About Us

About Early Start Speech Pathology

Early Start Speech Pathology has three modern and child friendly clinics located in Lambton, Warners Bay and now Maitland.. Our aim is to provide high-quality speech pathology assessment and intervention services to children and adults in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions.

Early Start Speech Pathology was established by Director and Speech Pathologist Michelle Batey in 2008 and has been a reputable, highly regarded and recommended speech pathology clinic since this time. Our therapists deliver high quality intervention that is up to date with the latest evidence and best practice as outlined by our governing body, Speech Pathology Australia.

Our therapists are caring, always engaging and aim to keep the fun in speech pathology!

Early Start Speech Pathology aims to provide the best possible intervention service to your child in a family-focused, friendly environment.

Early Start Speech Pathologists are extensively trained and have years of experience working in private practice. We are passionate about giving children the best possible chance for clear and confident communication. Something that sets us aside from other speech pathology practices, is the length our therapists have been working together as a team at Early Start. 

Michelle Batey

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need a referral to book in?

No, you don’t need a referral to book into Early Start Speech Pathology.

Are there funding options available?

Yes, there are lots of different funding options available to access speech pathology intervention at Early Start Speech Pathology. Click here to find out more FUNDING OPTIONS.

My child has NDIS, are you NDIS registered?

Yes, we sure are. We are a certified NDIS provider and registered for Therapeutic Supports, Early Intervention Supports and Assistive Technology. We see all NDIS clients: Self- Managed, Plan Managed or Agency Managed.

Do you do school or home visits?

We sure do, but unfortunately all of our therapists are at capacity right now, so places are limited for ongoing or regular school consultations. . Our therapists will chat to you in your first appointment to figure out what the best plan is for therapy for you and your family.

Do you work with other professionals?

At Early Start Speech Pathology we love collaborating with other professionals.

Whether it’s a joint session with your child’s OT, school meetings or working with your NDIS treating team, we’ve got you covered.

How long will my child need therapy for?

This is a really tricky to answer as every child and every family is different. At Early Start Speech Pathology we make sure that we work with you to set the goals, for what’s achievable for your family and timeline. We always work towards you reaching your goals as soon as possible. The more practice you put in at home, the quicker you will get to reaching your goals!

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Are all of your speech pathologists trained in specific areas, e.g. Hanen Certified?

All of our speech pathologists at Early Start Speech Pathology are  extensively trained speech pathologists in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. We take professional developmental very seriously and are always seeking new training and courses.

If you are after a speech pathologist that is certified in certain areas, e.g. Hanen Certified, then give us a call so we can match you with the best team member at Early Start Speech Pathology

What happens at the first appointment?

We understand that meeting a new therapist for the first time can be a little bit daunting. We will try and make you feel at ease as possible and as welcome as possible.

If you have any previous reports, that’s great to bring along.

We will welcome you and your child to the session. We usually set them up with a game to play to get them feeling comfortable with our rooms whilst we get a quick case history from you. We will then complete our screening assessments and observations of your child.

If you are an adult client, we will get a quick case history from you and then complete the assessments needed to start setting your speech and/or communication goals.

If you are a new NDIS client, we will spend the first session also completing some NDIS paperwork. NDIS love paperwork! To make sure that we are compliant each year with our registration with the NDIS Safeguarding Commission we need to make sure that we are following all of the rules provided by NDIS.

We like to set some goals with you in the first session and talk about the different funding options available to get you started on your therapy journey.

Do you see children from Out of Home Care?

We sure do see children from Out of Home Care. Children that are in OOHC might be eligible for speech pathology sessions to help them reach their communication goals. We are happy to work with you and your case worker to figure out the best plan.

Can I claim with my private health on the spot?

Yes, we have HICAPS terminals at both our clinics.

My child’s preschool teachers have suggested they see a speech pathologist. Aren't they too young for therapy?

This is a very common question we get asked at Early Start. It is sometimes a tricky one to answer without hearing the child speak. The easiest answer is that you’re never too young to start therapy – if it’s needed – as research suggests that Early Intervention has the strongest outcomes

Does he need therapy? It really depends on what errors your child is making and how much it’s impacting him socially and academically. Most children follow a typical pattern of speech sound development. All children make errors as their sound system develops. It’s cute to hear a 2-year-old say “wabbit” but it’s concerning if a 6-year-old is still saying “wabbit”.

Most speech sounds are developed by 4 – 4.5 years, with the exception of some sounds (r & th). If your child is not easily understood by others from 3.5 years on, it might be time to see a speech pathologist.

It is important for a child to receive assessment and intervention by a speech pathologist if they are having difficulty saying certain words as research has shown a clear link between speech sound disorders and slower literacy development.