Depending on the profile of each individual client, they may benefit from a single approach, or a combination of the services offered at Developing Minds Speech Pathology. Your Speech Pathologist will guide you in the process of deciding what interventions will benefit, and you may find it helpful to have an idea of the therapy we offer.
Assessment forms an important part of the overall service. Depending upon your child’s presentation, and the needs of your family, the Speech Pathologist will select a battery of qualitative and quantitative measures to establish your child’s current level of functioning, and set some goals. These may include:
- Core language and higher level language processing
- Motor speech (articulation)
- Literacy skills
- Auditory processing skills
- Play skills and play style
- Interpersonal dynamics
- Capacity of client and their guide/s (typically parents, but may include teachers and significant others)
- Individual learning style
As well as getting to know each client, and them getting to know their clinician, the assessment process gives all involved in your and/or your child’s care the chance to reflect on the strengths and barriers each client brings to the table, and come to a consensus about where to go moving forward. The process can be daunting, but at Developing Minds Speech Pathology, we work with each client and their support network to make the experience as positive and meaningful as possible.
- Core Language – therapy can support your child to increase their understanding and use of vocabulary, syntax and grammar.
- Higher Level Language – one can have difficulties with higher order thinking areas; including inference, identifying and solving problems, perspective taking, main idea, and synthesising information. Difficulties in these areas can often appear subtle, however the impact on your one’s life can be significant. Therapy can support higher level language processing across ages and stages.
- Language Integration – sometimes one can have solid language skills, and even score quite well on a standardised test, but still be struggling with their overall understanding and use of language. Those who have difficulty with integrating language areas can sometimes have trouble keeping up and staying on topic during conversation, or may be able to tell you a great deal about a certain topic at school but struggle with putting their thoughts into writing effectively enough to demonstrate how much they have learned. Even though these individuals can be very bright, a key problem is that it can be difficult for peers and teachers to adjust their expectations, particularly at school when it comes to their work. They have to work extremely hard to organise themselves and get things done. Therapy can be effective in minimising their frustration and improving their academic and social lives.
Whether your child is diagnosed with a reading disorder such as dyslexia, or has a more subtle difficulty like difficulty with reading longer words or spelling, therapy can focus on supporting and acquiring skills so they can experience success at literacy, and regain their joy for literature. Children and adults with literacy difficulties can often fall into a negative cycle; in serious cases experiencing anxiety around any and all tasks related to learning. It’s never too late to turn this around, and therapy can benefit people of all ages to improve their literacy.
Speech is an important function of communication. Children can sometimes have difficulty being understood as they grow, but when these errors persist as a child gets older, they can face problems with being understood by peers and significant adults in their life. Whether a child has difficulty with certain sounds, or has more serious difficulties where they are unable to be understood by even those who know them well, speech therapy can help the way your child interacts with their friends and family, and significantly improve their quality of life.
Auditory Processing Training
Some children can present with age-appropriate language skills and cognition, but have difficulty with processing auditory information. These children will often present with literacy difficulties and/or difficulty with concentration particularly in the presence of background noise. Targeted training on auditory processing can often benefit children with Auditory Processing Disorders, and improve outcomes of other prescribed therapies, such as literacy and language intervention.
Children with neurological conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, will often have difficulties in relating to people and socialising with peers and family, despite the fact that they want to form bonds with others and are motivated to do so. This greatly impacts upon the child’s quality of life, as it affects not only relationships, but academics as well. Targeting these areas during individual and/or group therapy sessions can greatly increase your child’s relationships with significant others and improve their quality of life across their life time.
It is often beneficial for support to be in place to maximise your child’s potential at school. Positive outcomes can be made and sustained when the Speech Pathologist works in collaboration with Teachers and other Educational Professionals. Schools may also engage a Speech Pathologist to develop and implement programs that not only support emerging skills, but extend skills for all children in the learning environment. The Speech Pathologist can collaborate with teachers at any stage and level to enhance the learning program in your school.
The relationship between parent and child is unique, in that it is the primary vehicle by which all learning and development happen. Understanding what parents bring to the table is crucial for planning and implementing therapy, whether your child has significant challenges, or subtle difficulties. We offer structured individualised programs to help you use this supportive caregiver and child relationship to boost communication and learning outcomes. Parents have reported positive outcomes from these programs that build capacity and empower them act as effective guides to their children. If you prefer a more unstructured approach, the Speech Pathologist can work with you at your pace to help you set up an environment that helps you, your child and the entire family to better communicate and relate to each other. The focus is always on relationship building and working within your already established routines.
Effective communication is the number one attribute that employers seek in the professional arena today. While being knowledgeable and good at one’s job is important, the ability to speak and write for a variety of purposes can make or break how we demonstrate that knowledge to management, clients and colleagues. Whether it’s public speaking, professional writing, or just being able to get a point across to a small group in a succinct way, an individual program can be tailored to help you create a positive first impression and get ahead at work.
This service is available to novice Speech Pathologists who are new to the profession, or those professionals who are wanting to sharpen their understanding about the specific caseloads served at Developing Minds Speech Pathology. Students are welcome to contact the Speech Pathologist to discuss potential mentoring opportunities.