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Speech Pathology

Autism SA’s Speech Pathologists are professionals in communication and swallowing.

What does a Speech Pathologist do?

A Speech Pathologist can diagnose and support communication disorders including difficulties with speaking, listening, understanding, and using language, reading, social skills, voice and fluency. Individuals who experience difficulties swallowing food and drinks or engaging in mealtimes can also benefit from the support of a Speech Pathologist.

Different skills are required at different stages of a person’s life. After an initial assessment, your Speech Pathologist will help you to set communication or (or swallowing) goals, and then develop a program based on your personal needs and in collaboration with you, your family and your support network (where appropriate).

To learn more about Speech Pathology visit the Speech Pathology Australia website here.

  

Our Speech Pathology Services

Our Speech Pathology Team support’s people of all ages who require skill development and support in the following areas:

  • Understanding spoken and written language
  • Expressing language and using functional words and sentences
  • Articulation and speech clarity
  • Fluency/ stuttering
  • Play and interaction skills
  • Using voice
  • Social skills
  • Pre-literacy, reading and writing

Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)

Our Speech Pathology Team also has staff with knowledge and skills in Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). This includes:

  • Key word sign
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD)
  • Aided Language Stimulation (ALS) and
  • Voice-output communication devices

 

Swallowing (eating and drinking) difficulties

Our Speech Pathologists have experience to assess and manage eating and drinking difficulties and provide support to ensure that mealtimes and safe and enjoyable for children and adults with swallowing difficulties. We have a dedicated mealtime team who will assess and provide mealtime management including Oral Eating and Drinking Care Plans and Mealtime Support Plans, where necessary.

Group programs

Our Speech Pathologists can provide individual and group intervention programs. These include:

  • Mealtime intervention
  • Social Skills Groups – What’s the Buzz
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication
  • Parent information
  • Speech and Language

If you wish to express an interest in attending one of our groups please contact our Pathways Consultants, who will help you get started, via email mypathways@autismsa.org.au or phone 1300 288 476.

Communication is more than just the words we use

Some basic tips on supporting communication with people on the autism spectrum:

  • When you ask a question, wait a few moments to allow for some processing time before receiving a response
  • Visual supports can help to make the spoken language more concrete, so add visuals in your communication  
  • Try to avoid loud noisy environments when having a conversation or providing instructions, and listen carefully
  • Ask the individual to repeat what they said if it was not understood and provide an alternate means to speaking verbally
  • Try asking yes or no questions
  • Avoid the use of ambiguous language, sarcasm and idioms as their intent will be lost
  • Be mindful that some people on the autism spectrum may not use eye contact when talking to you and interacting, and be respectful of that

Accessing our services

Our Speech Pathology services can be accessed through funding options including the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or can be purchased as a fee-for-service.

Speech Pathology Services can be provided in our clinics (based at Elizabeth and Netley), at home, at school and in community settings. We are also able to offer our Speech Pathology sessions as Face to Face and/or online Telehealth sessions.

Ready to get started?