Speech Therapy and Speech Pathology

Speech and Language Assessment

A speech and language assessment is a wide-ranging evaluation of language and speech capabilities, which is often used to assist children. At the Listen and Learn Centre, we employ a range of techniques, testing tools, and observations in order to compile a comprehensive understanding of each patient’s strengths and weaknesses.

Our speech and language assessments will establish how each patient understands verbal language (receptive), as well as how well they express themselves using spoken language (expressive). Other aspects of a speech and language assessment include:

  • The patient’s use of spelling and grammar in spoken language
  • The patient’s phonological and literacy skills (spelling, reading, and writing)
  • The patient’s use of language in a social context
  • Fluency and articulation when speaking

The precise nature of a speech and language assessment will vary from patient to patient. Each assessment will generally involve standardised testing. This allows the speech pathologist to compare the patient’s strengths and weaknesses statistically compared to their peers. Other methods of assessment include questionnaires and observations.

In order to have a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s ability, a speech and language assessment will also make use of information from other sources. The patient’s parents, general practitioners, teachers, and therapists can all be crucial in understanding how an individual’s speech capabilities affect their everyday life.

Your Listen and Learn Centre Speech Pathologist will compile this information in order to diagnose, treat, and improve the patient’s language and speech disorders, or learning difficulties.

For more information about speech and language assessments at the Listen and Learn Centre, please request a call.



Speech Therapy

The Listen And Learn Centre provides speech therapy services to assist children who have difficulties or delays in producing age-appropriate speech and language. Speech therapy involves the identification, definition and diagnosis of the range of speech and language disorders and the provision of direct services using a variety of programs to treat and address communication difficulties. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas. Speech and language difficulties can arise from a wide range of factors. These include:

  • hearing impairments,
  • cognitive or other developmental delays,
  • weak oral muscles,
  • birth defects such as cleft palate,
  • autism,
  • motor planning problems,
  • respiratory problems,
  • swallowing disorders
  • traumatic brain injury

Different kinds of Speech and Language Disorders


Articulation Disorders

Articulation disorders include difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that individuals can not understand what is being said.


Fluency Disorders

Fluency disorders include problems such stuttering, the condition in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages and repetitions, or prolonging sounds and syllables.


Resonance or Voice Disorders

Resonance or voice disorders include problems with the pitch, volume or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what is being said. These types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort for the child when speaking.


Dysphagia or oral feeding disorders

Dysphagia or oral feeding disorders include difficulties with eating and swallowing.


Receptive disorders

Receptive disorders refer to difficulties understanding or processing language.


Expressive disorders

Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.



Speech Pathology

A Speech Pathologist has been trained to assess and treat individuals who have a communication disability. Speech pathologists also work with people who have difficulties swallowing food and drink. Speech Pathologists or Speech and Language Pathologists were formerly known as speech therapists. Speech Pathologists often coordinate the management of clients, work as part of a multi disciplinary team, consult with other agencies and support family members and other caregivers. A Speech Pathologist is an important member of an early intervention team or a school therapy team.


How does the Speech Pathologist work?

The Speech Pathologist firstly conducts a series of assessments to identify and diagnose a speech or language difficulty. A range of standardized assessment tools are administered for infants, school-aged children, adolescents and adults. Assessments primarily examine the form, content, understanding and use of language, as well as articulation and phonology. Treatment programs vary depending on the nature and severity of the disorder. Accordingly, the Speech Pathologist develops a series of fun activities which aim to strengthen a child in their areas of weakness. For example, for mechanical issues, treatment may include exercises to strengthen the tongue and lips such as blowing bubbles or licking an icy pole. Other kinesthetic techniques can assist with articulation. For language, this might involve games to stimulate word retrieval, comprehension or conversation. Treatment may include instructive or repetitive practice and drilling. Other interventions that are applied may include the use of augmented communication systems. These refer to methods that supplements or replaces speech and writing, when these are temporarily or permanently impaired in order to meet all or some of a child’s communication needs. A number of different systems are available including the use of objects, pictures, keyword signing and electronic systems. Parent programs are also available to assist parents to communicate with their child at home.


When is speech therapy needed?

Therapy should begin as soon as possible. Children enrolled in therapy early in their development (younger than 3 years) tend to have better outcomes than those who begin therapy later. This does not mean that older children cannot make progress in therapy; they may progress at a slower rate because they often have learned patterns that need to be changed.


Helping your child

Speech and language experts agree that parental involvement is crucial to the success of a child’s progress in speech or language therapy. Parents are an extremely important part of their child’s therapy program. The process of overcoming a speech or language disorder may take some time and effort, so it is important that all family members assist in the process and be patient and understanding with the child.



Are you considering our therapy programs for your child?

Get in touch with our friendly staff to arrange a consultation and assessment

This is so we know where to direct your enquiry


Level 1, 66 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn VIC
Level 19, 56 Pitt St, Sydney NSW

T: (03) 9816 8811

E: team@listenandlearn.com.au

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Listen And Learn Centre is part of the neuroCare Group, a global network of clinics providing safe, evidence-based and medication-free therapies for mental health.

To find out more about our clinics in Australia, visit:
www.neurocareclinics.com.au

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