At Say it Louder, we work closely with families to help you understand your child’s communication and behaviours. We will provide your family with functional play based strategies that can be utilised at home and education settings to help your child transfer communication skills learnt within the clinic to your home environment and their community settings.
SPEECH AND ARTICULATION
Refers to your child’s pronunciation of sounds and words. While all children vary in their development of speech, there are certain “milestones” that are identified as a rough guide to normal development. Your child may be diagnosed with speech sound difficulties such as articulation and phonological processes or motor speech challenges such as Apraxia of speech. Our speech pathologists will assess your child’s speech to determine whether their development is appropriate for their age.
RECEPTIVE AND EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE
Receptive language refers to your child’s ability to understand what they hear. Expressive language refers to your child’s ability to speak and combine words verbally. Successful engagement in spoken language requires both strong understanding of instructions, questions and language constructs in order to express information, formulate ideas and ask questions. Our speech pathologists will complete a formalised language assessment to determine your child’s receptive and expressive language skills in comparison to age equivalent peers to determine the need and possible areas for intervention.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)
Refers to a lifelong, developmental disability that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interactions with other people.
Red flags for Autism include:
Reduced back and forth babbling/conversation
Reduced imitation of sounds
Reduced combination of different modes of communication e.g. vocalisation, eye contact,
facial expression and gesture at the same time
Reduced responsiveness to name
Limited eye contact
Reduced use of gestures such as pointing
Reduced ability to initiate interactions
Repetitive and restrictive behaviours and play sequences
Rigidity around routines
Reduced prosody and intonation
Sensory processing challenges e.g. fear of loud noises like singing happy birthday, seeking out
or avoiding tactile experiences and smelling/mouthing non-food items
The term “spectrum” refers to the range of difficulties that are experienced and the differing degree to which they may be affected. Evidence supports that early intervention is best. Our speech pathologists are highly trained and experienced with supporting children on all levels of the Autism Spectrum with their speaking, listening and social skills.
AUGMENTATIVE AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION (AAC)
Refers to any type of communication strategy used for a child who has significant difficulties speaking, as a result of many different conditions e.g. autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome.
These include both aided AAC, which requires external items to aid communication including PODD books and speech generating devices or unaided AAC, which do not require external items but rather items that are available to you all the time (body parts) e.g. key word sign/sign language or eye contact.
Our speech pathologists are skilled in providing a variety of different AAC strategies to help your child communicate to the best of their ability.
Refers to a speech disorder characterised by the interruption to the rhythm and flow of speech.
This can include repetitions of part/whole words or phrases, prolongation of words or a “block” which appears as if your child is getting stuck on a sound. Secondary behaviours such as tense facial movements or excessive use of filler such as “um, ah” may also occur. Stuttering can often be related to other anxiety and psychosocial conditions. Our speech pathologists will train you to support your child in achieving smooth and clear communication.
Refers to your child’s ability to interact and engage with others, this includes both verbal skills achieved through their spoken message and non-verbal messages achieved through body language, facial expressions and gesture. Deficits in social skills greatly impact a child’s self-esteem and emotional development. We recognise that deficits in social skills vary greatly among children and our therapists will work with you to determine where exactly your child needs help and tailor intervention to ensure your child becomes the most confident communicator they can be.
Refers to your child’s ability to read and write. It is a vital skill set for children and adults of all ages. Reading, writing, spelling and understanding phonics are imperative for your child’s success within the home, classroom, workplace and community. It allows people to understand and follow written instructions, find out information online or in books and write letters, emails or text messages. Deficits with literacy can hugely impact your child’s success with learning and self-confidence.
Our Speech Pathologists will complete a thorough assessment to determine where your child’s breakdown is occurring and target therapy to those areas following the concept of best practice.
Courtney is the director of Say It Louder and a certified practicing speech pathologist. She completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology in 2011 at La Trobe University and is an active member of Speech Pathology Australia.
Courtney is passionate about empowering and coaching parents to be able to interact and engage and communicate with their children. She feels it is imperative to the childs development to extend their skills to all environments including home and community based settings. Her therapy sessions are engaging, motivating and tailored to meet the individual needs of each child and family. Courtney is driven to utilise the child’s interests in a play based approach to generate rapport, enjoyment and progress.
Courtney worked as a sole clinician in a mainstream primary school. During this time, she worked in partnership with parents and teachers to assist children with a range of communication difficulties to achieve their full potential within the classroom.
Courtney then spent four years working in Early Intervention, with preschool children with developmental delays and disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and Downs Syndrome. Courtney gained invaluable experience working in a multidisciplinary team with other health professionals and parents to ensure the best communication outcomes for children, whilst also ensuring intervention was fun and family-centred.
In conjunction, Courtney spent the past 5 years working at an established private practice in the Northern Suburbs, this was initially part time and then quickly moved to full time. Here Courtney saw a variety of different clients ranging from Autism Spectrum Disorder, Special needs, speech and language delays, articulation concerns and dyspraxia. She utilised a variety of different programs and techniques including the Hanen approach to promote early communication skills for clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the Lidcombe program as a stuttering treatment, AAC such as PODD books, speech generating devices, visuals, communication boards and key word sign, We Thinkers Program to target Social Skills and Nuffield resources to overcome dyspraxia challenges. While utilising various supports, Courtney remained driven to empower families and others working with each client. Her engaging, energetic and caring approach made her very popular among clients, families and allied health professionals within the community.
TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE:
Courtney highly values ongoing Professional Development and feels it is important to keep up to date with current evidence based practice to ensure the highest quality intervention is provided. She has completed training in:
Social Thinking-Michelle Garcier Winner (2019)
PODD Training (2018)
Introduction to PROMPT (2017)
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) (2016)
S.O.S approach to swallowing (2016)
Sarah Starr's management of swallowing difficulties (2016)
Strengths based practice (2015)
241 Lower Heidelberg Road
Ivanhoe East 3079
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
0407 811 213
Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed