When you first meet with a speech pathologist we generally begin with a meeting in your home, a suitable place in your community or at our location. This first session is all about getting on the same page as you and your family, having a good understanding about what is working and not working for you and what a vision of success looks like.
This may include communicating with you or observing you communicate with others or conducting specific assessments of your abilities and needs. The two most common types of assessments we can conduct for you are:
- We will visit you during mealtimes, working with you to understand the challenges you are experiencing in relation to eating and swallowing.
- People who might benefit from this type of assessment include those who have had a stroke, have weakness on one side or overall musculature weakness, people who are coughing during their mealtimes, people who have a history of chest infections, people who want to be more independent with their mealtimes, or want to try a greater variety of foods.
- Speech Pathologists can also work with Occupational Therapists at mealtimes to look at behaviors and sensory needs that may be impacting on your enjoyment of your mealtime, as well as looking at equipment that would support you to be more independent at mealtimes.
- Speech Pathologists can work with you across any environment you are in where you have trouble communicating with those around you, or where others experience difficulties communicating with you.
- We can provide both formal standardised testing, where your strengths and weaknesses are assessed in comparison to your peers, as well as informal testing, during which we will assess your communication strengths and weaknesses compared to where you would like to be. Both types of assessment are equally important and valid, and sometimes we will do both.
- We can also provide assessment on literacy development, speech sounds, stutters, and voice disorders.
A speech pathologist will gain an understanding about the reasons certain activities can be challenging for you. Investing time in gathering and sharing information with the person and family is important. After the first meeting we will provide you with a report or recommendations and then we can plan your sessions.