What qualifies a child for Speech Therapy?

27 Sep, 2021

If your child experiences delayed speech or articulation, you may need to ensure early intervention before the condition worsens. While children of age three and above can get speech therapy and related services through school, they have to meet specific criteria to be eligible for such services. It’s essential to understand that the eligibility criteria in Australia vary from one state to another.

For this reason, do not be surprised if your child does not qualify for speech therapy despite showing some symptoms. It simply means they didn’t meet some of the requirements. This article will discuss the scope of speech therapy and whether or not your child qualifies for therapy sessions.

Child Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy eligibility

For your child to qualify for speech therapy in their local public school, they need to demonstrate speech disorders in the following areas:

  • Articulate impairment- This refers to a significant deficiency in the ability to produce speech sounds in conversational speech. This communication disorder is usually inconsistent with the child’s chronological age.
  • Voice impairment- This refers to a deficiency in the intensity, pitch, or quality of speech, usually resulting from pathological conditions or, at times, inappropriate use of the vocals.
  • Fluency impairment- This speech disorder is characterised by an abnormal interruption in the flow of normal speech by prolongations of sounds and syllables, struggle behaviours, and repetitions.
  • Language impairment- This basically refers to a considerable deficiency in expressive language skills to communicate, processing skills to organise information, and receptive language skills to obtain information.

However, there are situations whereby your child may exhibit some of these eligibility symptoms but still fail to qualify for speech therapy. These include when;

Their speech issues do not affect their learning

One of the reasons your child might not qualify for speech-language therapy is that they’re performing well in school. If the teacher understands the child and the classmates don’t have a problem communicating with them, they will likely not qualify for the speech therapy services.

They have language development delays that could improve with time

In general, some children’s speech sounds develop later than others. For this reason, your child might not be subjected to speech-language therapy if they’re mispronouncing some words, which they could eventually get right with time.

Your child shows signs of speech impairment at home and not at school

If your child’s speech impairment is apparent only at home and not at school, they’ll likely miss out on the school’s speech-language therapy sessions. This is quite common with many children because, at school, children are encouraged to be at par with their peers.

Need a Speech-Language Pathologist in Australia? Get in Touch

If you have a child who exhibits speech disorders and would like to get some guidance on what to do next, we at Gen Physio have your back. Our experienced speech therapists will assess your child’s problem and take them through suitable therapy to reclaim their speech. Please contact us online or call us directly at 1300-122-880 to speak to our team of professionals about our mobile speech pathology

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