Kindergarten Teacher Seminars

If you are a kindergarten teacher, childcare worker we would like to invite you to our Speech Pathology Seminar for assisting children with communication and learning impairments and preparing them for their ‘School Readiness’ as they make their transition into their Prep year.

Some of you may know Katrine Elliott from her previous presentations to the Gold Coast early years teachers over the past 20 years in supporting children, families and professionals in the Gold Coast and Brisbane Community. Formally known as Optimal Communications Speech Pathology, we have now birthed a new face to our professional business,

Once Upon a Time Therapy “Where dreams are designed”

The change has been in line with the opening of our new purpose built wonderland clinic, that looks more like a castle than a clinic. We are now located at Jackman Trade Centre, Southport (near Abrakadazzle-or St Hilda’s School). Our therapy centre features themed speech therapy rooms based on the fairy tales of the past making therapy fun and memorable for the kids. Each room also has one-way parent viewing windows for observations during their child’s session. Launching from the start of term 3- 2014, we kicked of “Club Yicketty Yak-Getting Talking on track” (www.clubyicketty being our Group Speech Therapy for children with speech, language and communication impairments. Held over a 3 hours morning period between 9 am -12 noon for a 10 week period, the group is held in our two story Club House attached to our Mad Hatters Art and Craft Room. Families are able to observe the group from above in the Genie Bottle which has two large one way mirrors to make viewing like the experience from the eyes of an eagle. Parents are also provided with handover, a training seminar series and home therapy pack to enable the children to gain the best benefits from the specialized speech pathology group.


Some of you will recall meeting Nev Katanic, Rita Hu or Carly Fahey from our Speech Pathology clinic who visited several weeks ago with our Kindy screening promotion sponsored by Zip It Up for Kids Sponsorship Program.

As you may be aware, there is a greater specialization requirement now for kindergarten and childcare workers to support the needs of individuals with communication impairments and learning challenges. As Speech Pathologists who assess, are involved in the diagnosis and provide the  treatment for these particular children, we are often requested to provide further support and handover of vital information to enable these children to integrate into the kindergarten setting for effective learning to occur. As you are aware, childcare support packages also fund support aid time to enable this to occur with more hands on help in the classroom. The question is …


when is help just another pair of hands…

…when it could be so much more for these children that need specific tailored programs and trained personnel to support their needs.

 The response from so many kindergarten professionals asking for a Speech Therapist (Pathologist) to email, call and attend their childcare centre to support children one by one has brought to my attention the high demand for this specialised information and I also came to terms with how challenging this was to do one at a time-one kindergarten teacher at a time when nearly all our young-clients have needs this high requiring lots of professional detail in the handover and training required.

So rather than putting the problem on the “I’m too busy list” or providing a “band-aid service” missing out on this valuable extra hands support in the community that we all batted to get, I decided to come up with something better.

So what was it you ask?

Regular Specialised Training Seminars that progressively layer information over time enabling early learning professional to:

  • learn multiple topics and learn about multiple conditions and diagnosis an dhow they impact on a child’s communication
  • gain depth in these topics for theory and understanding how these problems are caused, how they impact on the child’s communication skills
  • learn practical skills to transfer immediately into the Kindergarten setting to make that difference in your teaching
  • be informed about additional resources and services available in the community to support these children and their families in managing their communication impairment and effects of this on their life and also education options
  • ask any questions that may be specifically relevant and topical to children or types of children in your centre

Some of the questions asked were;

What does a Speech Pathologist assist with?

  • What is the difference between disordered or delayed speech?
  • How do we know if a child is speech impaired or delayed?
  • How do we know when to seek help?
  • What can we do to assist children with speech difficulties in the kindergarten setting?
  • What can we do in our childcare setting to promote speech development and school readiness for speech and early literacy skills?
  • How do I manage difficult behavior to set a child up for learning?
  • How do I help a child to develop their social skills with their kindergarten peers?

There are many speech, language, communication and learning disorders that can greatly impact on a child’s ability to learn at kindergarten and to make a smooth transition into prep.

