The University of Newcastle, Australia

Speech Pathology in Schools (SPinS) Program

Our Speech Pathology in Schools (SPinS) program sees students and their supervisor undertake practical assessments, group sessions and interventions in schools while also providing teachers with classroom strategies.

Students and their supervisor attend the school one day per week. Assessment and intervention takes place via a number of forms including, individual and group sessions, within the classroom or SPinS room (situated at the school) as well as through providing teachers with classroom strategies. The students also have opportunities to in-service the teachers.

Background

Many of the children seen through the SPinS program have moderate to severe language delays, and struggle to keep pace with literacy instruction. They are at risk of becoming disengaged with learning. Research tells us that young children’s attitudes to school and how they see themselves as learners, are formed within the first few months of school. We also know that changing negative attitudes is not easy. Nor is it easy for young learners who fall behind their peers, to ‘catch up’ in their academic achievements.

A speech pathologist is trained to identify, assess and treat children with a speech and/or language delay. The SPinS model of service delivery is especially valuable because:

  • Due to the long waiting lists at community health centres, school aged children are not seen as priority for assessment and therapy.
  • Many of the children requiring therapy are chronic non-attenders at community health when they do receive an appointment or block of therapy.
  • The program provides invaluable experience for the speech pathology students, not only in conducting assessments and therapy, but also in working with teachers and other support staff.

Contact

If you are interested in applying to have the SPinS program in your school, or would like more information, please contact us.

Joanne Walters

Clinical Education Coordinator
Speech Pathology
Faculty of Education & Arts
School of Humanities and Social Sciences

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