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.

3

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.

🐰HAPPY EASTER 🐣 😂 Friday Funny!! 😂

Did you know that 76 percent of people eat the ears on a chocolate bunny first? 5 percent go for the feet and 4 percent start on the tail!

Wherever you start, we hope you end with a chocolate-filled, relaxing and happy Easter with your friends and families.

#fridayfunny #speechpathology #speechtherapy #newcastlemums #newcastle #lakemacquarie #portstephens
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This week, I have been spending some time talking to families about ‘offering choices’ to children that keep interactions going and to reduce protests. This is a good summary about why offering choices can be helpful and how to do it! ~ LaurenThe importance of offering controlled choices 🙂 ... See MoreSee Less

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✏️📖A fantastic first day of learning at the Hanen ‘More Than Words’ training program today. This wonderful program trains speech pathologists to upskill parents of children with Autism or social communication difficulties in the areas of building interactions and language skills. It was such a privilege to learn from the experts and collaborate with other passionate speech pathologists - looking forward to day 2 tomorrow! ~Melissa & Jess :-) ... See MoreSee Less

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🌳👨‍✈️👨‍🚒👨‍🍳 An amazing 25 happy children joined us for ‘Stories Under the Tree’ this morning! With so many bubbly, inquisitive kiddies today, we took the opportunity to discuss the stories in more detail - we used the pictures to make predictions about the story, discussed who/what/when/where and why questions relating to the plot and related our own personal experiences to the stories. These are all simple ways that you can enrich shared book experiences with your child to further nurture their language development.
Join us next month on Wednesday, 8th May for our next gathering for ‘Stories Under the Tree’ - I think I’ll need to bring an extra picnic rug! ~Melissa :-)
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HI FIVE Ivy! ✋🏻 Ivy is now recognising the first sound in words and is blending sounds back together to make words! Both are so important for speech and literacy skills! Congratulations Miss Ivy! 🎉🎈 ~ Jess ... See MoreSee Less

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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