Speech pathologists support people to improve their communication skills. This includes skills such as speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, socialisation, fluency and using voice to communicate. Many of our speech pathologists have completed specialised training programs, including the Early Start Denver Model and DIR Floortime, to help children or young people with ASD communicate to the best of their ability.
Each child or young person will have different goals to support their unique needs. For example, one person may have no spoken language skills and may not appear to respond when spoken to, whereas another person may have good spoken language skills but have difficulty with conversations, making friends, knowing how to interact with others, and explaining feelings.
express themselves using gestures, pictures/symbols or words
pronounce sounds and words clearly
put words into sentences
use an appropriate volume, pitch and voice quality
fluently answer questions, carry on conversations and tell stories
develop pretend play skills, so they can play with their peers at pre-school and school
communicate in a socially appropriate manner (this may include asking for help rather than screaming or throwing toys, getting a peer’s attention before talking to them, interrupting appropriately and/or staying on topic).
Speech pathology includes individual therapy, working in small groups as part of an interdisciplinary team and as part of the diagnosis process, and may include giving advice, education and support to families and other professionals in the home, school or workplace. As part of our feeding clinic, speech pathologists also work with children and young people who experience difficulties swallowing drinks and/or chewing and swallowing food.