Speech Pathology

Communication Milestones


Speech and language disorders can sometimes impact school learning including literacy, numeracy and social contact with other people. Long-term consequences of speech and language disorder include low academic performance, mental well-being harm, decreased opportunity for jobs and social exclusion.

Today we will list the communication milestones of speech and language for children from 12 months to 5 years! 



  • Comprehend around 10 words
  • Recognition and response to their name
  • Recognition of familiar objects and people
  • Understand common gestures and greetings
  • Direct eye contact


  • Still Babbling
  • Started using common expressions and some speech
  • Replicate various sounds



  • Know approximately 50 words and even some brief phrases
  • Follow simple instructions
  • Point out familiar objects and people
  • Respond to images in books


  • Tell 6 to 20 single words consecutively – a few more coherent and easier to comprehend than others
  • mimic other phrases with some more sounds
  • List certain body parts
  • Will be using materials in imaginative play

AT 2 years


  • Know approximately 50 words and even some brief phrases
  • Answer simple questions of what, where and why
  • When named, point to all of the parts of the body and images in graphic novels
  • Comprehend the difference when something is 'in' an object, and 'on.'


  • Say upwards of 50 words
  • Combine two words to construct statements
  • Using their tone sound to raise questions
  • Answer 'no' to anything they might not want
  • Using almost all of the vowel sounds and consonants (m, n , p, b, k, g, h, w, t, d)
  • Start using 'mine' and 'my'

AT 3 years


  • Follow various, somewhat complicated two-part directions
  • Recognise and group same and different objects
  • If prompted, divide things into categories
  • Recognize basic colours.
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Building Working Language Over Working Memory – Comprehension of Spoken Sentences

– By Tim Mitry, Speech Pathologist at Optimum Health Solutions Campbelltown



Many primary-school aged children with Language Difficulties can find it challenging understanding and using language. Many children with Language difficulties can understand English’s basic sentences (e.g. The monkey bit the lion), however find difficulty with longer or advanced forms of language (e.g. The skinny monkey hungrily bit the grumbly old lion; the grumbly old lion was bitten by the skinny monkey).

Some common approaches to treating these difficulties have been to treat a child’s working memory (ability to process and store information at the same time), which is typically a weakness in these children.

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What is a Tongue-Tie?


What is a tongue-tie?

 A tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is a disorder in which a person has a small tissue frenulum. Consequently, the individual’s tongue remains firmly kept against the mouth floor, potentially leading to an individual being unable to stick their tongue through their lips. A tongue-tie may also cause the tip of the tongue to stay in a heart-shaped formation.

What's The Impact of Tongue-tie?

For children, kids or adults, a tongue-tie can sometimes be present and males are often more likely to incur a tongue-tie than females. The origin of the tongue-tie is unclear, although there can sometimes be a hereditary link.

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The New Norm – Wearing Personal Protective Equipment

– By Cindy Papazoglu, Speech Pathologist at Optimum Health Solutions Thornleigh and Blacktown

Face Masks

Should practitioners at Optimum Health and their NDIS clients be wearing Personal Protective equipment otherwise known as PPE during therapy sessions? This is the sort of question that we are faced with during these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The answer is yes, if social distancing regulations are not able to be maintained. It is recommended by health experts that PPE are to be worn especially in parts of the community that are considered to be COVID-19 hot spots.

What is Personal Protective Equipment

PPE is defined as equipment that is helpful in keeping the person wearing the PPE and those in close contact with them safe from contracting or spreading infection.

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Communication & Swallowing Difficulties Following a Stroke


In Australian alone, every 10 minutes, separate individuals encounter a stroke equating to over 60,000 strokes annually. In fact, over half a million individuals are predicted to suffer from a stroke in the next 10 years , causing this to be the main cause of injuries for Australians. As a result, 60% of people with a stroke will develop associated difficulties swallowing from these situations (dysphagia), as well as 20% developing issues involving spoken language (aphasia).


When blood flow to the brain is disrupted a stroke occurs. It can inflict damage to the affected brain components which may contribute to difficulties in areas including:

  • speech comprehension 
  • visualisation
  • writing
  • recognition and usage of body language and movements
  • thought processing
  • focusing
  • memory
  • social interaction
  • hearing
  • swallowing


  • Talk in brief , clear sequences
    Give the individual a chance for discussion, avoid hurrying and trying to finish their sentences
  • Empower the individual to be as independent as possible, however offer assistance if requested or needed
  • Urge each individual to speak, even though it takes a long time
  • Remain empathetic to the individuals struggle and anger 


Speech pathologists can assist individuals that have suffered from a stroke, studying, diagnosing and treating communication disorders as well as issues with swallowing.

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Older Individuals with Communication Disorders

elderly communication

Australia is now becoming an ageing society thanks to the rising average lifespan and decreased birth levels. By the year 2050, There will be 36 million Australians present, including 1.8 million aged 85 years an Australia is now becoming an ageing society thanks to the rising average lifespan and decreased birth levels. By the year 2050, There will be 36 million Australians present, including 1.8 million aged 85 years and older.

With that emergence, the percentage of older Australians having speech and trouble swallowing will indeed soar.

Communication disorders

As individuals mature their speech, the language, memory, voice as well as swallowing  inevitably tends to change.

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Creating a Rich Language Environment For Your Child

– By Siri Burke, Speech Pathologist at Optimum Health Solutions

rich language

It is important to cultivate a rich language environment to help your child’s language grow and flourish. There are lots of things you can do every day to increase the language input your child receives.

Give them a reason to talk to you

You understand what your child means most of the time, even if they aren’t telling you with words.

Maybe they hold your hand and take you to the fridge to tell you they want a snack, or maybe they point at the high shelf to tell you that they want what is on top.

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Helping Children Reach Their Learning Potential

– By Siri Burke, Speech Pathologist at Optimum Health Solutions Sylvania.

learning potential

The early years of development are essential for laying a solid foundation for children to learn and grow. Giving children the best start means giving them the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, in the playground and at home. Sometimes children need a helping hand to access those tools, and a speech pathologist may be the person to open that door.

Impacts of Speech and Language

Speech and language are closely linked to behaviour, educational achievement, social interaction and self-esteem. Extra support can make a difference for children who have a communication disorder or delay.

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Augmentative and Alternative Communication – Supporting Communication

Speech facts (14)

What is AAC?

  • AAC is any way of supporting communication.
  • Any way of ‘making language visual’ by using pictures, photos, objects, signs, etc
  • Can range from using gestures & body movements to using ‘high tech’ devices (“talking machines”).
  • Augmentative (Aided) Communication is using pictures, sign, etc with speech
  • Alternative Communication is using pictures, sign, etc instead of speech

Categories of AAC:

Speech facts (17)


  • Crying
  • Body Movements
  • Facial Expression
  • Eye Contact
  • Natural Gesture
  • Pointing
  • Mime
  • Touch
  • Key Word Signing
Speech facts (16)


  • Objects/Tangible Eg, juice packet for ‘drink’
  • Photographs Eg, photo of bowl for ‘lunch’
  • Pictographs Eg, PCS
  • Written Word
Speech facts (15)

Low Tech

Thornleigh Speech Pathology

High Tech

Our Expertise

Our Speech Pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using voice.

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