School-Age Services

The Shepherd Centre now provides a range of school age services in NDIS areas.

Sound Development: Speech Pathology

Sessions provided by a Speech Pathologist (Listening and Spoken Language Specialist) from The Shepherd Centre team customised to a child and family’s individual needs. These can be focussed on the development of skills in listening, speech, language, pre/literacy or social skills. School age sessions with a speech pathologist are typically 45mins in length. These can include collaborative and consultative sessions with other health professionals and to provide specialist hearing information and intervention.

Sound Development: Child and Family Counselling

Sessions are provided by a Child and Family Counsellor from The Shepherd Centre team and customised to a child and family’s individual needs. These can be focussed on the development of social skills, behaviour management or counselling support.

Community Visits (School visits & Consultations)

Community visits support individuals in their everyday routine environments. For school-age students, this consists of visits to a student’s school for therapeutic intervention and consultations with professionals working with the student within their educational setting. During these visits, clinicians from The Shepherd Centre will work in collaboration with the student’s educational professionals and itinerant support teachers for hearing (IST-H) to implement individualised strategies to develop the student’s skills. This approach allows for professional collaboration and comprehensive participation to support students in progressing towards positive outcomes for achieving their goals.

Listen for Literacy (Kindergarten reading and classroom listening)

Specifically designed and developed by early childhood teachers and speech pathologists at The Shepherd Centre to teach essential pre-reading skills such as identifying different sounds in words and being able to segment sounds apart as well as blend them together.

Communication Development Assessment

Provides a comprehensive evaluation of a child’s language and literacy skills. Depending on age and needs, core and additional assessment areas can include understanding and use of language, speech, literacy and writing as well as social skills. The assessment includes administration of standardised formal and/or informal assessment as required and a full written report and recommendations.

Communication Screening Assessment

This screening assessment provides a check of a child’s communication skills. Typically, in two primary areas of language, literacy or speech, but can include additional areas as required. Includes administration of standardised formal and/or informal assessment measures and a written report.

Confident Kids 6-8 years (Social skills and resilience)

This small group program is designed for children in their early primary school years to develop social communication, confidence, assertiveness and Theory of Mind skills. Classrooms are challenging learning environments for children with a hearing loss, and particular skills that require development are listening to others from a distance, in a group and in background noise, building on and responding appropriately to the conversations of peers and working with classmates to problem-solve and interpret social scenarios and emotions through social and language cues. Parents participate in a concurrent program learning the skills required to help their child manage social situations and express and cope with their emotions as they learn to advocate for themselves and discover their own unique identity with a hearing loss.

Confident Kids 9-11 years (Social skills & resilience)

This small group program is based on a growing evidence base that children with hearing loss are at significantly increased risk of social exclusion and emotional health concerns including anxiety and depression as they develop through their adolescent and teenage years. The program works with children to address their concerns towards their disability and define their sense of self and individual identity. It aims to tackle the common experience of children rejecting support, devices and assistive listening technology at this stage that is required to facilitate access to the curriculum and learning potential. An initial family meeting identifies current issues for each child and family to address within the group context, customising content and outcomes towards these, and an all-in group for the final session provides the opportunity to share outcomes and learnings.

Learn & Listen (Integrated intensive packages)

A specialised package of services provided by a team of experienced professionals in paediatric hearing loss including Speech Pathologists, Paediatric Audiologists and Child & Family Counsellors working in partnership with families. Includes an annual Family Goal Setting Meeting with the family and team, an annual standardised formal communication development assessment and diagnostic sessions based on individualised clinical goals set to support the achievement of the goals identified by the family. Sessions are held with one or a number of team members dependent on need, goals and individual requirements. The team also work in collaboration with the child’s health providers and educators for a holistic approach to their development in all education and intervention settings.

Teacher Training & Professional Development Program

The Shepherd Centre is proud to offer a range of Quality Teaching Council (QTC) Registered Professional Development workshops, accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), ACT Teacher Quality Institute (TQI) and internationally with the Alexander Graham Bell Academy. Our aim is to equip teachers and other professionals working with young people with hearing loss with the necessary knowledge and practical skills required to assist children with hearing loss to develop clear, age-appropriate speech, language and social skills through listening, in a variety of educational settings. 

First Sounds Fundamentals (Implant evaluation and services)

This package is recommended for children going through device evaluation and not accessing a package program. The First Sounds package provides a child and their family with a core communication assessment, two family meetings with the team, four evaluation sessions, 12 post-device/implantation habilitation sessions and two consultation sessions with the Child and Family Counsellor. This is to support the child with hearing loss to ensure they are using the most appropriate hearing devices that provide them with optimal levels of access to sound to develop their communication skills.

Beyond Sound Alumni Club

We welcome all of our families to stay in contact with us and other families that have come through our services by joining our Beyond Sound Alumni Club. The Club offers a range of opportunities to network and learn from each other as well as access to professional development, community activities, mentoring and regular events.

Empower Me (Extended family education workshops)

This short workshop is designed for carers and extended family members of children with any degree of permanent hearing loss, to understand hearing, the impact of hearing loss, how to support the development of communication and to facilitate participation and inclusion in their local context, community and everyday life. Developing the capacity and resilience of family members through education and knowledge on the specific needs of the child who they’re connected with. The program supports and empowers parents and carers in their child’s everyday learning potential. Both parents can attend at no additional cost with at least one funded extended family member.

Online Telehealth System

Our Online Telehealth System provides all of our specialist services to children with hearing loss, via the online video-conferencing platform Lifesize.

This program is available to all families regardless of their location but is particularly important for families in rural and remote regions of Australia who are unable to access our centres in person. We can also use our videoconferencing facilities if a family member is unable to attend a session but would like to be a part of it by dialling in whilst the other family member and child is undertaking a session at one of our centres.

Click here for a comprehensive look at our Online Telehealth System.

Alternatively, contact our friendly family care team today to discuss how we can support your child and family online.

Service areas

In addition to our programs, we offer a range of flexible services all under the one roof here at The Shepherd Centre. We have highly trained professionals in audiology, speech pathology, auditory-verbal therapy and counselling. We also offer speech and language assessments for children of all ages.

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