Speech Pathology teams up with Compass to provide services to local schools

11 April 2014

The Communication Disorders Treatment and Research Clinic (CDTRC) in partnership with Compass is sending fourth year Speech Pathology students from the Faculty of Health Sciences to low SES schools.

The CDTRC provides speech pathology intervention for children with receptive and expressive language disorders, speech disorders, difficulty with social skills, stuttering and voice disorders.

Health Sciences students have begun visiting two local primary schools on Thursday mornings this semester and will visit a further two in second semester.

This is the first time speech pathology services have been available at these particular schools, which is a free service to parents "Sometimes families have other home priorities or situations that mean that taking their children to speech pathology is not possible. Even if the parents were very motivated to take their children to speech pathology, very often there are no public services for school aged children with communication difficulties and private speech pathology is outside the financial range of many families" said program facilitator Dr Cate Madill.

Dr Madill believes the pilot program will give students a well-rounded, community focused experience, "We wanted to give our students more 'real life experiences' prior to graduation and the opportunity to develop partnerships with key community groups. In the initial stages of the degree they learn to deal with individual clients, however placements like this one allow them to appreciate the client as part of a larger network."

As part of this clinical placement, students are involved in working alongside teachers in the classroom to provide them with practical techniques to help students with their speech and provide assessment.

"Students also get experience with different service delivery models e.g. individual, small group, large group, consultation. It also provides the students with more understanding about how schools work in general, classroom expectations and the syllabus. These are all important for our work with any school aged client in any context" said Dr Madill.

Compass work with approximately 13 primary schools in the local area and it has been the teachers at these schools that have identified the need for speech pathology services.

The CDTRC is a non-profit clinic which is funded by income from fees and supplemented by the University of Sydney.

Contact: Dr Cate Madill

Phone: 02 9351 9692

Email: 1a2b465c695535151b0f19092a3754215c081e225326694e19