Sarah, a vibrant 9-year-old girl, was facing challenges from her diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Her parents and teachers noticed a speech delay impacting her ability to communicate effectively. This affected her academic performance and social interactions, causing frustration at home and loneliness in the playground at school.

As part of her difficulty in communicating effectively, Sarah struggled with:

  • Articulating words and being understood
  • Writing sentences with correct grammar
  • Being understood, which caused frustration at home
  • Difficulty making friends and participating in playground activities
  • Poor comprehension, requiring teachers to repeat instructions

In a region with long waitlists for speech pathology services, Sarah’s parents looked for solutions where support was available as soon as possible. To achieve this, an innovative approach was used to support Sarah.

The assessment and intervention approach was a four-step process:

1. Initial Assessment: The Speech Pathologist began with an information-gathering session with Sarah’s parents via telehealth. While this was occurring, a local Allied Health Assistant conducted a play observation with Sarah, following specific guidelines from the Speech Pathologist. This approach minimised the time and funding spent on the assessment.

2. Goal Setting and Therapy Plan: The Speech Pathologist identified key goals and developed a therapy plan for the local Allied Health Assistant to implement. The goals included:

  • Improving the articulation of sounds like “sh,” “l,” “r,” and “th.”
  • Enhancing expressive language skills through structured activities.

3. Local face-to-face sessions: The Allied Health Assistant worked with Sarah in person, observing sound formation closely and using cue cards to help Sarah practice and improve her speech.

4. Review and Adjustment of Therapy Plan: The Allied Health Assistant provided regular feedback to the Speech Pathologist, who reviewed progress via a telehealth appointment. This allowed for ongoing adjustments to the therapy plan to ensure it supported Sarah.

With this collaborative approach, Sarah achieved significant improvements:

  • Her speech sounds are now correctly articulated.
  • She is on her way to achieving her next set of communication goals.
  • This model proved highly cost-effective for Sarah’s funding:
  • Allied Health Assistants are billed at $86.79/hr compared to Speech Pathologists at $193.99/hr.
  • The available funding allowed for more frequent and intensive sessions, enhancing the overall support Sarah received.

By combining the expertise of our Speech Pathologist with the hands-on support of Allied Health Assistants, LiveBig can deliver high-quality, timely and cost-effective interventions that make a difference in children’s lives. With appointments available immediately, contact LiveBig today to see how our innovative approach can benefit your child.