Speech Pathologists Collaborating

Benefits of Speech Pathologists Collaborating with other Allied Health Professionals

Have you ever wondered why your child’s speech therapist may collaborate with other allied health professionals like occupational therapists or music therapists? Well, at Queensland Paediatric Allied Health on the Gold Coast, we know that collaborating with other allied health professionals, can play an important role in their therapy. So keep on reading to learn how our Gold Coast speech therapists collaborate with other professionals.

Benefits of Speech Pathologists and Music Therapists Working Together.

Joint music and speech therapy can positively impact multiple domains of a child’s development including communication, emotional regulation, attention and so much more! When music is incorporated into children’s speech therapy sessions, the numerous benefits can include:

  • Promotes engagement and attention: Music is an excellent motivator! Children may be more motivated during music sessions and may pay better attention. Children may also demonstrate improved engagement with their clinicians during therapy sessions involving music.
  • Builds imitation: Music Therapy can help to develop both verbal (e.g singing) and non-verbal (e.g gesturing) skills. Phrases with musical intonation are easier to imitate.
  • Encourages peer interactions: Children learn age-appropriate songs that can help build social skills and strengthen peer interactions.
  • Enhances skills: Repetition on songs can increase vocabulary (e.g singing Old McDonald Had a Farm to target animal names) and language skills.
  • Increases carryover: Children may start to associate songs they are also learning in school, at home and in Music Therapy in a positive way. Parents can carryover skills learned in therapy as a fun and easy way to maximise their child’s potential at home.

Guess what!  You do not need to be a musician or a singer to reap the benefits of music as therapy! Even using a silly voice and acting out the lyrics is helpful in engaging your child, and a way to get them to listen attentively and unknowingly engage them in speech and language exercises.

Benefits of Speech Pathologists and Dietitians Working Together.

 Do you have trouble getting your child to eat certain foods? Are they a really ‘fussy eater’? Do they have trouble swallowing or even choke during mealtimes? Maybe they are experiencing difficulties with different food textures or experience anxiety at mealtimes? There can be many reasons for feeding difficulties including sensory processing differences, autism, or fine and gross motor challenges.

Your Gold Coast speech therapist and dietitian can help you and your child navigate mealtime difficulties and work on the following:

  • Increasing exposure to different or less familiar foods
  • Expansion in quantity and diversity of foods that your child enjoys
  • Advice on how to facilitate positive family mealtimes
  • Guidance on how to create and follow a routine feeding schedule
  • Guidance on non-oral feeding
  • Suggestions on how to plate and serve foods at home to encourage mealtime success
  • Advice on the nutritional value of different foods and substitutes that can be used
  • Advice on the intake of hydration and nutrition each child should be consuming

If you are after some feeding therapy advice and wish to collaborate with a speech therapist and dietitian, visit our website and enquire about feeding therapy for kids on the Gold Coast with QPAH!

Benefits of Speech Pathologists and Behaviour Therapists Working Together.

My child’s school has commented on their behaviour… Does every child have ‘meltdowns’…? Is my child able to sit and listen to an activity for long..? If you find yourself asking these questions, you are not alone.

Speech pathologists often see children having differing abilities in skills like:

  • Sitting and listening to tasks
  • Frequency and intensity of ‘temper tantrums’ and ‘meltdowns’.
  • Ability to move or transition from one activity to another
  • Willingness to do activities they don’t choose themselves
  • Following plans and instructions

Sometimes, these behaviours relate to their communication difficulties, but not always! If you find yourself questioning your child’s behaviour, looking into behaviour therapy may help assist both you and your child.

Speech pathologists and behaviour therapists are able to collaborate with each other to benefit your child in the following areas:

  • Having strategies that are the same: the more consistently a good strategy is used, the more likely it is to work.
  • Shared goals: behavioural therapists can work on client-centred goals programmed by their speech pathologist, as they often spend more time with the child over a week.
  • Learning to pay extra attention: guiding the child to pay extra attention to meaningful activities may mean they are more likely to make gains and may reach their goals faster.
  • Learning to respond differently to things: teaching the child on how to respond to different things happening around them may have a positive impact across different situations and environments, including home, school and therapy sessions.

We know that behaviour can have a big effect on a child’s ability to learn. Learning new skills, and the many different ways in which this can be achieved, is important for all children, their family, educators, and other therapists. Chat with your speech therapist if you believe that your child benefit from engaging with a behaviour therapist.

Benefits of Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists Working Together.

Just like speech therapists, occupational therapists (OTs) also play a role in promoting health and well-being by supporting children to participate in everyday life. However, instead of speech and language, they help with things such as:

  • Self-care activities (showering, dressing, preparing foods)mu
  • Productive activities (education, work, playing)
  • Social activities (being apart of a group, engaging in a hobby)

Speech pathologists and occupational therapists often work together to help children achieve their therapy goals. There are many benefits of the two professions collaborating with each other and these include:

  • Increasing language and communication in a more functional way. Many activities planned by an occupational therapist can incorporate speech therapy goals!
  • Strategies used and shared with parents are consistent. The child is not confused by being taught different strategies to achieve the same goal.
  • Children who have difficulty with sensory or emotional regulation can receive the help they need to participate in speech and language tasks with the assistance of an OT.
  • With multiple clinicians in the room, children can get supported practice in whatever is important for your child’s life at home, school or the community. Some examples may include turn-taking, waiting, ‘being a good sport’ and sharing.

So, there you have it! Speech pathologists can collaborate with a number of other allied health professionals that can enhance the benefits to you and your child! At QPAH, we are very proud of the positive relationships we have with a number of other agencies that promote the collaborative, client-centred care we regard so highly. To find out more, contact the Gold Coast speech therapists for kids at QPAH today!