When should I refer my child to a Speech Pathologist?

If you or anyone involved with your child (e.g. preschool, class teacher, paediatrician) are concerned that your child is not meeting any of their developmental milestones and/or is experiencing difficulty:

  • Following instructions
  • Structuring their sentences
  • Clearly articulating their words/sounds
  • Literacy
  • Independently completing school work
  • Stutter or fluency
  • Social skills/language

If you have concerns with any of the above areas, it is recommended that you contact a Speech Pathologist to discuss your concerns in more detail. Current research suggests that early intervention play an important role in enhancing a child’s opportunities, therefore the earlier the better.  We will advise you whether your concerns are age-appropriate.

How do I refer my child to Talk-Time Speech Pathology?

Please call us to make a referral where we will be able to discuss your child’s specific needs.  At this time we can discuss some of key concerns you are having and determine if we are the right service for you.

A GP referral is not necessary, however it is worthwhile discussing your concerns with your GP prior to the appointment to determine if you child is eligible for an EPC (necessary for Medicare rebates).

Can I claim through my private health fund?

Talk-Time Speech Pathology is an approved service provider through private health funds in Australia.  Please contact your health fund to discuss your specific level of cover and entitlements as it varies between each fund.

Can I claim through Medicare?

All members of Talk-Time Speech Pathology are registered with Medicare Australia.  If eligible, you will be able to claim up to 5 Speech Pathology sessions per calendar year through Medicare.  Please talk to your GP about whether your child is eligible for this care plan. You can access additional information on this at the following website: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-medicare-health_pro-gp-pdf-allied-cnt.htm

Is Talk-Time Speech Pathology an approved service provider for ‘Better Start Funding’ and ‘Helping Children with Autism Funding’?

The Australian Government has announced $122 million in funding over 4 years to provide services and support to children up to 15years of age with a disability that affects their development.

If your child has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is aged 0-6 years and has not yet started full time compulsory school you may be eligible to access a funding package of up to $12,000. Under the Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start) initiative – Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome and moderate of greater vision or hearing impairment, including deaf blindness will be considered for eligibility.

Talk-Time Speech Pathology is an approved service provider through this initiative.

Who is eligible for this funding?

From the 1st July 2011 children who are aged under 6years and have been diagnosed with one of the listed disabilities will be able to register to access the early intervention funding of up to $12,000 (up to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year).

Below are the eligibility thresholds for each of the disabilities included under the Better Start initiative. These thresholds were determined in consultation with an Expert Reference Group established by the Department.

  1. Helping Children with Autism Funding:
  2. If your child has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is aged
  3. 0-6 years and has not yet started full time compulsory school you may be eligible to access a funding package of up to $12,000.
  4. Better Start Initiative:
  5. Hearing impairment: children will be eligible if they have a hearing loss of 40 decibels or greater in the better ear, across 4 frequencies (including children with permanent conductive hearing loss and auditory neuropathy).
  6. Sight impairment: children will be eligible if they have vision of less than or equal to 6/18 or equivalent field loss, in the better eye with correction.
  7. Deaf/blindness: diagnosis by a specialist multidisciplinary team which includes an ophthalmological and audio logical evaluation (therefore application of a threshold is not necessary).
  8. Down syndrome: all children with a confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome, including those with mosaic Down syndrome.
  9. Fragile X syndrome: all children with a confirmed diagnosis of Fragile X syndrome with full mutation.
  10. Cerebral palsy: all children with a confirmed diagnosis of cerebral palsy
  11. What can the funds be used for?
  12. FaHCSIA has established a panel of early intervention service providers of which Talk-Time Speech Pathology has been approved. Families can spend the funding package at any number of these services.
  13. Families can spend up to $6,000 per financial year, up to a total of $12,000.
  14. Families can choose to spread the funding over the course of a financial year or may choose to use it within a short period of time whilst the child remains eligible.
  15. Families can choose to use the funding to pay for whole sessions or can choose to pay for only a portion of a service and use their own money to pay for the rest of the service.
  16. The funding will be able to be used to access early intervention services such as speech pathology, audiology, occupational therapy, orthoptics, physiotherapy and psychology. Families will have until the child’s 7th birthday to access the funding.
  17. What can the funds can’t be used for?
  18. FaHCSIA funding cannot be used to subsidise the gap in Medicare funded services or any services that are fully funded by government.
  19. FaHCSIA will not pay for cancelled or missed appointments. This will be the responsibility of the family.

Is there a cancellation policy?

Yes, there is a cancellation policy at Talk-Time Speech Pathology.  We charge a $50 cancellation fee for families who do not provide notice (6pm the day before) that they will not be attending the session.  Our therapists spend a significant amount of time pre-planning sessions and we do have a waiting list for certain appointment times (e.g. before and after school hours).  There is some flexibility if your child wakes up unwell, so please contact your therapist by 8am on the day to discuss this.