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Speech and Language Pathology

Support children and young adults with delayed speech and language to build communication, literacy, and social skills.

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When you can communicate well and build relationships with others, it can change their life.

Speaking and communicating are so important in building relationships with other people and in our everyday activities. Speech therapy, or Speech Pathology is an area of allied health that helps children and young adults with delayed speech and language development. It supports your child’s needs in building communication skills, literacy and social skills across a range of settings.

Some of the most common challenges or difficulties our speech therapists and speech pathologists address include:

  • Speaking with clear and correct pronunciation.
  • Being understood by others.
  • Overcoming stuttering and articulation disorders to speak fluently.
  • Addressing literacy, reading and writing difficulties.
  • Consuming food and drinks safely.

Our Speech Therapists use a range of evidence-based strategies to develop a treatment program for your child, based on their individual needs and work with on any challenges they may have with language and social skills.

To learn more about Speech and Language Pathology or to book an appointment contact your nearest Early Start Australia clinic.


Benefits of Speech Therapy

Speech therapists or speech pathologists are university trained and qualified health professionals. Using a range of evidence-based strategies they will:

  • Work with your child on any challenges they may have with language, social skills, and literacy.
  • Help with issues that involve the biomechanics of the jaw and mouth, which can help improve speaking and even eating.

At Early Start Australia, we work with you to achieve your goals for your child and family. In our therapy sessions, we develop a treatment program for your child based on their individual needs and the goals you have identified for them.

Some common goals include:

  • Making friends.
  • Clear speech.
  • Building confidence and assertiveness.
  • Improving their understanding.
  • Improving academic performance and increasing participation.

How Speech Therapy works

Speech pathologists use a variety of formal and informal assessment tools to identify difficulties in specific areas and use evidence-based therapies to help improve communication and other skills across a variety of everyday settings.

At Early Start Australia, all our speech pathologists have attended additional training to specialise their skills, such as SOS feeding, DIR Floortime, Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), Secret Agent Society, Hanen, PEERS and others.

Our speech pathologists will also collaborate with your child’s other caregivers, educators and health professionals to ensure your child is given the best and most consistent care possible. Parent coaching is also an approach we often use during sessions to help parents and caregivers learn how to implement strategies at home.

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Speech Therapy Programs

As part of your therapy journey your Speech Pathologist may recommend some therapy programs to assist in achieving your goals including:

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Alternative Augmentative Communication
The use of alternative augmentative communication (AAC) strategies can support people with communication difficulties.
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Little Oaks
Little Oaks is for children under five years of age, particularly toddlers, with known developmental delays, Autism or disabilities.
Learn more
Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets is an approach to speech disorders that encompasses the use of physical prompts to give a client sensory feedback about the positioning of their lips, tongue and jaw.
Learn more
Hanen Programs
Hanen programs are evidence-based and world-renowned parent-training programs designed to teach parents how to implement speech and language therapy into their everyday activities with their child.
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Lidcombe Program (for stuttering)
An evidence-based behavioural treatment for children who stutter. Our therapists can work with parents and children to teach the child how to control stuttering and encourage smooth, fluent speech.
Learn more
Literacy programs
Literacy programs are designed to help
Learn more
Therapy for Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
Therapy for Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders teaches techniques, movements and postural patterns to address issues related to talking, eating, swallowing and breathing.
Learn more

Contact our clinic

834 Canterbury Road
Box Hill South VIC 3128


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Frequently Asked Questions about Speech Therapy

You should seek advice from a speech pathologist as soon as you have any concerns about your child’s speech, language, communication or feeding development. They can be assessed from as early as birth. It’s never too early. Or if you have had a recent diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Dyslexia, articulation disorders and Hearing impairment

If you have any concerns, it is always best to seek advice.

Some key indicators for needing a speech therapist to help a child’s speech include:

  • Either you or other people find your child difficult to understand
  • Your child doesn’t talk or sound like other kids their age
  • Your child is getting frustrated by not being heard or understood
  • Your child struggles in social settings and/or has difficulty making friends
  • Your child is struggling in the classroom or is behind at school
  • Your child has a very limited diet or doesn’t eat like other children their age
  • Your child’s teacher or early childhood educator, or other caregiver has concerns about your child
  • Your GP or paediatrician suggests a speech assessment
  • Your child has very specific interests and is fixed or rigid in their thinking
  • Your child has problem-solving and other executive functioning difficulties
  • Your child has a diagnosis that impacts their speech and language development

Key milestones can be helpful in understanding where your child should be at for their age and whether you should think about booking an appointment with a speech therapist

By two years old

  • Have a vocabulary of approximately 50 to 75 words. 
  • Produce vowel sounds and “m, n, p, t and w” sounds correctly 
  • Join two words together, such as “bear eat” and “bubble pop”
  • Point to objects when they say the object’s name
  • Follow simple instructions, such as “wave goodbye”

By three years old

  • Have a vocabulary of approximately 200+ words
  • Follow simple instructions, such as “brush bear’s hair”
  • Use 3-to-4-word sentences, such as “daddy go outside”
  • Produce “m, n, p, b, t, w, h, d, k and g” sounds

By four years old

  • Have a vocabulary of more than 1000+ words
  • Use 4-to-5-word sentences, such as “grandma likes tea, doesn’t she?”
  • Ask and answer who, what and where questions
  • Be more than 90% understood by others

By five years old

  • Be 100% understood by others
  • Speak in long and detailed sentences
  • Use the correct form of verbs to talk about past and future events
  • Start to understand some concepts of time, such as night, day and yesterday
  • Produce all speech sounds correctly except some consonant blends,
    such as “r” and “th”

Speech pathologists use a range of evidence-based strategies to work on challenges your child may have with language, social skills, literacy, feeding or speaking. Therapy can be delivered in your home, your child’s school or childcare centre, or one of our therapy clinics. At Early Start Australia, we make sure therapy is fun for your child by using a play-based approach.

Your speech pathologist can create a home program for you based on their assessment and understanding of your child’s needs and goals. At Early Start, we also use a parent coaching approach to empower you and your family to implement strategies at home.

The ESA difference

esa difference

Our dedicated teams of Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Speech Pathologists and Physiotherapists work with our clients to help them meet their growth and development goals.

We focus on supporting clients (and their families) to develop language, motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills, and provide therapy supports for children with developmental delay or disability, including autism spectrum disorder.

Why choose Early Start Australia

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Multi-disciplinary team

Our multi-disciplinary teams work together with you to understand your needs and develop a plan using evidence-based strategies to help you achieve your goals and aspirations.

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Australian wide network of centres

We have clinics in every state and territory creating a strong community of allied health professionals with the collective knowledge and expertise to deliver you the best outcomes.

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Registered NDIS provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and are here to help you on your NDIS journey.

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Early intervention for all ages

Early intervention is not just for the kids. We offer therapies to cater for all ages, needs and abilities,
and we know the sooner you start your therapy journey the better.

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