Read our FAQs below for more information on referrals, what to bring and our speech therapy services. If you’d like more help, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team, who are more than happy to assist with your query.
No, you do not need a referral from a GP to see a speech pathologist at Connecting Dots For Kids. In some situations a referral from your GP is necessary with a Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM) in order to process the Medicare rebate.
Once you have booked an appointment with us, here’s what will happen during the initial consultation/assessment session:
- Your speech pathologist will ask you more questions about your child’s medical history and developmental milestones.
- Previous reports will be reviewed
- Ask about your concerns
- Play with your child or give them an activity to help build rapport
Once that’s done, your speech pathologist will assess your child to determine their strengths and weaknesses in the areas of concern you identified earlier. Depending on your child’s age and the areas of concern, Speech Pathology assessments for children may include:
- parental reports
- play-based activities
- formal assessments
Standardised assessments help your speech pathologist determine if therapy is necessary, goals to target and your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Please make sure your intake form is completed prior to your appointments. Connecting Dots For Kids now provides an online intake form that will be sent to you via a link in an email.
The more information our speech pathologist has, the easier it is for them to make a diagnosis or assessment of needs. Please bring any previous reports (speech pathology, psychology, occupational therapy, paediatrician, school, or hearing reports) in addition to any letters relevant to your child’s development.
Yes, we have student placement agreements with the major universities and host several students during the course of the year. We believe that hosting students is an important part of our service provision.
Connecting Dots for Kids believe that student placements can be beneficial for everyone at our clinic. They help our clinicians keep in touch with new ideas and content being taught to current students and strengthen their leadership and training skills. Students, especially those who may live locally, have the opportunity to observe and work with a wide variety of children with different needs in private practice. Children can practice the skills they are learning with a different person, which can be a critical part of generalising their skills. In some instances, it can mean children or families who have been waiting for services or need more than we can provide can access an intensive block of therapy, or can participate in a therapy program at a lower cost.
We offer individual and group social skills programs. Our clinicians are skilled at working with children and families to identify practical, functional goals for social interaction and in supporting children to understand and navigate social situations. To learn more, request a call.
Yes, we have a range of different groups running each term and during school holidays. Groups provide an opportunity for children to learn skills in a different context from individual therapy and are often beneficial in many different ways. See our group programs for more details and to inquire about specific programs.
At present we only offer speech pathology services but we are planning to diversify to other disciplines over time. If you are a family seeking Occupational Therapy support, our client experience officers can provide you with a list of local providers. If you are an Occupational Therapist seeking a new work opportunity, please reach out on our Join the Team page.
Even the mildest of hearing difficulties can have a significant impact on a child’s speech and language development. We recommend that all children have their hearing status assessed if it has not been done so recently (within 12 months) or if there have been concerns raised at a hearing assessment more recently than that. If possible, we like to see copies of their full hearing tests and reports. We are trained to interpret audiograms and to know how any hearing losses (even temporary) could impact listening, talking, and social interaction. It is important for our clinicians to understand what your child can or cannot hear if they do have a loss as this helps plan appropriate therapy.
No. We only schedule appointments Monday to Friday 8:30 to 5:30 at present.
Yes. Childhood apraxia of speech (aka CAS) is a rare, severe disorder which makes it difficult to coordinate the movements needed to make speech sounds and to string them into words and sentences. All of our clinicians have additional training in evidence based programs for children with CAS and motor planning difficulties. We can provide both therapy focusing on improving speech sounds and alternative means of communication when this is needed.
We are often asked if we offer ReST therapy for children with CAS. Yes, we do, when this is likely to be the best approach for a child’s age, stage of development, and speech profile. There are a range of other programs which are suitable for children with different skills and our clinicians will choose with you the best match for your child at different times.
Unfortunately, yes we do have a waiting list.
Our team is committed to supporting as many children and families as we can, while maintaining high quality service and sustainable workloads. But we can’t help everyone at once.
When we receive new inquiries, we gather as much information as we can to help us prioritise the kind of support a child might need and how urgent their needs are. We can also provide contact details for other services which may be able to help you sooner.
Other strategies we use to help more families are our therapy assistant programs, group programs, or DIY home programs. Clinicians will recommend these following assessment if they believe they would be a good fit for your child and family.
It is really hard for us to accurately tell how long it will be before we can see your child.
Some children only need help for a short time, others have lifelong conditions and will need help on and off throughout their lives.This means that we can’t tell just by looking at the list of children waiting to see us how long before we see your child. We offer assessments to children who have not seen a speech pathologist before to identify the nature of their challenges and best options for treatment. The reports we write often have practical strategies for supporting your child at home or at kinder or school while you may be waiting for a regular therapy appointment. We can often identify through an assessment whether your child needs to see other professionals, or whether they may be eligible for funding to cover the cost of therapy. This means you can use the time waiting for speech pathology to gain funding or see other specialists.