Recently, we have begun opening our resource cupboards to our families. We understand and appreciate that therapy is both a time and financial commitment and it can be difficult to maintain an ever-changing toy and book collection, too.
Although we never expect families to purchase items for therapy practice (to the contrary, we aim for practice to fit into your routines as much as possible!), we see the long faces on your little ones when they need to pack up their therapy toys and return books at the end of the session.
Where possible, we are now offering these resources to families on a short-term loan. Families are able to borrow text books, story books and board games; provided our therapist doesn't need them 'til we see you next!
A small fee to cover (partial) replacement of the item will be added to your invoice if the item is not returned by your next session.
We hope this will help maintain your children's motivation to practice their speech work between sessions. As always, your therapist will provide therapy ideas for equipment you have at home, too.
Recently I've had the pleasure of spending a lot of my time at local preschools and early learning centres. I love it. The innocence, the imagination, and the hilarity of toddlers and preschoolers makes my heart sing. With it though, has come a number of enquiries from parents and teachers about the speech sounds their children/students are using.
I'm often asked whether it is okay to have a lisp when a child starts school (no), if it is okay if 3 year old 'Ruby' says her name as 'Wuby' (yes) and everything in between.
It got me thinking. This needs to be the topic of my next newsletter... and so it is!
Please click below to view our latest free newsletter on the order that speech sounds develop, the sound errors that children may make, and when to refer to a Speech Pathologist. We hope it helps.
Recently, we've been busy screening and assessing the communication skills of preschool and school-aged children. A number of families and teachers have been interested in learning about the general order that speech sounds develop.
Please see below for our latest infographic on Speech Sound Development. Feel free to share with your families, colleagues and friends.
Remember to keep an eye out for new resources and handouts that will be added to the page in coming weeks.
As always, if you have concerns about your child's communication skills, do no hesitate to contact us.
I attended a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) information session this week, to better prepare my families and myself for the launch. The training was provided by Every Australian Counts, a key campaigner for the NDIS. If you'd like to receive a summary of my notes taken from the session, please read on...
What is the NDIS?
A new government policy and approach to nationwide disability services. It will provide disability support to 'all eligible Australians'.
Choice and control: People with disabilities (and their families) should be empowered to set their own goals and choose their own supports. Provides control over their own budget.
Individual and portable funding - not tied up to a specific Local Government Area (LGA).
July 2016 - service transition will commence for South West Sydney (including Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool and Campbelltown LGAs.
2018-2019 - rest of NSW
2020 - nationwide
Costs and reach
Approx. $9billion in current national disability budget (pooled state resources)
Approx. $22billion will be needed to fund the NDIS when it is implemented nationally
Approx. 220,000 people currently receive a disability service (nationally)
Approx. 460,000 people will receive a disability service when NDIS is at capacity
Financial/ Employment benefits of NDIS
^ Specialists at an organisational level will be needed to meet demand
Carers may return to the workforce
People with a disability may trial employment
If early intervention is provided ASAP, people with a disability might meet milestones and not be NDIS participants for life
People with high support needs who are 'known' to services will be given priority (with initial transfer)
Local Area Coordinators (through NDIA and supporting organisations - Uniting and St Vincents de Paul) are encouraging organisations to help people with a disability transition to NDIS.
will seek English as a Second Language/Non-English Speaking Background groups that need NDIS support
Ability Links and Early Links (and others) will be helping people with disabilities who are in the community and not yet accessing services, to be more active.
Basically: if you are an existing service user (i.e. receiving ADHC services), NDIA will contact you. You will receive information on what to do from your current service.
Have a permanent and significant disability
Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident
Enter the Scheme before 65 years of age
NDIS is not means-tested (does not change carer's allowance, etc)
Functional questions will be asked re: 'how does your disability affect you?', 'what does your disability make it hard to do? Remember to talk about how you access the community, the degree in which you live independently, etc.
Bring information re: disability diagnosis to the assessment
There is an 'auto-entry' list of disabilities on the NDIS website.
