A NSW Government website

Speech Pathology

Communication is an important part of life. We understand the day to day challenges for a child experiencing communication difficulties and the impact it may have on a family.

The speech pathology team across the Greater Newcastle sector have extensive experience in providing assessment and treatment to suit your child’s specific needs, while at the same time providing assistance in understanding and managing your child communication difficulty.

General information


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.

Information and eligibility criteria for funding supports can be accessed through the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds individualised supports for eligible children with permanent and significant disabilities, their families and carers.

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 (e.g., 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

Do you need a referral and how is an appointment made?

How to refer

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.

What happens when you make a referral?

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.

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 at one of our Student Unit sites.

Community Based Speech Pathology also provided specialist services including Feeding Clinic, Aboriginal Outreach clinic – Nikinpa, Hanen and Ultrasound Clinic.

Watch: Using ultrasound in speech pathology

Does your 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:

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

  • Child and Family Health Nursing
    Community Health Centres (this is a free service)

    Locations: Waratah, Toronto Polyclinic, Raymond Terrace Health Centre and Tomaree
  • Audiometry clinics (hearing checks) are conducted by an Audiometry Nurse for children aged from 3.5 years to 18 years (still at school) if there are hearing concerns.

    To access a clinic, an audiometry referral is accepted from medical professionals, speech therapists (within the LGA), child and family health nurses, schools/preschools, other health professionals. A GP referral is required for all out of area clients.

  • Private audiologist (Refer to Yellow Pages or check online)

Information on hearing testing and hearing loss can be found on the Children's Hospital Audiology page.

Video: Middle ear test (tympanometry)

Parent resources

Communication Milestones

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.

Developing Language Skills

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

Fact sheets

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

Video: Language strategies - build your child's use of words
Contact us

Locations and contact details

621 Hunter Street Health Centre

Address: 621 Hunter Street, Newcastle

Ph: 49257800

Eastlakes Community Health Centre

Address: Cnr South & Cherry Sts, Windale

Ph: 49445300

Nelson Bay Community Health Centre

Address: Kerrigan Street, Nelson Bay

Ph: 49840730

Raymond Terrace Health Centre

Address: 4 Jacaranda Avenue, Raymond Terrace

Ph: 49830800

Westlakes Community Health

Address:  6 James St, Toronto

Ph: 49358100

Western Newcastle Community Health Centre

Address: Nash St, Wallsend

Ph: 49246100