Your Initial Phone Contact
When you make contact with us by phone or email, we will ask you some general questions about you or your child/family member so we can let you to know if we can help you with your needs. This enables us to collect specific information that prepares us to use your time effectively when you visit us for your initial consultation. We may collect general personal information and medical information to assist us with that preparation. We recommend that you prepare for your initial appointment with your Speech Pathologist by bringing in any relevant document that may facilitate our collection of information and streamlining the assessment process.
We suggest you bring in:
- Medical reports from Specialists and other Health providers
- Teachers reports/ school reports
- Your referral from your General Practitioner if you are supported under a Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC)
- Your funding details if relevant ie. Department of Veterans Affairs, Workcover, Helping Children with Autism and Betterstart Packages
In some case we may email/send you a CASE HISTORY form to complete to prepare for your first session which will enable you to maximize your contact time with your Speech Pathologist. This aims to collect accurate history details.
If you agree to book an appointment, we will outline the initial consultation fee expense and take a deposit to secure your appointment. Please provide us with 3 days notice to cancel the appointment so that you avoid losing your deposit from failure to attend. We will then contact you by email or phone to confirm your booking and forward location details. Professional consultation sessions are payable at the time of attendance.
Service Fee to expect: NIL. In some instances where questions are asked, we are happy to offer you a complimentary over the phone conversation with one of our Speech Pathologists to support you with your questions and determining if you are eligible for the service or whether we are the best person to support you with your needs. If we aren’t we are happy to refer you to someone who is. Your initial Speech Pathology consultation fee may vary depending on your funding arrangement, however our usual fees are provided here.
Your Initial Consultation
Arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment so that you can settle your child or yourself in and complete any relevant paperwork prior to your assessment. You will meet Amber and Courtney, our administration team, who will explain what to expect. Your initial consultation is for you to meet us and us to meet you. It’s our first date. We aim to learn to understand you and your needs and your Speech Pathologist will gain an impression of your strengths and challenges to best advise you on what should be the most effective assessment to undertake to determine your communication and/or swallowing-eating needs and to develop your treatment program. Your consultation will take approximately an hour, however allow for some movement with your scheduling around the appointment for us to plan your subsequent contact with us.
Most initial consultation you will meet with the Company principal and senior Speech Pathologist, Katrine Elliott, who will then determine who would be the most suitable team member to support your assessment and /or treatment program. As we do vary in our expertise, experience and clinical interest, it is best that we match you to the best professional to enable you to achieve your highest outcomes. Some client may be under the sole care of one clinician whilst in complex cases we may recommend involvement of multiple members of our Speech Pathology team based on specific support roles in your journey with us.
Some clients will commence and complete assessment in their first session whilst complex conditions may require 1-2 or 3 subsequent sessions to complete the collection of assessment testing. You will be advised of what that testing will be and how long that is expected to take before progressing to the next session. The age of the client, skills being assessed, complexity and severity of the disorder will determine what that will be. Please be mindful that we can only provide an estimate as some clients may require extra time for testing based on their performance to enable test completion. More information about the assessment fee schedule.
Your Professional Speech Pathology Assessment
What to expect…
Speech Pathology testing is undertaken using both formal and informal methods. The testing varies significantly depending on the clinical condition under assessment.
It is important to inform your therapist of your intentions of the assessment. Some students are requesting school verification assessments and require specific testing and reporting to be undertaken to evaluate their eligibility for support in their education system. Some assessment require collection of clinical information to then be reported to their Specialist to enable information collected for diagnosis and in some case allocation of funding support. Various types of assessments are offered by our service:
Paediatric Speech and Language Development:
It is usual to expect our team to use professional Speech Pathology standardized testing so we can compare your capability against medical/developmental research. We may also collect speech and language samples undertaking various tasks such as dialogue, story narrative or conversation at play. We use puppets and toys to elicit talking in young children and always make assessments fun and relaxing for your child.
