About Early Start Speech Pathology
Providing speech pathology services in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
Early Start Speech Pathology is located in Wallsend and Warners Bay, proving high-quality speech pathology assessment and intervention in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions. We are a team of dedicated and experienced speech pathologists who offer speech pathology support and services to children aged 18 months of age to 18 years old.
Michelle Batey and Amy Pollitt are the directors of Early Start Speech Pathology and provide the clinic with a wealth of experience and expertise.
Early Start Speech Pathologists deliver speech pathology 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 happy 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, confident communication.
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 their funding options available?
Yes, there are lots of different funding options available to be able to access speech pathology intervention at Early Start Speech Pathology. Click here to find out more FUNDING OPTIONS We are happy to talk to you what options may be suit your family in your first session
My child has NDIS, are you NDIS registered?
Yes, we sure are! We are a certified NDIS provider and we are registered for Therapeutic Supports, Early Intervention 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. 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. We offer clinic sessions, telehealth appointments, school and home visits.
Do you work with other professionals?
At Early Start Speech Pathology we love collaborating with other professionals. We have a strong reputation in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle as being creative and collaborative.
Whether it’s a joint session with OT’s, school meetings or working with a team at a nursing home, 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 some of the best-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, you sure can. We have Hiccaps terminals at all of 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.