Communication is essential for learning, literacy and numeracy development, interacting with others, participation in all class and school activities, and positive self-esteem.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide a service to a number of schools across a local area while being physically based at one school. Enquiries about the speech-language therapy service for a particular area can be addressed to the school principal, Head of Special Education Services, or Regional Senior Speech-Language Pathologist.
If there are concerns about a student's speech and/or language, a referral to the speech-language pathologist may be warranted. Schools have referral processes where parents and teachers provide background information and complete a referral form. All referral forms need to be signed by the parent and by the Principal. Some schools have special needs committees to assist in this process.
SLPs visit their local schools according to a term or semester schedule to see students whom the school has identified as having special needs. The SLP provides an array of services, which can include advice to teachers and parents, input into curriculum and programming, assessment, individual and group therapy, and parent or teacher programs.
The department provides educationally focused speech-language therapy services to schools. Parents can also access speech-language therapy services from Queensland Health (hospitals, Community Health Centres, Child and Youth Mental Health Services), Disability Services Queensland or private speech pathologists. Contact details for these can be found in the White Pages for government services, or the Yellow Pages for private speech pathologists.
There are many opportunities for qualified, professional and team orientated speech-language pathologists to work collaboratively with teachers to support students in Queensland state schools through learning support. Learn more about departmental therapy roles in schools.