CHELSEA EVANS (PRESTON)
Communication Speech Pathology director Chelsea Evans (Preston) has more than 17 years’ experience in consultation services to schools regarding Paediatric speech, language, socialisation and literacy matters.
Q. How can speech pathology benefit older students whose impediments were overlooked in early childhood?
Speech Pathology at any stage or age can serve to identify delays, disorders and disabilities across speech (articulation, voice and fluency/stuttering), all aspects of oral/ spoken language (expressive and receptive), social interaction, literacy and feeding.
However, as a profession we strongly advocate for early intervention.
Q. Can children with speech difficulties and impediments slip through the cracks at school?
In my personal experience, no. Schools and educators, Allied Health, GP’S and nurses are well informed and versed in children speech (and language) development.
As a result, children are being identified and referred to Speech Pathologists in the early school years.
This is a result of much advocacy from national governing bodies, local associations and the everyday working SP’S.
Q. What can be done to encourage more schools to employ speech pathologists?
In my experience, schools are very welcoming of Speech Pathologists working onsite and/ or liaising with off-site clinicians in the best interests the child.
If I had my way, every school would employ a Speech Pathologist. However, this mostly lies with the bean crunchers.
It goes without saying, Speech Pathologists are key stakeholders in child development pre-and-during the school years, in offering information, consultation, assessment and therapy.