'Yardstick' - if you are currently receiving support and services, you will be in the NDIS and transfer first
If you have not been receiving services:
NDIS expects to cater for you, too
Make contact with NDIS or support agency for notification of transfer to NDIS
Shopfronts will be available before scheme rolls out - for enquiries, etc
Supports that will be available (not exhaustive)
Aids, equipment, home and vehicle modifications
Support community inclusion
Federal Packages (HCWA, Better Start)
If currently receiving this package - use allocated funds before transitioning to NDIS
Special housing support
Budgets are currently in blocks of 6K, 12K, 16K
Case management and coordination
Crisis/emergency support (block funds available to be moved into packages, if needed
Ask for supports during assessment and planning meetings
If not in the plan, will need to be self-funded
Criteria for approval in plans: support needs to be 'reasonable and necessary'
Won't buy you a car but may approve modifications
Plans are currently up for review every 3 months (in trial sites), annually, or as circumstances change
Trial site data
Average package cost is $36,000 a year
There is 'no cap' on package costs, dependent on need
Funds are a mix of fixed and flexible amounts
Fixed cost example: vehicle modifications
Flexible cost example: community inclusion/ respite
Service providers implement based on signed agreements - work in arrears now
Education: schools still pay for assistance teachers, NDIS will fund if extra support required
Can change service providers mid-service if not meeting need
^ in sole traders (within therapy)
Have to be registered providers with the NDIS
There is a state-based quality and safeguards system - not yet nationwide
We have begun adding our communication newsletters to the site. The first two editions for 2016 can now be accessed by visiting our newsletters page. This includes our latest newsletter on Easter language activities and the bonus Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) newsletter.
We are about to update our visual aids store with even more resources. Keep checking back for new items and contact us directly to place an order.
Feel free to share our newsletters with your friends, families and colleagues. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's communication skills, please contact us.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read our January newsletter on early reading skills. We hope you have some fresh ideas to try when next sharing a book with your child or student. For those that have missed it, you can access our January newsletter here.
We've been busy putting together the final touches on our next newsletter - a special edition about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and some strategies that may help support the understanding of children with ASD. We've chosen this topic ahead of Autism Awareness Day (on April 2) and the International Autism Month (being April). We hope to raise awareness of the difficulties and signs of ASD so that families may feel empowered to seek the right supports for their children. Please sign up to or share our newsletters to keep the education and awareness going.
In the meantime, feel free to keep checking in on our webpage. We've added information on the benefits of using visual supports - for all children, not only those on the 'Spectrum and we're gradually adding items to our store that can be purchased from your lounge room or classroom - how good is that?! You can see what we currently have available by clicking here.
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and week ahead.
We've had a number of enquiries from families and schools wanting to know about possible rebates for Speech Pathology services through Not All Talk Speech Pathology.
To make it easy, we have listed them below - with a little bit of information on each option. We are currently registered with: Medicare: Chronic Disease Management (Previously, Enhanced Primary Care) GP assesses client’s eligibility for Chronic Disease Management Medicare items (known as EPC) plan and makes referral to speech pathologist Client (or the client’s parent) requests a referral to a known speech pathologist or the GP recommends one Client must have an CDM plan before they can claim a rebate from Medicare Up to maximum of five sessions can be claimed per calendar year The five sessions may be with one health professional or a number of allied health professionals Client claims rebate using invoice provided by speech pathologist (Information taken from Speech Pathology Australia [online], accessed: 09/02016, more can be found here.)
Helping Children with Autism Package Rebates are available to assist in the diagnosis and initial allied health treatment of children with autism, where the child is under 13 years of age at the time of diagnosis and under 15 years of age when receiving treatment The GP refers the child to a Paediatrician or Psychiatrist who makes the referral to the speech pathologist for assessment, and following diagnosis, for treatment consultations Up to 20 Medicare Allied Health Treatment services can be provided by certain allied health professionals including speech pathologists The child must be under 6 years of age when eligibility is approved and under 7 years when receiving the service Total funding package for Early Intervention is $12,000 ($6,000 per financial year for 2 years) (Information taken from Speech Pathology Australia [online], accessed: 09/02016, more can be found here.)
Better Start for Children with Disability Children are eligible for program if diagnosed with one of the sixteen included disabilities Each disability included in the Better Start program is subject to an eligibility threshold. The child must register before they turn 6 years old and under 7 years when receiving the service Total funding package is $12,000 (maximum $6,000 per year) to pay for early intervention services (Further information can be found here)
Private Health Funds We are registered with most Private Health funds. Contact your provider to confirm your eligibility for Speech Pathology rebates.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have concerns about your child's communication skills, or if you would like centre/school-based support.
I came across this poem today and absolutely loved it. Many thanks to @SLTNorth for posting it on Twitter.
There are so many features to learn and understand when using a language. For many people, these are used effortlessly. However for a number of children, including those who need to learn these features in multiple languages, it can be difficult and daunting.
A Speech Pathologist can help. Contact us at Not All Talk Speech Pathology to arrange a communication assessment today.
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