How do you know if your child needs a speech pathologist?

The vast majority of children’s speech and language skills will have developed by the time they reach prep, or reach 5 years of age. Children should now be easy to understand by both familiar and unfamiliar listeners. Speech pathology for children can help develop speech to be clearer and better understood by a wider audience.


Box Hill Speech Pathology Clinic Primary School Speech Pathology Show and Tell Reporting

By the time children start primary school, their speech sound systems have almost fully matured.

Virtually all sounds of speech should be mastered by now and used in fluent language. Later-developing sounds such as ‘r’, ‘v’ and “th” may still be difficult to produce correctly in the early primary years.

Children with speech sound difficulties in the preschool years are at greater risk of troubles with literacy (reading and spelling) skills.

Our speech pathologists Vince Borg, Sarah Draper, Vicky Andrews and Genevieve Tierney are ready to help!



Box Hill Speech Pathology Clinic Primary School Speech Pathology Boy and Girl Writing By around five years, children identify rhyming words and know that words are made of individual sounds. In primary school, kids learn to connect sounds and letters and combine sounds to make words. Children learn to read, understand and write simple stories. Kids use verbs correctly most of the time and use longer words. They begin to use context to understand word meaning and learn to understand metaphors and non-literal language. Students discover new words through reading, start to understand play on sounds and compare things using ‘like’ or ‘as’.

Worried about your child’s language skills? Sarah Draper, Vicky Andrews and Genevieve Tierney are ready to help!

Primary school kids can follow longer instructions and understand and use more complex sentences. Understanding passive sentences (eg. ‘The dog was chased by the cat’) and pronouns to (eg. The teacher told the last girl to arrive that she was late’) may still be tricky. Children’s storytelling improves significantly, with stories becoming longer, more detailed and more complex. When primary school children speak, they should sound quite fluent apart from minor and easy repetitions or revisions of words or sentences.

Call 9899 5494 to book an appointment with a speech pathologist with a special interest in language disorders.



Stuttering involves the repetition, elongation or blocking on a sound, word or even a phrase. It may even involve involuntary movement of your face or avoidance of words. You may even avoid speaking in certain situations or with certain people. Vince has a special interest in helping all children and adolescents who stutter.

For more information click here: Lidcombe Programme.


Orthodontic/thumb sucking/tongue thrusting – These are Speech Pathology Issues

Many children undergoing or about to embark on orthodontic treatment may be ‘tongue thrusting’ when swallowing. This is where children may suck their thumbs or fingers, or push their tongues against their teeth when swallowing or speaking thereby placing enormous pressure on the teeth. This can have a harmful effect on the alignment of the teeth which may compromise the orthodontic plan.

Vince works closely with dentists and orthodontists and provides therapy (often referred to as ‘Orofacial Myology’) to help reduce these harmful behaviours. Children from as young as seven years of age, teenagers and adults can all benefit from speech therapy treatment.

For further information about Orofacial Myology click here.


Does my child need Speech Pathology?

  • Is your child’s speech difficult to understand at times?
  • Are your child’s literacy skills suffering because of their speech and language?
  • Is your child stuttering or repeating words many times?
  • Does your child have difficulty saying some sounds of speech including S, R, TH, SH, CH?
  • Is your child ‘tongue thrusting’ when swallowing and affecting his or her teeth?
  • Does your child speak in shorter, simpler sentences?
  • Is your child frustrated or embarrassed by their speech?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, an assessment by a certified, practicing speech pathologist with a special interest in childrens’ speech disorders is highly recommended.

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More Information

Topics Links
Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD
Children Stuttering
Children Literacy
Childrens Auditory Processing
Childrens Feeding Difficulties
Voice Disorders Children

Newsletters Archive 2018

Date Published Download
Feb 2018 There’s No I in Team or Speech Therapy

Newsletters Archive 2017

Date Published Download
Jan 2017 Play on Words

Newsletters Archive 2016

Date Published Download
Jun 2016 The Early Word Lets You Learn

Newsletters Archive 2015

Date Published Download
June 2015 Play School – Open Wide, Learn Inside (and Out) – Part One (with apologies to the ABC)
June 2015 Play School – Open Wide, Learn Inside (and Out) – Part Two (with apologies to the ABC)
Aug 2015 Have You Been Paying Attention to Your Child’s Language
Oct 2015 Now (People with) Disabilities Individualise Supports – Understanding the NDIS
Oct 2015 (NA)PLAN for Success
Oct 2015 Now (People with) Disabilities Individualise Supports – Understanding the NDIS
Nov 2015 (NA)PLAN for Success (Part Two)
Oct 2015 AACt Early to AAChieve Success in Communication