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Communication clinic

  • About the clinic

    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. 

    About speech and language disorders

    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.

  • Make an appointment

    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

    Please note:

    • You must have a referral from a doctor. Please note that a referral from your GP is valid for 12 months and a referral from a specialist is valid for three months. This must be forwarded to the clinic before an appointment can be made.
    • You will be asked if the child has a UR number (Unit Record Number) from The Royal Children's Hospital. If the child has attended The Royal Children's Hospital before, they will have a UR number. If the child has not attended The Royal Children's Hospital before, registration details will be completed at the first visit.

    Contact Clinics

    All clinics are held at the Specialist Clinics of the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.  

    Visit the Specialist Clinics page for more information.


Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.