Verbal communication is so important to modern life and work. Whether it’s a quick chat over the phone, or an in-depth meeting, we constantly rely on speech to express ourselves and communicate ideas.
Many people see speech pathologists for assistance with their communication skills. Often people assume that a speech pathologist is there solely to help people correct a lisp or a stutter, but the reality is that speech pathologists can do so much more for their patients.
How do I work with a speech pathologist?
The typical speech pathologist will offer a broad range of services and will be happy to walk you through the best options to achieve your goals, based on an initial consultation.
Some of these services will include:
- Individual consultations – Ideal for people interested in intensive training, or who may be uncomfortable in group settings.
- Small group sessions – A useful way to build a community between people with similar goals and allow them to work on a treatment together.
- Workshops – Larger group settings that are ideal for working toward routine or shared goals, with self-directed work after the workshop is concluded.
- Home-based programs – For those that have low mobility, a speech pathologist may be able to offer home visits for sessions in the comfort of your home.
- Teacher support – For teachers with students that need additional speech training, a speech pathologist might work closely with a school to offer specialised services, and help teachers understand how to continue to train and encourage students to achieve their goals beyond these sessions
How a speech pathologist will work
The first thing that a speech pathologist will do is conduct an initial screening assessment. This will help them determine if there is a need for a formal assessment. Should a formal assessment be required, the speech pathologist will test across several areas, including:
- Receptive language
- Expressive language
- Speech (including articulation)
- Social communication
- Play (for children)
- Literacy (reading, writing, spelling and awareness)
This assessment is thorough and could take a while, and the speech pathologist will also examine the history of the patient. From the assessment, the speech pathologist will produce a report, which will include suggested next steps for therapy and tips for the patient and their support network to support the patient away from the therapy sessions.
Following that, the speech pathologist will work with the patient and their support network to establish a schedule of sessions, and further assessments (which will note progress made) will be conducted at regular intervals.
Pricing will vary. There are public services available that will be free. Private speech services charge based on experience, expertise, and their success. All pricing should be explained and agreed to upfront before any assessments take place.
By working closely with a speech pathologist you’ll be able to communicate more confidently and clearly, and the impact this will have on your quality of life can be significant and rewarding.
Speech pathology is just one of the many services that we offer to people at Ability Options. Contact us for more information on our full suite of therapy services.