Click on one of the following to answer questions you may have about Speech Pathology or scroll down the page
What is Speech Pathology? (also known as Speech Therapy)
Speech Pathology draws on many fields of knowledge. You may be surprised to learn about the incredible Scope of Practice, of a Speech Pathologist, assessing and treating a broad range of human communication and swallowing problems, across the lifespan. Communication problems are categorised as voice, articulation fluency or language disorders and may be developmental, acquired via injury or illness or exist in conjunction with a medical diagnosis. Communication and swallowing difficulties can impact every aspect of daily life be it with family or community, in the workplace or in social situations. You may also hear Speech Pathology referred to as Speech Therapy, which is the official terminology used in the UK. Speech-Language-Pathologist is the term used in the USA.
Who needs a Speech Pathologist?
A few facts to consider:
- Currently more than 1.1 million Australians have a communication or swallowing disorder which impacts on their quality of life. Roughly the same number of Australians who live with diabetes! Three times the number of Australians who suffer from dementia
- One in nine Australian preschool children stutter and without intervention by a speech pathologist will suffer long-term social and economic distress
- Adults (aged 34 years) who had a language impairment at the age of five, are seven times more likely to have poor reading skills, have five times higher odds of mental health difficulties, and three times the odds of unemployment
- Any person, of any age, experiencing difficulties and frustrations with communication, eating or swallowing can refer themselves for an assessment, or be referred by a Medical or Allied health professional to a Speech Pathologist
People seeking Speech Pathology services may be eligible for Public services that can be provided in Hospitals, Education department or Community based organisations. The type of difficulty, the circumstances and personal preference, will determine whether someone is best seen in the Public or Private Sector.
People seek help from a Speech Pathologist for many reasons. Here are some examples:
- following his surgery, Dan could only manage to eat puree food
- Graham was concerned that no-one could hear him in the Boardroom
- Sally could understand her 3 year old but no-one else could
- The Wilkinson’s son was still stuttering at 6 and they were told he would grow out of it
- Susan went to speak and nothing came out
- Su Lin learned English as a second language, and did well in written tests but no-one could understand her, this was a problem working in a busy hospital
- John’s 7-year-old daughter is a thumb-sucker and he wasn’t really worried because it was cute and after all, she was the baby of the family. He worried she may cry if stopping was suggested. But the dentist said it had to stop. The lisp was cute too
- Lionel could not stop coughing and clearing his throat but the doctor said he had no medical condition to explain it
- The dentist said ‘something about a tongue thrust?’ pushing his teeth out?
- For Jenny, trying to breast-feed has been a nightmare, and no-one seemed to know why
- John’s stuttering was really getting him down, especially speaking in front of the class. He decided to stop talking
Click here to find out more about VOICE problems
Click here to find out more about ARTICULATION problems
Click here to find out more about FLUENCY problems
Click here to find out more about speech problems related to HEARING IMPAIRMENT
Click here to find out more about EARLY LANGUAGE DELAY
If you are interested in learning more you could visit the following websites:
How do I choose a Speech Pathologist to work with?
Ask them about their training, and their experience in assessing and treating the difficulty that you are presenting with and whether they are certified with Speech Pathology Australia.
How do I make an appointment?
You can contact Well Spoken by clicking here.
Alternatively, your GP, Specialist Doctor, Dentist, Orthodontist, or Allied Health Professional may write a referral for you, stating the primary difficulties and reason for seeking Speech Pathology assistance.
Any person, of any age, experiencing difficulties and frustrations with communication, eating or swallowing can refer themselves for an assessment, or be referred by a medical dental or Allied health professional
Making an appointment is easy