I understand that the best outcomes for the child come from empowering the people around your child and their community. I provide a family focused service in order to provide the best supports to your child to maximise their outcomes.
Assessment and Support Areas
Children who are described as ‘difficult to understand’.
Many toddlers or young children have difficulty producing all of the speech sounds required to say words correctly. This can be a normal stage of development however, some children may be having difficulties meeting the typical ‘milestones’ and could need some extra help. If you are worried about your child’s speech development I can provide a comprehensive assessment and support.
You may wish to have a look at fact sheets to determine if your child is on track with their speech development. I recommend the resources provided by Speech Pathology Australia. You can access these by their website or click on the link below:
Children who are described as ‘late talkers’ e.g. not saying/attempting many words.
Before your child begins to use words they are listening and developing skills which helps them develop their language. Your child’s ability to use language depends on the development of other skills including attending and understanding the world around them. Each child begins using words at different times however, there are development milestones and ‘pre-verbal’ skills which can provide a guide as to whether your child may need some extra help. If you are worried about your child’s development of language or ability to listen and attend to the world around them I can provide comprehensive assessment and support as well as referrals to other professionals if required.
You may wish to have a look at fact sheets to see if your child is developing their language skills . I recommend the resources provided by Speech Pathology Australia. You can access these by their website or click on the link below:
and also the pre verbal checklist provided online by Belinda Hill & Associates (Therabee)
Play and social development
Children who find it difficult to engage in play or with others for an extended period of time or who find it difficult to understand/use social cues and language.
Your child learns about the world and its ‘rules’ during play and exploration. Playing is an important means for your child to understand the world around them and lends them to their first learning and social experiences. Many young children can have difficulty using social skills such as waiting, taking turns and understanding ‘social rules’ and these can develop with support from an adult and overall development (getting older). Sometimes children can require extra help to develop their play and social skills. You may be noticing any of the following:
- Playing by themselves or alongside of others.
- Only playing with one toy or toys with a similar function (e.g. spinning).
- Difficulty concentrating for a short period of time (flits between activities without any obvious direction).
- Does not or has limited responses/reactions to others.
- Displays of ‘big emotions’ often, especially when playing with others.
- Always needing an adult to support them during play activities.
If you are concerned about any area of your child’s play/social development I can provide comprehensive assessment and support as well as consultation with other key carers involved with you and your child.
Children with limited communication abilities or who may be described as ‘non-verbal’.
Your child’s ability to get their message across and be a ‘successful communicator’ can have an impact on the general quality of life of your child and your family. Children who are unable to communicate or can only communicate a small range of messages can be experiencing high levels of stress and frustration. Your child’s communication skills can be supported by developing your ability to encourage and maintain interactions, increase opportunities to communicate and provide a ‘means’ to communicate. If you would like to support your child’s ability to communicate I can provide assessment, support and access to a range of alternative communication methods to meet your child’s individual needs.
Children with general ‘fussiness’ or difficulties developing and integrating chewing/swallowing skills.
Many toddlers and children go through a ‘phase’ of general fussiness and begin to refuse foods they had previously enjoyed. This can be a normal stage of development in children as they begin to understand their environment and how they can control it. Children can outgrow this phase while others may need some extra help. This can be especially difficult if their diets are too restricted or mealtimes are becoming a stressful and negative experience. This can lead to higher levels of anxiety in children and stressful mealtimes for your child and your family. If you are worried about your child’s diet becoming too restricted I can provide a general assessment and support of their mealtime skills. I can also provide referrals to specialists if further support is required.
Provision of Service
The general structure for engaging with Keira Stone Speech Pathology looks like the following. Please note each child is individual and the structure can be individualised to meet the child’s needs.
Initial consultation (1 hour)
Initial consultation is a valuable time for parents to describe the concerns they have, discuss your family goals and detail your child’s medical and developmental history (which will have been made available to be pre-filled prior to the consultation). This time also allows for initial contact with your child to allow them to become familiar with the therapist, and to undertake any short simple screenings which may provide more information. At the end of the consultation time will be given to discussing the best approach forward for your child and whether an assessment is required.
If your child is an NDIS participant this time will enable discussion of the goals which have been determined in your plan and how this service can best support you to achieve those goals.
Assessment (1 – 1.5hrs)
Informal and formal assessments are available depending on the needs of a child. This will be discussed and determined as necessary in the initial consultation. Assessments of a child will only be used if they will assist in developing therapy goals, determine resources/ approaches which will best benefit your child or provide further information that cannot be gained through alternate methods.
Support session (45 -60 minutes)
In collaboration with parents and caregivers sessions will be provided based on the goals of the child and family. Duration and frequency of the sessions will be determined based on the needs of the child. All sessions will be structured to be functional and practical in order to best support your child.