Pop Family and LiveBetter partner to provide free speech pathology assessments to children in Euston and Robinvale
LiveBetter has partnered with leading online speech therapy clinic, Pop Family, to provide thirty-five free speech assessments across three days at the LiveBetter Euston Pre-School and help reduce the barriers experienced by families in rural areas to accessing health services.
With around 25% of Australian parents concerned about their children’s speech and communication development, wait times for rural families can be up to 20 months to receive an initial assessment and then a further 20 month wait to commence speech pathology. Other barriers include distance to travel to access speech pathology services, with a study conducted by Charles Sturt University finding that the critical maximum distance families were willing and able to travel to access speech therapy services was 50 kilometres.
“Speech therapy is such an amazing service and should be available to every single Australian child,” Founder & CEO of Pop Family, Heidi Trusler says,
“The big misconception about speech therapy is that it is only for those who have very complex difficulties, but it encompasses everything to do with being able to eat, speak and socialise confidently; something that every single human needs to communicate with other people,” Heidi continues.
Experienced speech therapists can assist families with a variety of issues including speech sounds, language, literacy difficulties, social skills, stuttering, mouth-breathing & thumb-sucking, fussy eating and more.
Kellie Martin, Philanthropy & Partnerships Manager for LiveBetter, echoes Heidi’s comments and her excitement for the partnership,
“The link between speech therapy, successful communication, and positive life-long outcomes for people is well documented. Without speech intervention, a child who has communication challenges is more likely to have educational difficulties and less positive peer interaction. This partnership with Pop means families won’t have to leave the Euston community to access support for their child.”
Although there was an obvious rise in telehealth services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a gap in health services in rural and remote areas, Euston being a prime example,
“Euston was selected as the pilot location as we wanted to target an area that didn’t have extensive access to great telehealth or technology services and so it seemed like a great fit,” Heidi says,
“We’re looking forward to educating parents about what speech therapy can do and how it can help their children, as well as seeing some children who might not otherwise be seen.”
Speech assessments are also often a critical link for establishing NDIS eligibility, with LiveBetter remaining committed to providing positive outcomes for customers and communities,
“The benefits for the Euston and Robinvale community are many and varied,” Kellie continues.
“If a child is assessed by Pop, the report can be submitted as eligibility evidence to the NDIS, the child then becomes an NDIS participant and gains all the positive outcomes from speech therapy. The child’s family receives the support they need from locals employed to support them and they don’t need to leave the region to access support. It’s a never-ending positive cycle and it’s magic!”
LiveBetter anticipates that the clinic will be a great success and hopes to partner with Pop Family in many more rural locations to come, especially as both organisations see the impact speech therapy can have for people living in rural areas,
“We are lucky to see 1000 people every week at Pop and if we improve the client’s quality of life, we’re improving the quality of their relationships with other people… it doesn’t just change their life, it changes people’s lives around them,” Heidi concludes.
Do you live around Euston and Robinvale and think your child could benefit from a free speech assessment?
If you are interested in booking an appointment at the Pop Clinic while they’re in the area, reach out to LiveBetter Euston Pre-School on 1800 580 580 or drop into the pre-school.
You can find out more about Pop Family and the work they do across regional Australia here.
Image Credit: Pop Family