Key messages

  • The speech pathology priority tool - paediatric determines a child’s need for speech pathology and then their priority level.
  • Community health speech pathology services target children aged 0–6 years with communication and language delays.
  • Children with autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities are eligible for early intervention services.
  • The Department of Education and Training provides services for school-aged children.

The community health priority tools are part of the department’s program to improve access to community health services.

The 'Speech pathology priority tool - paediatric', prioritises children who need speech pathology. Community health services with adult speech pathology services should develop their own systems to prioritise and manage adults who need speech pathology.

Intake workers without a background in speech pathology

Intake workers without a background in speech pathology should consult the speech pathologist if they cannot determine the level of priority of service.

Services covered by the tool

Community health speech pathology services target children aged 0–6 years with communication and language delays.

Children with diagnosed developmental delays (such as autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities) are eligible for early intervention services.

CHSs should use the speech pathology priority tool - paediatric after they’ve applied the generic priority tool.

Priority categories for this tool

The speech pathology priority tool - paediatric has two priority categories: high and medium/low. The high priority category includes children who stutter who are starting school, children who have been stuttering for more than 12 months, children who are ‘late talkers’ and children with swallowing difficulties and/or feeding problems.

How the tool works

The speech pathology priority tool - paediatric collects information about the client, either from the client directly or from referral documentation. The Community health priority tools document clearly explains the two priority categories.

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