Hearing

Babies need good hearing so they can imitate the sounds and words that are made by their carers. Middle ear problems in toddlers and preschoolers may cause some hearing loss and impact on the child’s development of speech and language skills.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are basically the skills needed to get along with others. These skills go far beyond just “social niceties” such as being polite and civil. They include the ability to greet, join in an activity, begin and continue a conversation, resolve conflict effectively, read social cues, be collaborative and work cooperatively with others.

Language

People may have difficulty with receptive language skills, such as learning concepts, following instructions, or understanding questions. Expressive language difficulties may result in limited vocabulary, short simple sentences, poor grammar or word-finding problems. Often these difficulties occur together, which have significant effects on a person’s ability to communicate.

Feeding and Swallowing

Speech Pathologists can assess the safety of a person’s swallowing. Intervention may include recommendation of strategies, modified diet and equipment to maximise safe eating and maintaining adequate nutrition and hydration.

Literacy

Literacy skills are the written forms of language – reading, writing and spelling – and develop from a foundation of oral language skills. Literacy skills are made up of phonological (sound) awareness, print knowledge, reading (including comprehension), writing and spelling.

Speech Sounds

Speech is the process of physically producing sounds with the tongue, lips, teeth, palate and jaw for communication. These sounds are stored in a system in our minds, and combined quickly and precisely to form words and sentences when speaking. A speech pathologist can assess a person’s speech sound system and provide therapy to improve communication skills.

Stuttering

A Speech Pathologist is trained to deal with people of all ages who stutter. Stuttering in children can be very effectively treated, particularly in the early preschool years, i.e. before the age of 6 years. Successful treatment programs are also available for adolescents and adults who wish to improve their speech fluency and their confidence in speaking.

Voice

A Speech Pathologist will assess and provide specialised voice therapy by teaching an improved voice production technique, recommending some modifications to a person’s environment and referring the patient for medical diagnosis when necessary.

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