We are a passionate team of experienced speech pathologists who are driven by your child’s success, understanding and growth.
Lauren Haskins – Speech Pathologist and Practice Director
Lauren has worked as a speech pathologist in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter region for more than twelve years. She has built a strong reputation as a skilled therapist and has developed unique health, disability and education skills, thanks to a variety of positions held within public and private sectors. Never being one to shy away from sharing her thoughts or raising awareness, Lauren is also a keen presenter and mentor.
Lauren obtained a Bachelor of Speech Pathology from the University of Newcastle in 2005. Lauren is a Hanen Certified speech pathologist, with extensive experience in conducting the It Takes Two to Talk, Target Word, Learning Language and Loving It programs and Teacher Talk series. She has also completed further consortium training in the Lidcombe Program – Treatment Program for Preschool Stuttering.
Lauren has been a judge of the Speech Pathology Book of the Year competition (0-3 years category) since 2014. She has regularly been invited to provide education sessions to various community groups and early childhood centres.
As a mum of two busy and gorgeous children, Lauren appreciates the need for timely, flexible and family friendly services. Lauren established ‘A Growing Understanding’ speech pathology service in 2016 and delights in providing a high quality, evidence-based service.
And, if she wasn’t busy enough, Lauren is an active member of her community, lending her country expertise as the President of the Newcastle Show society and a group delegate for the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW.
Melissa Roberts – Speech Pathologist and Special Education Teacher
Melissa has a unique combination of skills, holding both a Bachelor of Speech Pathology and a Bachelor of Teaching / Bachelor of Arts. She began her career as a Special Education Teacher, before progressing to a Language Support Teacher, teaching students with specific speech and language difficulties. It was this position that sparked Melissa’s interest and passion in speech pathology.
Melissa has worked in a variety of settings including non-government organisations, schools and in private practice. She has assisted clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders, developmental and global delays, intellectual and physical disabilities, vision impairment, and learning difficulties. She has a special interest in language impairments and is passionate about working with school staff to enhance student outcomes. Melissa is also Hanen certified in the It Takes Two to Talk™ program.
Melissa is a mother of two beautiful and energetic children and has a keen interest in dance, having taught locally with her husband for several years.
Jess Kiely – Speech Pathologist
Newcastle born and bred, Jess entered the speech pathology profession to work with children and to support them with their communication challenges.
Jess thoroughly enjoys collaborating with parents, teachers and other professionals to improve children’s communication, education and overall life goals.
As an organised, enthusiastic and happy person, Jess has a strong commitment to her own professional development. Her knowledge of evidence based practice enables the families she works with to achieve the best possible outcomes during therapy. Jess is also Hanen certified in the It Takes Two to Talk™ program.
Jess has a unique ability of discovering her client’s interests and using them to make therapy motivating and enjoyable.
Jackie Parsons – Speech Pathologist
With over 10 years’ experience as a speech pathologist, Jackie is a welcome addition to the A Growing Understanding team. After graduating from the University of Newcastle in 2007, Jackie gained hands-on experience in both private and not-for-profit sectors, and has developed specific skills and understanding of those with special needs, thanks to her time within disability services.
Jackie is always looking to further develop her skills, and has completed training to receive certification in the Hanen More Than Words® – Program for Parents and Carers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hanen It Takes Two to Talk™ – Program for Parents and Carers of Children with Language Impairments, SOS Approach to Fussy/Problem Eating, PROMPT, PODD (an alternative augmentative communication system) and Lidcombe Program for preschool stuttering.
As a mum of two, Jackie understands a parents need to give their child the best opportunities to succeed in life. She is dedicated to ensuring parents feel supported and understand the process, while their children develops the right skills to grow.
When she’s not at work, Jackie loves spending time in the kitchen, cooking and baking delicious dishes for her family and friends.