Does your child need help from a speech and language pathologist?

  • Is your child easy to understand when speaking?
  • Is your child able to understand what you say?
  • Is your child able to create sentences that make sense?
  • Is your child able to eat and drink without coughing and choking?
  • Is your child able to read and spell as well as children their age?
  • Is your child able to speak without stuttering?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, a speech and language pathologist may be able to help.

To find out more, talk to your child’s teacher or principal.

Further details about the role of a speech and language pathologist is available at the Speech Pathology Australia website.

What do speech and language pathologists do?

Speech and language pathologists work with students who:

  • are difficult to understand when speaking
  • have difficulty with understanding language (eg. question, instructions)
  • have difficulty expressing themselves 
  • stutter
  • have difficulty with eating and drinking
  • have complex communication needs
  • have difficulty with literacy
  • have difficulty with social skills.

Speech and language pathologists work with class teachers, support teachers and teacher assistants to help students join in at school and achieve their educational goals.

Speech and language pathologists assess students and provide support through:

  • professional learning for school staff
  • whole class programs
  • group therapy
  • teacher assistant programs
  • home programs
  • individualised class programs
  • individual therapy
  • telepractice.

Speech and language pathologists also work closely with school psychologists and social workers to help children achieve the best outcomes.

How are students referred?

Referrals may come from teachers, other support staff or parents. Forms are available from the school. A parent or guardian must sign the consent form for a referral to be completed.


Information given to the speech and language pathologist is kept in a confidential file and can only be shared by consent or by law.

Professional standards

Speech and language pathologists are university trained specialists and must abide by the National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers. They must also be eligible to join their professional association, Speech Pathology Australia.