Speech Pathology Screening Services - What's the benefit?
Prevalence of Communication Disorders
Research indicates that approximately 20% of children who are aged four will have some communication deficits with difficulty understanding or using language. Children with language impairment are six times more likely to have a reading problem than children without. Communication is a basic human right, and difficulties in communication can have broad and potentially significant effects on a child development.
While these statistics are alarming, research also indicates that early intervention is key in ensuring children at risk for communication disorders get the help they need to remedy or minimise their difficulties. One of the greatest challenges is that many children are not identified as having language difficulties until they reach school and are already falling behind. Through providing screening services to children of daycare age, we hope to help identify children with or at risk of communication difficulties so families can commence the process of seeking help for their child.
Speech Pathology Screening Services - What's involved?
The screening service we provide is designed help identify children who are at risk of communication difficulties, such as those with speech and language delays. With each screening, the clinician will complete screener assessment tools to assess the child’s speech sound development, language comprehension, and language expression.
Following this screener assessment, the clinician will complete a basic summary report that will provide recommendations as to what further services, referrals, or supports the child may require or whether their skills are age appropriate. Each child will also receive our detailed parent information pack filled with helpful information for families to figure out the next steps in getting their child supports. This pack includes information about available funding
schemes, services available in Townsville, and information about other referrals or assessments that may be beneficial, such as audiology or optometry.
Why Choose Young Allied Health?
At Young Allied Health, we believe each child is wonderfully unique. We believe every individual deserves the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. This is why we consistently strive to exceed client’s expectations and providing evidence-based, family- centred therapy is our priority concern. We are uncompromising on quality and take pride that the families we work with have chosen us to walk their therapy journey with them.
Through offering screening services, we hope to help families identify children who have communication difficulties as early as possible so they can access supports. We believe early intervention is absolutely critical in supporting a child’s development and in helping the child to achieve their full potential.
Some practices offer budget screening services that allow a clinician to obtain a brief glance at a child and identify if they need further assistance. Usually the clinician is expected to complete the screener within 15 minutes and that is all the time allocated, regardless of the participation of the child. These services are offered at heavily discount rates because it is viewed as a form of advertising to attract new clients to the clinic.
At Young Allied Health, our screeners are not part of an advertising strategy as we are already a well established clinic with very strong referral networks. This service is genuinely an effort to reach as many children in the community as practical to allow for early identification of children with potential delays so their families can seek services. We insist on quality of services so our screeners allow up to 30 minutes per child and our screener reports, although brief in comparison to our formal assessments reports, do provide personalised descriptive information about the child’s difficulties instead of the usual tick-and-flick chart.
As part of our screening package, we provide parents with a copy of the summary report as well as a Parent Information Pack that details next steps for accessing services. Within this pack, families are provided with information about other service providers, including free or low-cost services available in the Townsville region. We do not insist that families must follow- on with Young Allied Health for therapy. Due to the substantial wait times across the region for nearly all service providers, we strongly encourage families to consider placing their child on several waitlists and phoning around if required.
This is to say, that where a child is identified as requiring further assessment and/or therapy, we cannot guarantee an immediate appointment at Young Allied Health. The child would be placed on our waitlist and the parents should be aware that most private clinics do currently have substantial wait lists for therapy. However, through completing a screening assessment and equipping the parent with information to get the assessment and therapy process started, the child will be able to access early intervention sooner if required, as opposed to following a ‘wait and see’ and leaving difficulties until later.
Individual speech and language screening assessment
Parent information pack with next steps for intervention
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