Do I need a referral from a GP for speech pathology services?

No referral is needed to access speech pathology intervention. However, individual circumstances may mean that you are eligible for a Medicare rebate. See information below on claiming.

How long do sessions last? What’s involved?

A typical speech pathology session will last between 45 minutes to an hour.

Your first session will consist of interviewing to explore the type and extent of presenting communication issues, and to get to know your individual goals. First sessions also typically involve screening assessments tailored to the area of concern, whether it be language, speech, fluency, voice or other. You will receive on the spot feedback on screening results, recommendations for intervention, and a follow-up report will be sent to your email address in 1 – 2 working weeks to provide more detail on the session’s observations.

Treatment sessions will be structured around therapy targets, with 2 to 3 targets addressed per session depending on your needs. Bellbird Speech Pathology prides itself on its skills in listening to your own interpretation of presenting problems. Treatment consists of evidence-based methods which are tailored to the individual’s own capabilities and needs. Materials and recommendations are provided so that targets can continue to be a focus in between sessions.

Session length for formal language assessment will vary. These assessments may take up to two hours to administer, and can be split across two separate sessions to prevent the effects of tiredness. A full follow up report, including recommendations and suggestions for therapy, will be sent through.

How long will I, or my child, need to attend speech pathology sessions for?

This will depend on individual needs. Frequency of visits will be discussed during the first session, and will take into account the nature and severity of communication difficulties and personal schedules. Consideration should be given to issue severity, session frequency (weekly or fortnightly) and how often practice is undertaken in between sessions.

Can speech pathology be claimed?

You or your child might meet the criteria for access to the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan (formerly the Enhanced Primary Care plan) through Medicare, which provides a rebate for up to 5 sessions. These sessions can be renewed once per calendar year. Each referral is valid for 12 months. Please speak to your GP or paediatrician to find out more.

You may be able to claim speech pathology services through your private health insurance. The amount covered, and the number of sessions covered, will depend on your health insurance extras. Please check with your health fund to ensure that speech pathology is included in your cover, and to find out the amount you are eligible to claim for each assessment or therapy session.

Bellbird Speech Pathology works with families who are self or plan managed under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.