Speech Pathology


Community Based Speech Pathology treats children from birth to school age, with normal cognitive function or mild intellectual impairment, who:

  • Have difficulty understanding what is said
  • Have difficulty talking (using words and sentences)
  • Are not using the correct sounds
  • Are stuttering
  • Have voice disorders
  • Have swallowing difficulties (eating and drinking)

The service has several aims:

  • To assess, diagnose and treat children referred to the service.
  • To provide appropriate services to children.
  • To educate families, parents and carers.
  • To contribute to student clinical education.
  • To disseminate clinical information to professionals in the Greater Newcastle area.
  • To work in close conjunction with other services to establish and maintain a holistic approach to care.

What services are provided?

A Speech Pathologist will discuss the difficulties your child is having and will ask you about any relevant medical history and about your child’s development (eg, at what age your child walked and talked). Your child’s communication may then be assessed through observation and formal testing. The Speech Pathologist will discuss the assessment results with you and if required, make a therapy plan with you.

This therapy plan may include:

  • Ideas and activities to do at home
  • Clinic appointments
  • Therapy groups
  • Consultation with teachers
  • Home and/or School programs

Parent resources

These resources have been produced by Speech Pathology Australia, which outline the talking and understanding milestones for children aged 1-5 years.

View the Children's Communication Milestones.

What is stuttering?

Stuttering is a disorder that affects the fluency of speech. Find out more about causes, getting help, treatment and facts on stuttering.

How can you develop your child's language skills through reading books?

The following websites provide useful information on using books to build speech, language and literacy skills:

- Developing reading skills

- Early literacy resources


- Glue Ear and Grommets

There are other useful fact sheets from Speech Pathology Australia, which includes:

- The Sound of Speech (0-3 years)

- The Sound of Speech (Preschool and School Aged Children)

- Helping your baby to talk

- Speech pathology and Indigenous children



Referral to other Specialist Services

Community Based Speech Pathology services are affiliated with The University of Newcastle. As part of your child’s treatment, they may be seen by a Speech Pathology student supervised by a Senior Speech Pathologist.

Do I need a referral and how do I make an appointment?

Parent referral is recommended, however, any other agency/health professional can refer a child to the service. Referrals can be made by phoning the Referral and Information Centre on (02) 49242590.  

Once a referral is received it will be directed to the appropriate Speech Pathology community health centre.  There are waiting lists for Speech Pathology services which vary between sites.  An estimated waiting time will be advised when a referral is made.  Please contact the Referral and Information Centre for updates on waiting times. A Speech Pathologist will contact the family as soon as an appointment time is available.

Does my child need a hearing assessment?

Hearing issues are a common source of speech and language delays. If your child has a history of repeated ear infections, or has not had a hearing test in the last 12 months, it is suggested that you organise an assessment whilst your child is on the waiting list.

For children three years and under, a hearing assessment can be organised through:

  • Australian Hearing Services
    Phone: Kotara 131 797 or Maitland 4937 9700

For children over three and a half years and over

A hearing assessment can be organised through:

Child and Family Health Nursing - Phone: 4923 6920
Private audiologist (Refer to Yellow Pages or check online)


Locations and contact details

Belmont District Hospital
Croudace Bay Rd, Belmont

Ph:      49232295
Fax:      49232166

Eastlakes Community Health Centre
Cnr South & Cherry Sts, Windale

Ph:    49445300
Fax:  49445310

Nelson Bay Community Health Centre
Kerrigan St, Nelson Bay

Ph:     49840730
Fax:   49840744

Eastern Newcastle Speech Pathology
621 Hunter St, Newcastle West

Ph:     49257800
Fax:     49257955

Raymond Terrace Community Health
4 Jacaranda Avenue, Raymond Terrace

Ph:       49830800
Fax:   49871660

Westlakes Community Health
6 James St, Toronto

Ph:      49358100
Fax:  49358163

Western Newcastle Community Health
Nash St, Wallsend

Ph:       49246100
Fax:    49246101


Lower Hunter Referral and Information Centre
Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, East Maitland, Singleton, Dungog

Ph: 4931 2003