FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
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Do you have questions about the services offered here at Chatterbox? You might find the answers in our FAQ below. If you have a question that isn't answered here, then please don't hesitate to ask one of our friendly team members!
There can be many reasons why your child is having difficulty. Evidence shows that children with a family history of speech, language and literacy difficulties are more likely to present with similar difficulties themselves. Some children experience speech, language and literacy difficulties with no underlying family history or developmental difficulties. Other children may present with communication difficulties linked to hearing impairment, developmental delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, intellectual disabilities and a range of other developmental diagnoses.
Children are unique which means their communication skills are unique. The causes of language delays in children are often unknown. Research shows that approximately 20% of children (1 in 5) experience speech or language difficulties. The earlier a child receives additional support for their language difficulties the greater the progress will be.
All children are different which means they reach their talking milestones at different stages. We expect your child to begin saying their first words around their first birthday.
- By 18 months we want your child to be using between 20-50 single words to communicate their wants and needs (e.g. bottle).
- At 2 years of age we want to see the number of words they have grow to 200+ words and we also want to hear them putting 2 words together (e.g. want bottle).
- Around 3 years of age we want to see your child using a large range of words to label and request things in their environment using 3-4 words phrases (e.g. look mum big dog).
Your child is the only one who can tell us if and when they will begin using their words. Evidence suggests that the earlier your child receives intervention, the better the gains will be for your child. A Speech Therapist will be able to maximize your child’s communication development and help your family achieve the communication goals best suited to your child.
In therapy and at preschool we have routines so your child knows what to expect. Routines help children feel at ease which makes it easier to learn new skills. In addition to routine, your Speech Pathologist knows what level your child is at. They are able to make activities easier or more difficult based on your child’s skills in order for them to get the most out of the therapy process.
In therapy we will modify our activities within these routines to make sure they are at the best level for your child’s stage of learning.
We also use a range of supports to assist your child’s communication skills. There are lots of visuals, hand and body gestures, and changes to the tone of our voice when we work alongside children. We use these supports to help your child achieve success and gradually remove these supports as your child begins to achieve their goals independently.
If you feel that your child is having difficulty completing tasks at home, make sure to discuss this with your Speech Pathologist. They will be able to discuss different options to help you and your child get success with homework.
It is great to hear that your child is using words at home to communicate with you. You are a crucial communication partner for your child and it is important that you can understand their wants and needs. We make our sessions as enjoyable as possible for your child, however it may take some time for your child to warm up to a new person and a new place. You are the biggest source of comfort and stability for your child so we will work with you to increase your child’s comfort levels in the clinic. We do this by providing you with specific strategies that help you elicit communication from your child. We will help you use these strategies to elicit communication from your child in the clinic, and then you can then use these strategies to further develop your child’s communication at home and beyond.
We love that your child can follow instructions with you at home. Your home is a familiar place where you often set up routines for your child. For example: when you need to go to the shops you might say, ‘let’s go to the shops!’ and your child might respond by going to get their shoes and waiting by the front door. Your child has learnt from the routine of getting their shoes and going to the door every time you go to the shops.
When a child is in a new environment they may have difficulty following instructions as there is no routine to support them.
At home you may be using gestures when you communicate with your child. For example: when we want a child to give us something we will often hold out our hand over the object we want in order to assist their understanding. When we remove that gesture, a child may have more difficulty understanding the instructions or concepts.
Grommets are beneficial for children with fluid in their ears. Grommets make it easier for a child to hear the difference between sounds. For example, a child with grommets is likely to hear the difference between sounds like ‘s’ and ‘f’, however without grommets, ‘s’ and ‘f’ may sound similar.
We can begin and continue working on your child’s speech production prior to grommets being inserted. If your child is having difficulty making a sound before having grommets inserted, they are likely to continue having difficulty after they have been inserted. We want to start helping your child to develop their speech sounds as early as possible.
Your child and your family are important to us and we want to help your child reach their potential. You will see the same therapist every time you visit us at the clinic. This means that your child and family become familiar with the therapist who will lead your child’s communication journey. This also means the therapist will become familiar with how your child learns as their skills change and develop.
All of our therapists have a university degree in the minimum and are members of our professional body Speech Pathology Australia. Our therapists have experience working with children of all ages with a range of communication needs, including: language, speech, reading, spelling, stuttering and social skills. Our Therapists are required to continually update their skills. They attend regular Professional Development Workshops so that they can continue to provide Chatterbox families with the most up-to date, research based therapy.
There are options available to help you support your child with Speech Pathology services. We are able to process both Medicare and Private Health funding options for assessment and therapy in our clinics.
Your child may be eligible for a Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM). This plan allows you to access 5 rebated speech pathology sessions per calendar year through Medicare. This care plan can be provided by a General Practitioner.
If you wish to use Private Health Insurance for assessment or therapy, we encourage you to contact your provider to learn more about your specific level of cover.
Your child is unique and every child is different. This means that your child will be the only one who can tell us what pace we will move through therapy. Every child has different goals that will help them achieve their potential and we carefully move through these goals at the pace at which your child is learning. Other factors that may influence how long therapy may take include the number and type of goals that need to be addressed, how regularly therapy is attended and how much homework is completed.
Yes. We encourage you to join us in the process of assessing and providing therapy to your child. During an assessment we want to talk with you about your main concerns for your child and we want them to be as comfortable as possible so we can obtain the most information about their communication skills. We also want you to be involved in the therapy process so that you can continue to work with your child at home to help them achieve their goals and reach their potential.
Starting school is a very exciting time for you and your child.. When children start school they are exposed to lots of new words and instructions within the classroom and in the playground. If your child is having difficulties with talking or understanding before they start school, it is likely that they will continue to have difficulties in kindergarten and beyond. If your child is having difficulty with their talking or understanding skills, we want them to have as much support as possible before starting kindergarten so they are in the best position possible to help their learning.
No, we do not have a waiting list at Chatterbox Speech Pathology. We strive to provide your child with the service your family requires at the earliest convenience to you.
Please feel free to contact one of our clinics to arrange an assessment for your child. Our friendly front of staff are willing to help you find a time and availability that best suits your family’s needs.