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The Communication Clinic is held at the Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children's Hospital. It was established to assess children suspected of having complex speech and language problems.
One in seven children has a speech or language problem. Whilst many problems get better, those which continue into primary school can affect reading and writing, relationships with other children, behaviour and school progress.
Patients are bulk billed for their consultation. They therefore need a referral from their general practitioner to attend the clinic.
The Communication Clinic accepts referrals for children who are suspected of having significant communication problems. Some of these problems include Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia, Epileptic Aphasia Syndrome, and Semantic-Pragmatic Disorder. Young children thought to have autistic features will be seen. However, the Communication Clinic does not provide a formal multidisciplinary Autism assessment, as the team does not have the services of a Psychologist. In addition, children known to have significant physical problems such as cerebral palsy are redirected to other specialist multidisciplinary clinics within the hospital for assessment.
The clinic makes referrals to other Royal Children's Hospital departments such as Audiology, Neurology, Genetics and Psychology when necessary to better understand the child's problem. The clinic staff also work closely with community organisations to arrange therapy services once assessment is finished.
The aim of the clinic is to assess and diagnose the child's communication problem to determine whether it exists in isolation or is part of a wider problem. After assessment, children who need ongoing speech therapy or other intervention are referred to therapy services. We also help families apply for Carers Allowance and access other support services where required.
Clinic staff include consultant paediatricians, speech pathologists, senior paediatric trainees and clinic coordinators. There may be teaching and research activities in the clinic.
To make an appointment for this clinic, a referral from the child's doctor needs to be forwarded to the Community Child Health Specialist Clinic.
Forward a referral to the clinic via:
Fax: (03) 9345 5034
Phone: (03) 9345 6180
Once the referral has been received, the child's family will receive a letter in the mail inviting them to make an appointment time.
All clinics are held at the Specialist Clinics of the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.
Visit the Specialist Clinics page for more information.
The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.