Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need a referral for my child to be seen?
A. No, parents do not need a referral for a child to be seen at Skill Builders Speech Language Therapy. You can self-refer by email or phone and discuss your concerns before making a decision about assessment or therapy sessions for your child. In the first first appointment, it may be helpful to bring along copies of your child’s school report and information from other health professionals so we can get a comprehensive picture of your child’s areas of strengths and areas of difficulties.
Q. Where do you work and what days are you open?
A. Skill Builders is based in New Lynn, Auckland and is open on Mondays from 2.00pm-7.00pm. The clinic is located in Lynmall Medical Centre in the Lynmall Brickworks precinct on 3058, Great North Road. There is ample parking at Lynmall Shopping Centre, however, the closet parking zones to the clinic are P1 (Great North Road and Veronica Street) or P2 (off Totara Avenue). If you park near Brickworks, walk towards Reading Cinemas and Shaky Isles Cafe and to the right of the escalators to find Lynmall Medical Centre.
Q. What areas of speech, language and literacy does Skill Builders specialise in?
A. Skill Builders is a paediatric speech and language clinic which specialises in working with individuals who have:
Speech sound disorders
Difficulties with understanding and using spoken language
Reading and writing difficulties
Specific learning disorders (for example Dyslexia and Dysgraphia)
Q. which assessment should i select for my child?
A. Skill Builders offers two types of assessments to broadly cover speech, language and literacy development in children. As a rule of thumb, a speech and language assessment is recommended if your child is 4-5 years of age. This assessment is helpful if you want to have an idea of your child's "readiness for school" or if you have general concerns about your child's speech and language development. It is important to comprehensively assess speech and language skills in young children as 75-85% of preschoolers who have a speech sound disorder also experience a language disorder. A language and literacy assessment is recommended if your child is in Year 1 and above. Language and literacy are closely related because the development of literacy depends on oral language skills; if you can't say it, you can't write it! Furthermore, research has shown that as many as 50-68% of school-aged children have both a reading disability and a language disorder, which means that therapy often needs to address both of these difficulties. Both speech and language and language and literacy assessments include a comprehensive written report. Assessment reports document your child's strengths and difficulties which can then be passed on to your child's teacher. Review assessments are available if prior speech, language and/or literacy testing has been completed by a speech language therapist. Review assessments are generally used as a way of checking a child's progress in therapy and/or identifying new speech, language and literacy goals. A written report is not included after a review assessment, however, one can be provided on request for an additional fee.
Q. How much does therapy cost and how long does it take?
A. Therapy costs $95 for 45 minute sessions. For maximum progress, weekly sessions are usually recommended, though fortnightly sessions are also available. Discounted rates for a 6-week therapy block (6 sessions) or a 10-week therapy block (10 sessions) are available*. Some children may need one block of therapy or a few of blocks of therapy to develop age appropriate speech and language skills. Other children with significant communication difficulties may need longer term assistance to ‘catch up’ or ‘keep up’ with their peers. This is particularly true when specific learning disorders (e.g. dyslexia) make it difficult for a child to keep up with the school curriculum. Children (and parents) who require long term speech therapy are encouraged to have occasional speech-breaks to ensure that other ‘strengths’ and hobbies are pursued. For these children, Skill Builders recognises that speech, language and literacy may always be difficult and it is important that these individuals grow up recognising that they are ‘experts’ in other areas of life.
* Please note terms and conditions apply to therapy blocks - contact us directly if you want to enquire about how these can be organised.
Q. What can I do to support my child’s speech and language therapy?
A. Parental support is extremely important in helping your child progress with his/her learning. After each session, home practice activities are provided and it is the responsibility of parents and children working together to complete the ‘home work’ tasks before the next appointment. What happens between sessions is just as important as what happens in therapy at Skill Builders! Practice at home consolidates the learning that takes place at Skill Builders, which means better progress towards our goals. Other useful things parents can do to be supportive is to be patient, offer praise and encouragement, and recognise that working on speech, language or literacy skills can be ‘hard’ work. Being patient and making sure that the home is a positive learning environment allows children to achieve their goals AND have a positive self-esteem.
Q. Is there a long wait time for an appointment?
A. No there isn’t, however, after school appointments and weekend appointments are usually the time-slots which get taken up first. Families are encouraged to book ahead or to make contact as soon as possible to secure an appointment in a preferred time slot.
Q. What do I do if I need to cancel or reschedule my child’s appointment?
A. Please let Skill Builders know as soon as possible if it is necessary to cancel or reschedule your child’s appointment. As text message reminders are sent out the morning before an appointment, we appreciate adequate (24 hours’) notice when an appointment needs to be cancelled or rescheduled. Skill Builders has a ‘moderate’ cancellation policy which ensures that both parties are committed to working together collaboratively.
Q. My child is seeing a speech language therapist through the public system… Can we see you as well?
A. Yes, families can receive a ‘dual service’ from two different speech language therapists. When this occurs, it is important that Skill Builders and your child’s Ministry of Education speech language therapist work together to maximise therapy outcomes. Skill Builders is committed to working cooperatively and collaboratively with others to ensure that children get the best therapy and support available.
Q. Why should I choose Skill Builders Speech Language Therapy?
A. Voon is committed to providing a professional and client-centred service to all the families he meets with. In addition -
Voon regularly attends professional development courses and is always learning and refining his skills.
Therapy is evidence-based, meaning that activities, strategies and techniques recommended are based on research.
Voon is mentored by a senior speech language therapist in Australia (via Skype) to ensure that his clients are getting the best service possible.
He is unique in that only 3% of speech language therapists in New Zealand are male and recognises that some clients prefer having a male therapist or role model when learning new skills.