More severe cases are children with:

  • Dyspraxia
  • Phonological disorder
  • Sensory-motor integration impairment
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Down Syndrome
  • Prada Willis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Social Communication Disorder (the old DSMIV-Aspergers Syndrome or PDD-NOS),
  • Auditory Processing Deficit (APD), and
  • Attention Deficit Disorder ADD or ADHD (with hyperactivity).

On occasions some of these disorders are unfortunately not diagnosed or misdiagnosed and it is not until the child is in years 4 or 5 that parents start asking questions because their child is not able to complete or understand tasks or is under achieving for their age.


Our first seminar is due to start…in term 1 2015

When:         Tuesday   Evenings

7.00 pm – 9:00 pm

Where: Once Upon A Time Therapy Centre

Suite 9/3-15 Jackman St SOUTHPORT Q

Cost:            $66 per attendee (bulk kindy learning packages available)

Early bird discount: $50 if paid before January 10th 2015 .


For just a taste, here are some of the breadth and depth tackled in the professional training seminars… Based on different topics.

Hearing,  and central auditory processing.

  • The anatomy of the ear and how hearing works to process sound and speech
  • How does hearing impact on the acquisition of speech, language and learning skills?
  • How does the auditory brain functions to hear and process speech-(Central Auditory Processing skills-CAP)?
  • What happens when there is Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and how is this different from a maturational delay?
  • How are central auditory processing skills assessed and at what age do we start looking for problems?
  • How does auditory processing disorder cause a speech impairment?
  • How do these children struggle in the classroom and how can I support them?
  • What strategies and skills can I add to my current tool box to make my lesson more productive for these children with listening challenges?
  • What do I need to plan for these children for a smooth transition into their Prep Year?

Speech sounds, articulation, phonological processing and speech clarity.

  • How do we speak? What are the functions that come together to give us the capability to express ourselves?
  • What is the difference between speech and language skills and how is this undertaken by our brain?
  • What is speech impairment and how is this different from speech delay?
  • What is dyspraxia and how is it different from sensory-motor integration impairment, articulation impairment and a phonological disorder and delay?
  • Why does it matter to find out and get the diagnosis right when it costs the family in money and time?
  • How will I be able to know the difference to ensure I recommend help without alarming the family unnecessarily?
  • How are speech sounds formed?
  • What skills can I learn to help a child with a speech impairment in the kindergarten setting to gain intelligibility?
  • What is required for the correction and re-wiring of a speech impairment to enable correct pronunciation that is in tune to be able to process speech?
  • Is there a program that can support this in the kindergarten setting?
  • We currently use a program and want to know if it is meeting our needs to support these children?

Language processing, word finding difficulties, receptive vocabulary, receptive language and expressive language skills… making sentences.

  • What are the skills in language processing?
  • How can I support a child with a language disorder in the kindergarten setting?
  • How are words stored in the semantic centre and what happens when there are challenges in this part of the mind?
  • How can I help word finding difficulties?
  • What are specialized and cool ways to stimulate and develop language skill in children whilst I undertake the activities I planned to do that day?


We will introduce you to our teaching program at Optimal Communications Speech Pathology- ‘Teach-me-speech-sounds’ which is taught using our exciting Phonic All Stars’ program and characters. This program that dazzles kids has been developed over the past 14 years from solid research and theory in children’s speech development, neurological processing and the most exciting discoveries of this decade being the benefits of early intervention as a direct result of neuroplasticity from correct intervention. It sounds all very complex…but believe me it is so simple and a crime to not offer to children at an early age to facilitate speech and literacy development. I will discuss how the program can be implemented in your centre and most importantly why it works v/s other programs on the market today … by revealing some of the 10  winged keel factors!!!!!! One of the first factors is….

it was developed by a speech pathologist who understands how to correct speech disorders that can lead to literacy disorders. The program targets both at once giving two benefits for the one investment of time and effort. This in itself is a reason to use it!!!.

I look forward to welcoming you to our seminar and I’m sure you will take away some very beneficial information that you will use daily when assisting children with their  ‘School Readiness’ skills in preparation for prep or in assisting them with their first years of schooling .

Katrine Elliott

Katrine Elliott B.Sp Thy. M.S.P.A.

Speech Pathologist

Mobile Speech Pathology