Family Focused Speech Therapy | A Growing Understanding

The E-ssentials of Family Focused Speech Therapy Services

When your family embarks on their speech pathology journey you will have a lot of questions. Many of these questions will involve some very important ‘e’ words. Sounds odd, but as speech pathologists we are sticklers for words and sounds, and it is true. You might ask: Is my speech pathologist educated? Will they offer engaging therapy services? Is their approach evidence-based and effective?

At A Growing Understanding we love ‘e’ words. In fact, three ‘e’ words are referred to often when it comes to family focused speech therapy services including our Three E’s of Family Growth – Engagement, Encouragement and Empowerment. But there is one ‘e’ word that has become increasingly important in our approach to family care and that is experience.

The experience of your speech pathology team (including support staff) along with your family’s experience during your speech pathology journey will shape the outcomes for your child. In other words, the right combination of skills, support and services will ensure your child receives what they need to grow their communication and language skills. So how does the team at A Growing Understanding ensure you receive the right experience? I will break it down with a few answers to the good ol’ ‘wh’ questions.

Who Provides Your Speech Pathology Experience?

Delivering the right speech pathology experience for your child to grow falls on our people – our Speech Pathologists and Client Experience Officers.

Speech Pathologists

When seeking speech pathology services, you want to know that your child will receive the right therapy from an experienced professional. Experience can come in all shapes and forms, but for the A Growing Understanding team, it is about the development of solid skills across a variety of contexts (both private and public services).

Our Speech Pathologists have worked in the industry for many years and have developed a range of specialities to help families with:

  • Early Communication and Language Skills
  • Speech Sound and Language Delays
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Developmental Delays
  • School-aged Language and Literacy Skills
  • Stuttering
  • Social Communication Skills
  • Feeding and Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties)
  • Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC)
  • Complex Communication Assessments and Intervention

Their experience means you will receive quality care and therapy from professionals who can tailor services to suit your child’s needs, interests, and outcomes. And, because many of our Speech Pathologists are mums themselves, they know that life can be busy and that you need support to help your child grow whether they are in a therapy session, at home or in their education setting.

Client Experience Officers (CEOs)

Let’s face it, when you visit any kind of business your first encounter is with a receptionist. The receptionist is generally the person who will help you make a decision about the services you are enquiring about. And based on the information they offer; you may choose to continue or look elsewhere. But what if that person could guide you through the entire process, help you make informed decisions and ensure you receive the services that are right for you?

That is what our Client Experience Team is all about. They are not just receptionists booking appointments. They are a part of our service support team and are your go-to people for guidance when it comes to securing the right speech pathology services for your family. Working out of our Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Centres; Jordan, Rebecca and Noni, they also support our Speech Pathologists so they can deliver the best care possible, and can offer advice when it comes to funding your journey.

What Is A Good Speech Pathology Experience?

Every step in your speech pathology journey should be one that is guided, comfortable and informative. You should feel like you are taking the right steps (on behalf of your child) and know that you will receive the right services to help your child build their confidence and communication skills.

How do we do this at A Growing Understanding? By delivering advice and services that are as unique as your child’s needs and offering a special plan that ensures continual growth and focus on the outcomes.

While the steps in your plan may vary depending on your needs, the following is an outline of the approach we take to ensure you receive a good speech pathology experience.

Step 1

Your ‘My Growing Plan’ starts with a parent consultation. This involves discussing your child’s needs and interests, what you have observed at home, what your child’s teachers or educators may have observed and what you are hoping to achieve through speech pathology. Essentially, this is a discovery session where we discuss your child and what we can do to support their ongoing growth.

Step 2

The next step is to conduct an assessment with your child. This may involve one or two face-to-face sessions where we administer various tools to assess your child’s abilities.

Step 3

Following the assessment, we provide feedback via an additional parent consultation. During this consultation we discuss what was assessed, the results and our recommendations regarding ongoing therapy. Goals are also confirmed during this session and are used to guide the following therapy sessions, activities, and review of outcomes.

Step 4

If therapy / intervention is recommended, we would commence implementation and ensure all activities respond to the goals set during the previous step. Frequency of therapy will depend on your family’s circumstances but will always be complimented with parent guidance and education so you can support your child’s growth at home.

Step 5

Of course, no journey is without bumps, twists and turns, and it is because of this that regular reviews of the plan and your child’s achievements are a significant part of our approach. During the review we will discuss your child’s achievements, any resistance to home-practice that you may have witnessed, changes to their circumstances or environment which may impact the approach we take, the goals, outcomes and anything else that may be of concern.

When it comes down to it, a good speech pathology experience is all about knowing where you are heading and how you can achieve your family’s goals with the right guidance, support and an evidence-based approach.

When Will You Receive A Good Experience?

The answer to this one is simple. Every time you visit one of our Centres, talk with a team member or even interact with us digitally (via the website or social media), we are mindful of your experience and want to ensure that you receive the right information, support and encouragement.

Why Is Experience So Important?

You and your family deserve a service that is not only tailored to your needs but provides you with the experience that helps you and your child grow. Without the right combination of the essential ‘Es’- encouragement, empowerment, engagement and of course, experience; your child may not reach their full potential. That is certainly not what we or you want. We ensure our team are experienced, so you receive the speech pathology experience that you need and deserve.

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