Speech Pathology Support

What is Speech Pathology?

Speech Pathologists assess and treat communications disorders, including difficulties with speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using voice. In schools, Speech Pathologists provide intervention for learning, engagement and positive student outcomes. The school Speech Pathologist supports students by conducting assessments, designing and implementing group therapy sessions, working with teachers to support students in the classroom and acts as a consultant and advisor to parents.

At Point Cook College, if you child’s teacher has concerns about any aspect of their communication development, your consent will be obtained to make a referral to the school speech pathology service. The first step is usually to conduct an assessment and determine whether your child would benefit from participating in the school-based program.

Speech Pathologists can help if your child is having difficulties in any of the following areas:

  • Language – how well your child understands and uses language to communicate
  • Pragmatic language – The use of language for social purposes
  • Literacy – Reading, writing and spelling
  • Speech – The way your child’s speech sounds (articulation)
  • Fluency – Stuttering
  • Voice – The health of your child’s voice (vocal injuries such as nodules)
  • Specific learning impairment (e.g. dyslexia) Specific difficulties (diagnosed by a professional) that impact on your child’s learning.

Please speak to your child’s classroom teacher if you have noticed that your child appears to have difficulty in any of the above areas.

Tips for Remote Learning

My top 10 tips for supporting your child’s communication development during remote learning

  1. Set aside some time during your day for talking and listening to each other. Dinner time can be a great opportunity to do this. Chat about what happened during the day, tell stories and actively listen to your child’s contributions.
  2. Share a book together every day. While reading together, talk about what is happening in the story. Ask your child what they think is going to happen next. Ask your child what their favourite part of the story was.
  3. Be a great model. When your child makes an error, you don’t need to make a big deal out of correcting them. Rather, model the correct version back to them (e.g. Child: “I goed to the park” Adult: “Yes, you did go to the park”).
  4. Make sure you leave time for your child to enjoy imaginative play. Play is essential for children’s communication development. During play, children are experimenting with language and practicing social skills.
  5. Play I-Spy. This game is great for developing vocabulary skills and for practicing listening to the first sound in words.
  6. Ask you child’s opinion. This is a great way to develop expressive language and also requires your child to think about their feelings. (e.g. “Why shouldn’t we have vegetables for breakfast?”)
  7. Give your child some extra time. Children often need extra time to understand a question and think of their answer. Before, jumping in to help, try to give your child a few more second and wait to see if they answer.
  8. Do some cooking together. This is a great opportunity to practice following directions and instructions.
  9. Play boardgames together. This is great for developing your child’s understanding of how games work, turn-taking, listening to instructions and winning and losing.
  10. Take care of yourselves! Online learning is presenting families with many challenges. Remember that you are doing a great job in supporting your child’s communication development. Some days will be easier than others. Make sure you reach out to the school speech pathologist or your child’s teacher if you need any support.

Useful websites for further parent information

Speech Pathology Australia - This website has useful information about how a speech pathologist may be able to support your child, how to find a speech pathologist and information on communication milestones.

Raising Children - This website has great information about your child’s communication development (including language development, speech development and social emotional development). It is a reliable source of information for parents.

Speech Pathology blog - This blog was written by speech pathologists and has some great ideas for supporting your child’s communication development during remote learning.

Positive Partnerships - This website provides information for parents, carers and educators of school-aged children on the autism spectrum to provide current, relevant and evidence informed information through workshops and online resources.

ABC Kids - ABC Kids radio have lots of great educational resources and interesting stories information for children to listen to.

If you require specific advice about your child, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher who will make a referral to the school speech pathology service. I look forward to seeing all of our students back at school as soon as possible.

Lucy Shephard

Speech Pathologist