Our assessments evaluate:
- Pre-verbal communication skills for young infants
- Speech sound skills-articulation and phonological processing skills
- Auditory processing – auditory development skills
- Receptive and expressive vocabulary skills
- Listening, receptive language and spoken comprehension skills
- Talking and expressive language skills: grammar, syntax (word order) and semantic (word meaning) skills
- Conversation, dialogue and social communication skills (pragmatic skills)
- Story narrative & discourse during conversations
Literacy and Academic assessment:
We undertake assessments to evaluate skills for phonological awareness and literacy readiness skills for kindergarten, PREP and grade 1 children. As literacy relies on strong phonological processing (speech sound knowledge) foundations, we can assess early literacy development and the capability for your child to process written material for reading, spelling and writing by examining their minds skills for underlying components that enable these skills to naturally emerge with regular school teaching in their early years. A students attention, concentration, integration of information they see, touch and hear and their learning behaviour are all examined. This enables us to identify children who are at risk as early as possible and provide them with the corrective therapy to support them when their minds are maturing.
As literacy capabilities mature further, we can evaluate higher reading capabilities for reading, spelling and writing competence as children develop rule based spelling skills and spelling conventions to tackle more challenging words. Our assessment also includes observations of their sentence and passage reading and writing capabilities and ability to extract and comprehend information from the text for further learning. It is critical to offer support for students to boost their skills to be on par with the expected literacy capability of their school class. In the first 3 years of grade 1-3 it is about learning to read whilst the grade 4 upwards is using reading to learn.
We don’t just assist young children. We also offer support for adolescents and adults who require literacy support.
Voice is a specialist area and we are able to support both children and adults who have difficulties with the quality, texture, loudness and control of their voice. Katrine Elliott is an experienced voice consultant who has provided corrective, rehabilitation and professional voice therapy for 20 years. She works with young children, professional voice uses, singers, medical/organic/pathological voice disorders as well as psychosomatic/psychogenic and voice disorders underpinned by emotional and psychological factors. You can expect to undertake a voice history and perceptual voice assessment with Katrine whereby she will examine your movement structures, your capability to form various voice qualities, skills and exercises and determine what may be the influencing cause and recommended treatment. She may assess your voice blueprint and how it functions in the activities of your normal day.
She may refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist for observation of the internal structures of your larynx and surrounding areas whereby your vocal movement patterns can be examined further.
Swallowing and eating assessments are undertaken by qualified clinicians who will discuss your concerns and will need to collect relevant medical and neurological history to create an accurate picture of what is causing your concerns. Our therapists may first clinically assess you swallowing and eating samples of various liquids and foods of various textures. In some instances, there may be a recommendation for further evaluation using a modified Barium Swallow procedure than enables the Speech Pathologist to assess your oral-pharyngeal-oesophageal swallowing function under an x-ray whilst you swallow various liquids and food consistencies. Consultation with a Radiologist may also be undertaken.
Neurological communication and rehabilitation assessment:
We are able to support client following/as a result of a neurological condition or trauma that has impacted on their ability to communicate, listen, speak, read, write and spell. We are able to support conditions that are static-under maintenance (eg. locked-in-syndrome), improving with rehabilitation (eg. CVA-strokes, Acquired Head Injury) and also degenerating neurologically (eg. Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neuron Disease, Progressive Supra Nuclear Palsy). These services are available in the clients home or nursing home facility. We are able to offer ongoing support in the community with communication impairments after discharge from your public and private hospital rehabilitation units.
Alternative and Augmentative communication:
Some clients are unable to verbally communicate and need assessment for a speech generated device (SGD). Often with a team approach of an Occupational therapist and /or psychologist we are able to assess your function and capability for language, cognition (thinking), literacy and physical access to best determine what low or high function communication device is most suitable for your needs. We support you in trialling a device and then in completing the application for MASS and CEAETI funding to enable you to reach that communication goal. Therapy is mandatory to enable the transfer of skills to maximize the effectiveness of the transferal of your communication capability.
Children who are applying for suitability for the Group Therapy Program held at our centre will need to attend a screen assessment of 1 hour prior to group allocation. Children who have undertaken a previous individual assessment for their individual program will be advised of whether further assessment is required due to group goals.
Currently our Club Yicketty Yak-Getting Talking On Track group therapy is for children in kindergarten and pre-school and in their early primary years For further information visit www.clubyickettyyak.com.