Why do we offer a free initial consultation?
We understand that there are many reasons why someone seeks speech pathology services. This may be a general concern, it may be in response to a diagnosis or a recommendation from another professional, such as a GP or a teacher. Seeking services can be a confronting time for individuals and families. There are so many questions you may want answered. The nature of what we assist with is quite individualised. For Eat Speak Learn to give you the right advice on your options its important we have the opportunity to get an understanding of what the core issues are. The best way for us to determine that is to spend a bit of time with you, ask a few questions and make some observations. From there we can make more appropriate recommendations.
This appointment is not about formally assessing or ‘diagnosing’ you or your child, it is just to get a baseline of what services may be appropriate.
It is best for a consultation to take place in our clinic. We can offer a phone consultation if you can’t get to our clinic or have access issues however we strongly advocate for face to face consultations as out therapists can get so much more from you in person than they can over the phone.
What sort of recommendations might we make?
Each persons journey to better living is different. Our objective is to assist you to get that outcome and that means that sometimes we’re not always best placed to assist. Rest assured, part of our commitment to you is that we will work with you to get you the appropriate therapy and/or a therapist with the right skills and experience to assist. As Certified Practising Speech Pathologists, our team our obligated to follow Speech Pathology Australia’s Code of Ethics and provide you with the information you need to make an informed choice.
We may recommend that you access free government or community services and we will provide further information on how to do this. We may recommend that we don’t believe that services are necessary at the time of the consultation and give you a bit of an idea of what to look out for in the future. If we do recommend services, we will talk you through what that would look like with Eat Speak Learn. There is no obligation to commence services with us and we understand that you may wish to look for similar services elsewhere in the marketplace. If we do recommend a service we will explain what the service is, what the goals would be, how much it may cost and how long it could take. This may include assessments, therapy intervention, reports or device prescription.
Our therapists will make a recommendation based on a best practice approach. It is important that you hear from us what we think is appropriate before we discuss funding, NDIS plans or anything else. Our proposals for services are based on what we think would provide you with the best outcomes. Any discussion around finance or funding should take place following a clinical discussion and not before. This will ensure you get an independent recommendation that is not retrospectively manufactured to reflect your funding arrangements. This may result in you freeing up funds for other services. Alternatively, if your funding arrangement doesn’t cover our recommendation then we can look at advocating for more funding or working through different goals with you that are achievable and are still within a best practice model.
We may also suggest you consult other health care or educational specialists, such as Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, Paediatricians, Audiologists, Optometrists or Psychologists.
What should I do before my consultation?
Write down any observations or questions you may have in advance. Think about strengths as well as weaknesses. Bring in any reports or information that you have from a previous speech pathologist or other health provider that may be relevant. If you are an NDIS participant, know your plan goals and objectives as well as your funding type and plan dates.
Will the therapist that conducts my consultation be my therapist if I engage in future services?
Not necessarily. We have ten therapists that all have a different skill set, area of interest and experience. Part of our intake process is to line up an appropriate therapist to work with you. We know that if we assign a therapist that focuses on paediatric feeding to work with an adult with aphasia then we’re not serving you well and we won’t achieve the results we want as quickly as we could. This may mean that availability might be limited with any given therapist but we counsel that its best to wait for the right therapist than see any therapist.
Do I need to commit to services with Eat Speak Learn? Attending a free consultation with Eat Speak Learn does not oblige you to engage with us for any future services. Think of the appointment as a try before you buy. The relationship between a client and a speech pathologist is often long term. Getting the right therapist and the right organisation from the start is critical. We do not have an expiry date or time period for you to see us within.