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)
There is no charge for this service.
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
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 rpeated ear infection, 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 under three years, a hearing assessment can be organised through:
- Australian Hearing Services
Phone: Kotara 131 797 or Maitland 4937 9700
Refer to yellow pages or check online.
For children under 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)
For information on Glue Ear and Grommets download the Fact Sheet.
Communication Milestones - What to expect when?
How can I help my child develop communication skills?
The following websites provide useful information on strategies to build speech and language skills:
How can I develop my child's language skills through reading books?
The following websites provide useful information on using books to build speech, language and literacy skills:
Links to information about Community Based Speech Pathology Services:
The following fact sheets are available on the Speech Pathology Australia website:
- 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
Locations and contact details
Belmont District Hospital
Croudace Bay Rd, Belmont
Eastlakes Community Health Centre
Cnr South & Cherry Sts, Windale
Nelson Bay Community Health Centre
Kerrigan St, Nelson Bay
Eastern Newcastle Speech Pathology
621 Hunter St, Newcastle West
Raymond Terrace Community Health
4 Jacaranda Avenue, Raymond Terrace
Westlakes Community Health
6 James St, Toronto
Western Newcastle Community Health
Nash St, Wallsend
Lower Hunter Referral and Information Centre
Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, East Maitland, Singleton, Dungog