Speech Pathology in Paediatric Neurological Rehabilitation

Speech pathology is a specialised field that focuses on the assessment and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders. Speech pathologists, play a crucial role in helping children overcome challenges related to speech, language, communication, and feeding.

Our Speech Pathologists at Neuro Alliance are involved in supporting children in the following ways:

Speech Pathologists’ Involvement in Feeding & Swallowing

1. Assessment

Speech Pathologists assess all aspects of a child’s feeding and swallowing function including oral motor skills and coordination, environmental factors, sensory aversions and anatomical challenges to swallowing under the guidance of appropriate medical professionals.

2. Intervention

Based on assessment findings, Speech Pathologists trial evidence-based approaches to address issues such as delayed chewing skills, swallowing, transitioning between textures, mealtime routines and behaviours.

3. Collaboration

Speech Pathologists collaborate with other healthcare professionals including medical practitioners, dietitians, and occupational therapists to create a comprehensive approach to address feeding challenges best suited to the child and their family.

Speech Pathologists’ Involvement in Communication

1. Speech Clarity

Speech Pathologists work on improving the clarity of a child’s speech by identifying the underlying causes and deliver an appropriate treatment pathway inclusive of phonological and motor speech disorders and delays.

2. Language Difficulties

For children with language difficulties, Speech Pathologists provide education and coaching to parents and caregivers to enhance person-centred goals and enhance functional language skills. For children with complex language needs, integration of Augmentative and Alternative Communication supports (AAC) to develop their independence may be considered.

3. Alternative Communication

For children whose verbal communication is limited or impacted speech pathologists explore Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods such as speech-generating devices, visual systems and Key Word Sign.

4. Voice and Fluency

Children with Neurological conditions may experience difficulties with voice production such as volume, speech and breathing coordination, and consistency of voice. Children may also experience difficulties in the fluency of what they say. This is often referred to a stuttering or stammering. Speech Pathologists work with children and their supports to utilise effective strategies in different environments.