What is a Speech Pathologist?
Speech Pathologists are Allied Health Professionals that have been trained to assess and treat people who have communication difficulties.
Speech Pathologists complete a four year degree at university which encompasses all aspects of communication including language, speech, pragmatics (social skills), voice and fluency. Speech Pathologists can also treat difficulties associated with feeding and swallowing.
Speech Pathologists often work in collaboration with other professionals such as GPs and teachers.
When would I seek help from a Speech Pathologist?
Some reasons that a parent/guardian may seek help from a Speech Pathologist include if their child is:
– Having difficulty understanding questions or following instructions.
– Having difficulty communicating their thoughts and ideas verbally.
– Hard to understand or has trouble saying some speech sounds.
– Stuttering (or getting ‘stuck’) when they are talking.
When considering whether your child needs help with their communication, it is important to note that early intervention is best. If you are unsure, seek the opinion of a professional.
Do I need a referral from a doctor to see a Speech Pathologist?
You do not require a referral to see a Speech Pathologist, however you might like to see your G.P. prior to the session to see if your child is eligible for Medicare rebated sessions.
Will the doctors referral for the Chronic Disease Management (also known as Enhanced Primary Care) program mean that sessions are free?
Unfortunately the sessions are not free. Medicare provides a rebate of approximately $50 on sessions, so there is an out-of-pocket gap. Sessions payments are made in full at the clinic and appropriate documentation is provided to allow for the rebate to be claimed on line or at a Medicare branch.