About Us

Our Training

Talk for Writing

Talk 4 Writing (T4W) is an evidence-based program developed in the UK. It is a systematic program that teaches students how to link their oral (spoken) language to their written language through imitation (learning and analysing stories), innovation (changing stories), and invention (making up your own stories). It is a brilliant approach to teaching writing skills to kids who struggle with organising their thoughts, expressing their ideas, and translating their ideas on to paper. We love this approach because it’s straightforward, fun, engaging, and connects spoken and written language in a unique way that works and leads to writing success!

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Sounds Write

Sounds Write is a highly structured program for teaching systematic synthetic phonics (SSP). Simply put, SSP involves teaching children how to identify sounds, segment words into sounds, blend sounds to form words, and manipulate sounds to make different words. Developed in the UK by John Walker, Sounds Write is based on a huge amount of research into how children learn and what strategies are most effective in developing children’s reading and spelling skills. We love this program because it’s straight-forward, easy for parents to implement at home, multi-sensory and engaging, and we see SO much success in our kids with literacy difficulties who use the program!

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PROMPT

Created by Deborah Hayden, PROMPT (or Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is an approach to articulation (speech) therapy that uses touch cues to teach motor control, correct lip, teeth, and tongue placement, and correct oral muscular movements. This approach is highly evidence-based and is fantastic in the treatment of severe speech disorders or dyspraxia (impaired motor control). We love this program because it provides the exact feedback that our bodies and brains need to produce sounds correctly, and allows us to re-train oral muscles and structures in a unique way.

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Hanen – More than Words

The More than Words program is designed for parents of children on the Autism spectrum aged 5 years and under. The program provides parents with knowledge and skills that they can use at home to help their child improve their play skills, interaction skills, and social communication skills. During sessions, the speech pathologist trains the parents in strategies including adapting your language and communication style, changing the way that we play, setting goals for your child’s communication, and using books and pictures to support your child’s understanding. The parent then becomes the ‘therapist’ at home, using the strategies that they have learned to improve their child’s communication skills in everyday activities and play. We love this program because it’s meaningful, engaging, and empowers parents to be the change-makers!

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Hanen – It Takes Two to Talk

It Takes Two to Talk is designed for children aged 0-5 years who have delayed language development. The program is designed to teach parents practical strategies that they can use every day, in play and daily activities, to improve their child’s language and communication skills. Parents learn how to recognise their child’s stage and style of communication, understand what motivates their child to communicate, adapt their routines, play, and language to support their child’s communication, and follow their child’s lead to build their confidence and encourage them to communicate. We love this program because it’s backed by research, it can be used every day in every way, and it is extremely family-centred and holistic!

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Hanen – Talkability

Talkability is designed to support the development of social communication skills in children aged 3-7 years who experience difficulties with social communication (e.g. those on the Autism spectrum). It is designed for children who are able to communicate verbally, but demonstrate difficulty holding conversations, playing and interacting with peers, talking about others’ interests, and coping with changes in routine. Talkability is centred around parents as therapist, and involves teaching parents strategies to help their children at home, including having a two-way conversation, encouraging children to pay attention to social messages, teaching your child to ‘tune in’ to what others are thinking, teaching imaginative play skills, and helping your child to make friends. We love this program because it empowers parents to help their kids in a meaningful way, and gives specific, clear strategies to teach more abstract communication skills.

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Hanen – Target Word

Target Word is designed for parents of ‘late talkers’. This includes:

These children may have well-developed skills in their understanding, play, social, motor, and cognitive development, however use mainly gestures to communicate or have difficulties communicating at all.

By using Target Word, we teach parents how to create opportunities for language learning, how to introduce new words and phrases into play and everyday activities, how to adapt your language and play style to support your child’s language development, and how to respond to your child to encourage them to communicate with words. We love this program because it’s family-centred, and gives parents the tools that they need to support their child’s communication development every day!

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Hanen – Learning Language and Loving It

Learning Language and Loving It is a program for training teachers and educators in ways to support speech, language, an early literacy development in early childhood settings. The strategies taught in the program can be used one-on-one or in a group, and can be taught to groups of educators at inservices or professional development evenings. We love this program because it’s practical and can be easily implemented in the busy day to day activities of a childcare centre.

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The Lidcombe Program

The Lidcombe Program (LP) is a thoroughly researched and highly evidence-based program developed by the Australian Stuttering Research Centre at the University of Sydney. This fantastic Australian program is designed for children 6 years and under who stutter, but the principles of the program can be used for older primary school children. The core focus of the program is to change a child’s motor speech patterns through positive reinforcement and building the child’s awareness of their speech patterns. In this program, the speech pathologist trains the parents to become ‘therapists’ at home, providing feedback about their child’s speech during daily sessions and rating the severity of their child’s stutter on a daily basis to track their progress. The child and their parent have a weekly therapy session with the speech pathologist to check in, discuss progress, and make any required changes to the home therapy sessions. We love this program because it’s a family-centred, fun approach to therapy that promotes generalisation to the home environment, and it works!

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PEERS

Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) was developed by psychologists at UCLA, and is designed to teach teenagers the skills that they need to make and keep friends, such as handling teasing and disagreements, holding a conversation, organising get-togethers with friends, and changing a reputation. The program runs once per week for 14 weeks, and during the session teenagers are taught new skills and given the opportunity to practice them in a supported environment. Participants are given weekly socialisation assignments to help them carryover their skills to their home, school, and the community. We love this program because it’s really effective at helping teenagers to learn the skills they need for friendship, and we’ve seen fantastic results from our groups so far!

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Secret Agent Society

The Secret Agent Society (SAS) program is a fun, engaging, and evidence-based program for children aged 8-12 with social communication difficulties. The SAS program, developed by Australian psychologist Dr. Renae Beaumont, helps children learn how to feel happier, calmer and braver, and teaches them how to make friends and keep them. We run age-matched SAS groups each term (1 afternoon per week for 9 weeks), and the program can also be delivered on a 1:1 basis. We love this program because it’s interactive and different to anything else out there for social skill development!

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Key Word Sign

Our clinicians are regular users of Key Word Sign (KWS). Key Word Sign is a combination of signs and natural gestures that are used to support communication. They can be used to communicate with people who cannot speak or hear, and can also be used to support communication development in children and adults with communication difficulties.

Our team have completed courses in Key Word Sign through Hands Can Talk. Further information about Key Word Sign can be found on Key Word Sign Australia’s website

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Paediatric Feeding

Our team have completed training in assessment and management for paediatric feeding difficulties through thePaediatric Feeding Education Program (PFEP). The PFEP was founded by leadingSpeech Pathologist Sarah Starr, who specialises in feeding difficulties across all ages of children, and provides high quality, evidence-based training that is up to date and family-centred.

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Autism Education

The team at Leaps & Bounds have completed many different training courses to enhance our clinical skillsin intervention for children and adults on the Autism spectrum. The courses that we have attended include:

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