Speech Pathology in the NDIS

Speech pathologist or speech therapist work with individuals who have trouble with communication, eating, drinking or swallowing.

Tashacare’s speech pathologists support individuals to communicate and sustain safe oral nutrition, improving quality of life and participation in society.

Our speech pathologists are equipped to support individuals from the ages of two upwards with a range of diagnoses. They are specifically trained to support NDIS participants through:

  • Speech assessment and intervention
  • Language assessment and intervention
  • Swallowing and mealtime assessment and intervention
  • Voice/fluency assessment and intervention
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assessment, prescription, NDIS application work and training.

They will assess the nature of the problem, provide treatment, advice, and support. They will work closely with the NDIS participant, their family, support staff and other health professionals to provide a comprehensive service.

Paediatric and Adolescent Speech Pathology

They work in collaboration with other stakeholders involved in your child’s care, such as childcare facilities, schools, teachers and other Tashacare or external allied health professionals to ensure that strategies and interventions can be implemented across all relevant settings with a cohesive and holistic approach.

Our pathologists work with children who have a range of conditions:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental delays
  • Stammers
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Cleft Palate
  • Voice disorders

They can assist children, adolescents and families experiencing concerns with:

  • Attention and listening skills

These skills are necessary for learning and are prerequisites for other areas of communication.

  • Play skills

Play is the way that children learn about the environment, their bodies, and their place in the world. It is vital for language acquisition and social interaction skills. Play encompasses exploratory, cause and effect, sensory, pretend/imaginary, constructive, interpersonal (play with others) or intrapersonal (solitary play) interactions.

  • Social interaction skills

Knowing what to say, how to say it and use of body language in our interactions with others are all important social skills as they allow us to communicate our personal thoughts, ideas, and feelings. However, some individuals may experience difficulties understanding unspoken social conventions (greetings, eye contact, reading/using body language and turn taking in conversation), initiating conversation with others, remaining on topic in conversation or understanding jokes/humour.

  • Behaviour
    Children and adolescents with communication difficulties often get frustrated and angry when they are not understood. They can also have difficulties asking for clarification when they don’t understand something. These difficulties can result in them expressing negative behaviours.
  • Receptive language skills
    Receptive language is the ability to understand and interpret spoken and written words and sentences. Difficulties in this area may be observed through an inability to follow verbal instructions or appearing to lack interest when storybooks are read to them or when they are spoken to.
  • Expressive language skills
    Expressive language refers to a person’s ability to express themselves using speaking, writing, gestures, and symbols to convey meaning. Some individuals can present as non-verbal (do not use any spoken language) while others may use verbal language but have difficulties with grammar, limited vocabulary, or written work, for example.
  • Speech intelligibility

Speech intelligibility refers to the degree a person’s speech can be understood based on their articulation and clarity of sound/word production.

  • Voice quality
    Some people can have difficulties with their vocal quality which can present as a hoarse voice, overly quiet voice, partial/complete loss of voice, scratchy voice, throat clearing/excessive coughing.
  • Stammer and dysfluency
    A stammer involves difficulty getting words out and can present as issues with repeating part or whole words (e.g. ‘m-m-m-my name is’ / ‘and and and I am’), prolonging words (e.g. ‘mmmmmmmmy’), blocking sounds (when trying to speak but no words come out) or ‘tripping over’ words due to a fast rate of speech.
  • Alternative communication (AAC)

Alternative communication systems are used to facilitate communication for people with difficulty expressing themselves verbally. This can be achieved without any external aids, for example, through sign language, gesture, and facial expression. Otherwise, external aids can be used, such as low tech options that our speech pathologists can make (e.g. visual schedule, communication book/board, keyring mini cards) or high tech options that fall under the assistive technology category (e.g. iPad apps, Eye Gaze, text to speech/speech to text).

  • Sensory feeding difficulties
    Sensory feeding difficulties are common in people with a diagnosis of ASD and can result in a restricted diet due to the avoidance of certain textures or colours (e.g. won’t eat wet or crunchy foods).

These difficulties can include specific issues with food or drink falling or spilling out of the mouth, excessive drooling, difficulties chewing certain textures, difficulties managing fluid in the mouth, coughing or choking on food or drink, weight loss, frequent chest infections and pneumonia.

For young children, our speech therapists use play-based therapy to create a fun and exciting therapy approach, all while addressing the child’s or family’s goals, and supporting them to reach their developmental milestones. Toys and games are used in sessions to teach and develop crucial communication and language skills which will set the child up for their future.

Speech pathology for adolescents often focuses on developing functional communication skills, which will enable them to communicate and participate fully in their daily lives and communities by increasing their independence and self-confidence as they transition into young adults.

Speech Pathology for Adults and the Elderly

Our speech therapy team, work with adult and elderly individuals who are experiencing difficulties with communication and/or eating, drinking, and swallowing.

Therapy for adults with disabilities often focuses on developing functional communication skills which will enable them to increase their independence, self-confidence, and quality of life, and allow them to participate more fully in their communities. There is a great focus on training and supporting not only the NDIS participant but their formal and informal networks to ensure the client is receiving consistent and ongoing support via a team approach.

Therapy for adults with acute medical conditions, such as stroke and head injuries, focuses on rehabilitation techniques to facilitate the recovery of lost skills and reengagement in daily life.

Therapy for adults with neurodegenerative conditions aims to help manage symptoms and anticipate possible communication or swallowing needs before they arise. The goal is to enable individuals to maintain effective, functional communication and ensure they remain active participants in their daily activities.

Our speech pathologists can work with individuals with a range of conditions that can affect their eating and communication:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental delays
  • Stammer
  • Medical conditions such as stroke, head injury, and cancers
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Voice disorders
  • Neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Dementia

We can assist with specific difficulties in areas such as:

  • Social interaction
  • Behaviour
  • Receptive language (understanding language)
  • Expressive language (use of language)
  • Articulation and pronunciation
  • Voice quality
  • Stammer and dysfluency
  • Communication (by offering alternative communication mechanisms: key word sign, communication books, iPad apps, eye gaze)
  • Eating, drinking and swallowing
  • Sensory feeding (restricted diet and avoidance of certain foods)

Copyright 2023. Tashacare Australia. All rights reserved.