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The Communicate Speech Therapy Assistant program helps schools provide regular, consistent therapy services to students with speech and language difficulties. The STA program supports Speech Pathologists, who often have very large therapy caseloads, to deliver an effective school-based therapy service.

The STA program trains Speech Therapy Assistants to deliver therapy programs under the supervision of a Speech Pathologist. Students receive three therapy sessions per week, which results in more rapid progress towards speech-language goals. Speech Pathologists also benefit from an easier to manage caseload.

The program is successfully running in hundreds of primary schools in Victoria and over a thousand Education Support Officers have been trained as therapy assistants.

Program Structure

The Speech Pathologist performs an assessment of the student and prepares an Individual Therapy Plan. The therapy plan is demonstrated to the Speech Therapy Assistant (STA). The STA carries out the program three times a week in thirty minute sessions.

The Speech Pathologist regularly observes a session to provide support and guidance to the assistant. Student progress is recorded using Therapy Outcome Measures which give the Speech Pathologist a clear view of progress made and allows adjustment of the therapy plan if required.

At the end of each term, the Speech Pathologist reviews the student’s progress and prepares a report. The report is proved to teachers and parents.

Program Requirements

The course The STA Program for Assistants gives Education Support Officers the training required to deliver therapy programs as Speech Therapy Assistants.

The STA Program for Speech Pathologists provides speech pathologists with the information and forms required to supervise a therapy assistant.

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