Servicing Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Port Stephens (02) 4044 1122 hello@agrowingunderstanding.com.au

Meet Our Speech Pathologists

We are a passionate team of experienced speech pathologists who are driven by your child’s success, understanding and growth.

Meet Our Speech Pathologists

We are a passionate team of experienced speech pathologists who are driven by your child’s success, understanding and growth.

Meet Our Speech Pathologists

We are a passionate team of experienced speech pathologists who are driven by your child’s success, understanding and growth.

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Your Support System

of professionals

Our team of experienced speech pathologists know that your family’s journey is unique. We will work with you to tailor an individual service that supports your child’s development and responds to the needs of your family.

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.
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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.
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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.

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.
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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.

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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.
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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.

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.
Read More

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.

CLARE CROCKFORD

Speech Pathologist

Clare has worked with school students in a variety of settings for over 20 years, initially completing a Bachelor of Social Science (Recreation and Tourism) and more recently, a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours). 

 She has moved from taking students canoeing and abseiling on school camps to supporting students, parents and teachers in a high school setting.  

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It was in the high school setting that Clare recognised the need to engage children and adolescents in communication and learning, and the importance of accessing early intervention.

As a mother of two teenagers, she is passionate about supporting parents and collaborating to find strategies that are fun, engaging and achievable in the busyness of family life. She is a self-confessed bookworm and is always enthusiastic to develop reading confidence and skills. Clare is a Hanen Certified speech therapist in the  It Takes Two to Talk™ program.

Clare can be found kayaking, making contemporary jewellery or hiding with a good book when she has some free time.

Shaylee thomas

Speech Pathologist

Shaylee has experience working as a Speech Pathologist across both early intervention and private practice settings. With a specific interest in working with children who present with early language difficulties and complex communication needs; Shaylee can support children with varied abilities, and takes pride in encouraging them to achieve their goals.  

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Shaylee believes that learning happens when children feel comfortable and are having fun. She takes care to ensure that therapy includes activities that are meaningful and of interest to each specific child. Shaylee also loves working as a team with other professionals to ensure that each child is receiving the best chance to achieve their goals.

As a strong believer in parent implemented intervention, Shaylee enjoys empowering parents to engage with their children and encouraging them to get the most out of their children’s communication strengths.

Shaylee is always looking for opportunities to further develop her skills as a speech pathologist and is certified in the Hanen More Than Words® – Program for Parents and Carers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

When away from the clinic, Shaylee enjoys spending time with her two dogs, watching sports and catching up with her family and friends.

shaylee thomas

Speech Pathologist

Shaylee has experience working across both early intervention and private practice settings. With a specific interest in working with children who present with early language difficulties and complex communication needs; Shaylee can support children with varied abilities, and takes pride in encouraging them to achieve their goals.  

Read More

Shaylee believes that learning happens when children feel comfortable and are having fun. She takes care to ensure that therapy includes activities that are meaningful and of interest to each specific child. Shaylee also loves working as a team with other professionals to ensure that each child is receiving the best chance to achieve their goals.

As a strong believer in parent implemented intervention, Shaylee enjoys empowering parents to engage with their children and encouraging them to get the most out of their children’s communication strengths.

Shaylee is always looking for opportunities to further develop her skills as a speech pathologist and is certified in the Hanen More Than Words® – Program for Parents and Carers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

When away from the clinic, Shaylee enjoys spending time with her two dogs, watching sports and catching up with her family and friends.

Did you know that the Bus Stop game doesn’t just have to be about addition and subtraction? Today we used it to practice our pronouns (he and she) as well as creating grammatically correct sentences. Mr. B was able to speak about who was getting on and off the bus and about what they could be doing when they got off, all whilst using our he and she words! This is also great for turn taking and following the rules of a game. Have fun at the Bus Stop 🚍 ~Shaylee ... See MoreSee Less

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💻 New Blog Post 💻

We know that at this time of year parents can feel over overwhelmed with how to support their child's reading skills in addition to other weekly commitments. Whether your child is just beginning their reading and writing journey or they are now tackling abstract comprehension and structured writing pieces, we have some simple steps that you can incorporate into your day to support your child’s reading development. Read our latest blog (link in comments) for details.

#growunderstanding #speechpathology #speechtherapy #reading #writing #newcastle #lakemacquarie #portstephens #newcastlemums #newymums
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Assessments are an essential part of our service, but let’s face it, they are not necessarily the most exciting for our clients. How do we get around that? Make it FUN! Today Mr. S. got through a whole speech assessment by earning duplo blocks for every picture he said- and just look at this epic farm he was able to create! ... See MoreSee Less

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For children who are developing their early language skills, it can be really effective to ‘set up’ your play situation to encourage more reasons and opportunities to communicate. Today with Mr C, I know that he LOVES my sticky Spider-Man toy and the stamps so I simply put them in a see-through container and (tightly!) closed the lid. This created a whole new reason for Mr C to communicate with mum and I -rather than quickly launching into our activity, he had to ask for help opening the jar! A small but crucial step towards establishing the building blocks of communication development 🙂 ~Melissa ... See MoreSee Less

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Have Questions?

Our Locations

Lake Macquarie
Unit 7-8, 48 Oakdale Road, Gateshead NSW

Port Stephens
Building E, 1 Technology Place, Williamtown NSW

Our Locations

Lake Macquarie
Unit 7-8, 48 Oakdale Road, Gateshead NSW

Port Stephens
Building E, 1 Technology Place, Williamtown NSW

Copyright © 2019 A Growing Understanding | Website Design and Development by Beverly Cassidy | PRIVACY POLICY

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Copyright © 2019 A Growing Understanding | Website Design and Development by Beverly Cassidy | PRIVACY POLICY