Speech Pathology

Melbourne Child Development, formerly Robyn Stephen & Associates Speech Pathology, has been providing the highest quality Speech Pathology services to children and their families for over 20 years.

Our Practice philosophy has a strong family focus. Your knowledge of your child is combined with our thorough and skillful assessment to identify any underlying weaknesses in the foundation skills needed for successful communication and learning.

Your child

Your child brings a unique perspective, fascination, and interaction with the people and world around them. However, your child may need assistance to communicate this perspective to others, to understand what others say, and to take advantage of opportunities for new learning as they grow and develop.

How we can help your child

Our skilled and experienced Speech Pathology team works across a broad case load with a variety of children and adolescents with different needs and backgrounds.

Our Speech Pathologists work with:

  • Attention
  • Auditory processing
  • Listening
  • Understanding
  • Problem solving
  • Organisation
  • Social communication
  • Self understanding
  • Speech
  • Expression
  • Fluency after stuttering
  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Written expression
  • Learning

Does my child need to see a Speech Pathologist?

Our years of experience enable us to recognize ‘red flag’ indicators of difficulties of speech, language, communication, literacy and learning, which may stand in the way of your child reaching their potential.

Do any of these ‘red flags’ apply to your child? If so, your child may benefit from a speech and language assessment:

  • is late to learn to talk
  • is distant and hard to engage with
  • is hard to understand when they talk
  • is frustrated trying to talk
  • is unable to say some sounds that you would expect they should be able to say
  • confuses his/her, he/she and other grammar
  • repeats a lot of sounds and words when they talk
  • doesn’t listen or understand or remember what you say
  • is easily distracted
  • is not doing as well at school as you would have expected
  • finds it hard to make friends
  • is slow to learn to read, write or spell
  • finds homework harder than expected
  • is disorganized
  • doesn’t participate in classroom discussion
  • is often in trouble at school

New clients and assessments

For children joining us at the practice for the first time, an assessment is usually required.

We feel it is essential to gain a holistic picture of your child so we can identify underlying causes of communication and learning difficulties.

To do this we:

  • Seek information from you about your child’s development, health and family history and how you see your child
  • Gain your permission to talk to other professionals, carers and teachers involved with your child
  • Conduct scientifically researched assessments (psychometric assessments) and clinical observations of your child.

Getting to know your child in this way can take between one to three sessions with the Speech Pathologist depending on the complexity of the information that needs to be gathered. The first session usually occurs in the clinic and subsequent sessions may be in the clinic, at home, at childcare or at school.

Once we have collected information about your child from this range of perspectives, then we collate the information into ‘your child’s story’; a written report.

With consideration of what is relevant for each child this report documents the family, health and developmental history and how you see your child. It also summarizes information from doctors, other health professionals, teachers and carers and discusses the clinical observations and results of the scientifically researched assessment measures.

An interpretation of all of this information put together is provided with indications of the underlying causes of any communication and learning difficulties. Understanding your child at this detailed level we can then make recommendations for ways you can help your child at home and how your child can be helped at childcare, pre-school or school.
We can then create an individual therapy program for your child to address the underlying causes of communication and learning difficulties.

Therapy

Therapy is then tailored specifically to your child’s individual needs, and we coach you so that you can understand and can support this therapy.

We help you to make progress faster by creating the therapy around the interests of the children and adolescents, whether it be through play, topic interests, computers or the school curriculum for older students.

We provide therapy for individuals and coaching for families, teachers and assistants where it is most effective, including at pre-school, childcare, home, and school.  We work closely with other professionals involved with your child in order to develop a comprehensive therapy program.