Speech Pathology for improved communication and mealtime safety
Speech Pathology (SP) is about helping people who are unable to communicate effectively, who may have poor voice quality or have swallow/eating difficulties. Our Speech Therapists believe that there is ‘a better way to communicate,’ and that everyone, especially those with complex communication needs, should have access to a functional communication system that is a right fit for them. Improving safety at mealtimes is also a high priority for our Speech Pathologists.
Initial Assessments and Recommendations
A Speech Pathology initial assessment covers all elements of your speech, language, swallow, communication, and augmented and alternative communication technology needs. The report makes recommendations about suitable Speech Pathology services to assist you to meet your goals.
Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC)
A Speech Pathology AAC assessment aims to identify and script the most effective AAC that will support your communication needs. The process involves standardised assessment, functional review, trials with suppliers and completion of an in-depth report and justification document which is then sent to the NDIS for final approval.
Speech Pathologists can assist with the following AAC:
- Voice amplification devices
- Dedicated communication devices
- Apps to aide with communication including Proloquo2go, Predictable and Grid Player
- Low technology communication boards including weekly planners with personalised pictures, symbols for everyday needs and literacy-based boards
- Eye gaze systems
- Switch access systems
Social Skills Training
A Speech Pathology social skills training program involves:
- Assessment of current social skills
- Identification of goals and skills that are most important
- Training in relevant skills
- Opportunities to practice skills
A Speech Pathology intervention block is aimed at developing a treatment plan that is relevant to maintaining and/or increasing your capacity in swallowing, communication, speech, fluency, voice, social skills, and other goals. Your Speech Pathologist will develop a suitable therapy program, assist in the undertaking of therapy activities, and provide training to your carers/support workers as applicable.
Dysphagia (Swallowing Assessments)
A Speech Pathology Dysphagia assessment uses evidence-based practice and standardised techniques to:
- Identify difficulties with swallowing
- Complete a cranial nerve assessment
- Provide advice regarding safe swallowing
- Provide mealtime management plans
- Provide advice on texture of foods and thickness of fluids
- Recommendations for alternative utensils or equipment to improve eating and drinking safety
Neurological rehabilitation in Speech Pathology involves the application of evidence-based practice to bring about improvements in the following areas:
- Cognitive communication difficulties
Family and Caregiver Education and Support
Education, training, support and advice as required in one-to-one or group formats.
A Speech Therapy review assessment evaluates the progress you have made throughout your current NDIS plan and looks at how this reflects your goals. It also provides Speech Therapy recommendations for your new NDIS plan if you still have goals that you are yet to reach.