Frequently asked questions

Do I require a doctor's referral for my child to be seen for speech and language therapy?
No, referrals are accepted from parents, teachers, public health nurses and other professionals. You can make contact by phone or email with your queries or to schedule an appointment.

What if my child is being seen for therapy within the public health system?
It is quite usual to coordinate with other speech and language therapists (or other professionals) who are providing support to your child. Communication among all involved is most important in coordinating therapy programmes and in determining the most suitable approach to meet a child's needs.

How will my child's speech and language be assessed?
The initial assessment will include case history information and discussion of concerns. Both informal measures and standardised assessments of speech and language (comparing speech and language to typically developing peers) are used and results discussed. Evaluation of play skills and interaction is important with younger children.

Could my child be too young to attend speech and language therapy?
Early intervention is most important in the development of your child's communication. Therapy at an early age often involves working on appropriate strategies with carers/parents for promoting the development of communication in everyday situations.

How often will my child need to attend therapy and what is the length of sessions?
This varies according to the age of your child, the nature of the problem and type of therapy. Recommendations will be made and discussed with you following assessment. Therapy may be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or on a review basis. Sessions typically last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Do all therapy sessions take place in the clinic setting?
Home or preschool / school visits are carried out when deemed to be a more appropriate approach in meeting the child's needs. This may be in combination with clinic appointments.

Does health insurance cover the cost of speech and language therapy?
Some health insurers provide cover - you would need to check details with your provider. Speech and language therapy can also be claimed against income tax on the MED1 form.