Speech Pathologists

What do Speech Pathologists do?

Speech Pathologists work with teaching staff, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and families to integrate the development of the student’s communication, eating & drinking and saliva control skills into their daily school program, by setting achievable and functional goals.  Speech Pathologists will assess the student’s skills in these areas in conjunction with the school and families. 

Speech Pathologists are involved in assisting children to communicate more effectively, including understanding others and expressing themselves.  Contact with the students is generally during timetabled class based sessions. They are also involved in developing oral skills in eating, saliva control and speech.

Speech Pathologists may provide support for children who are integrated into local schools, primarily through phone contact or via email. They may provide assistance in communication needs and mealtimes and advise the school on how best to integrate development of these skills.


Receptive Communication / Understanding Language

Some children have difficulty understanding what people say. Speech Pathologists work to develop children’s understanding by modifying the way information is presented to the child; for example, a child may benefit from seeing the object a person is talking about or seeing a picture or a sign.


Expressive Communication/Getting the Message Across/Making Choices

Communication can be through talking or using alternative ways such as an augmentative communication system e.g. sign language, communication board/book, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) or an electronic communication device.  Speech Pathologists work together with teaching staff, parents and the rest of the team to provide opportunities for students to develop their means of expressing themselves and to best enable them to access the school curriculum.


Eating and Drinking

Speech Pathologists assist children to develop oral skills when they have difficulty chewing and swallowing. The children may need specific techniques to enhance the movement of their tongue, lips and jaw. They may also require modifications of the texture of their food or drink. Different strategies may also be used during mealtimes to ensure a student’s safety and comfort.


Saliva Control

Some children have difficulty managing their saliva. Speech Pathologists can make recommendations to assist children with this. 


  Glenroy Specialist School, 208 Hilton Street, Glenroy, Melbourne, 3046 Ph: 03 9304 2263