it when he is ready
  • Tweak the way you play and read books with your child to help him learn language
  • Change the way you speak to your child so that he’ll understand and learn new words

Program components

  • 6-8 training sessions for parents in small, personalized groups
  • A hanen certified speech-language pathologist leading the program
  • A pre-program consultation for you and your child with the speech-language pathologist
  • Three individual visits for you and your child with the speech-language pathologist in which you are videotaped while practicing strategies to help your child achieve specific communication goals. you and the speech-language pathologist then watch the videotaped interaction to “see” what’s helping your child and what you can modify to help even more.