Choosing a speech pathologist
When choosing a speech pathologist, questions you could ask include:
- Are you a Certified Practising member of Speech Pathology Australia (SPA)?
- Where will I see you?
- When is your next available appointment?
- How often will you see me? How long do you think I will have to attend speech therapy for? How will we decide when we need to stop coming to speech therapy?
- What age group do you usually work with?
- Have you worked with people with my difficulties before?
- Do you have any extra qualifications or training that will assist you to work with me?
- What are your fees and charges?
- Are you happy to speak to my child’s teacher /school / paediatrician / physiotherapist / specialist etc.?
Questions to ask your chosen speech pathologist
Once you have chosen a speech pathologist and the assessment has been completed, you can ask your speech pathologist how to gain the most out of therapy.
Questions could include:
- What treatment do you recommend and why?
- How often will we have therapy sessions?
- Can you give me more information about the evidence that supports your recommendations?
- Will I be involved in choosing therapy goals?
- How and when will we set these goals?
- What will I have to do outside of therapy sessions to assist with progress?
- How will you know when we have reached the therapy goals?
- Will you write a report if I need one? What will this cost?
NDIS funding questions
If you have National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding, questions to consider include:
- Are you a registered provider? Can I use my NDIS funds to see you?
If your plan is agency managed (all ages) or plan-managed (ages 7 and over) you will only be able to use NDIS funds to see a registered provider who must be a CPSP.
- What sort of non-face-to-face activities do you charge for?
Allied health providers can charge for certain non-face-to-face tasks that are related to your therapy provision; this might include developing resources, writing reports or notes, attending case conferences, and liaising with other professionals on your behalf.
- What are your travel arrangements?
This might be charged to you individually or might be shared between yourself and other participants with your agreement.
- Do I have enough NDIS funds to cover my plan goals?
You might discuss the number of hours you have allocated for speech pathology and the goals within your plan, so that the speech pathologist can ensure that the therapy fits in with these goals, and number of hours.
- Do you work with an Allied Health Assistant to support my plan goals?
Allied Health Assistants (AHAs) work under the direction and supervision of an allied health professional. Some speech pathologists will employ AHAs; others may choose to work with an AHA you already have depending on individual circumstances. As the speech pathologist is ultimately responsible for the work of the AHA, the speech pathologist will discuss with you whether they are willing to support this arrangement.
What should I do if I have further concerns?
In the first instance it is always best to raise any questions or concerns you may have with your speech pathologist. Frequently, these concerns can be addressed quickly and should provide you with confidence in the service you are receiving.
If you still have ongoing concerns, you can seek a second opinion or change to another speech pathologist at any time.
A member of the public or a member of the Association can make a complaint about a member of Speech Pathology Australia if they believe there has been a breach of the Association's Code of Ethics.