“I am getting SO many different opinions about what to do about my Child’s Speech & Learning Development – Who should I listen to? In ONE day I’ve been told “Wait until they are older before you start worrying”; “You should have done something before THIS age!” “Go to the BLAH BLAH parenting site they have the best info”, “Don’t go to the BLAH BLAH parenting site because the people giving the advice are not experienced”; “My little Johnny was like that but it didn’t affect him”, “My child was doing that and they then had a terrible time at school”. With all this I just don’t know what I should do … I just want to do what’s best for him!, blurted a parent phoning SpeechNet Speech Pathology in complete and understandable frustration!
Parent get advice from everyone even when it’s not asked for sometimes – from in-laws, other parents in the park, GPs, kindy staff – some of it is spot on and some of it is far from it! Where do parent turn to… In this time and age Siri, “Mr Google” and the like seems to be the first port of call for all manner of information. BUT how can you tell if the information you are directed to is reliable? There are a few things to consider when you are looking for information, tips and ideas as a parent wanting only the best for your child: HOW can you tell if a website is reliable?
Many people rely on looking for sites that clearly say they are “specialists” in an area or look for reviews by other parents or star ratings on websites or Facebook pages. HOWEVER this is problematic if you are looking for recommended Speech Pathology sites. Why? Speech Pathology websites or Speech Pathology Social Media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc) CANNOT use words such as “specialists”, “specialising in” OR have client testimonials or reviews to give you some guidance. The guiding body of the Speech Pathology profession, Speech Pathology Association of Australia have strict policies in place disallowing these “marketing” techniques by registered Speech Pathologists. The goal is to ensure Speech Pathology practices do not falsify information to the public reducing the reliability of the information disseminated.
Hence here are a few tips and questions you can use to evaluate if information about speech, language, social communication and related areas has some credence:
There is a lot of good information out there but unfortunately there is also a lot of miss information – thinking about who and where the information is coming from can help you in your choices …….so you can provide the best for your child or the children you are working with! SpeechNet Speech Pathology is dedicated to provide quality professional information that is functional and useful to families and other professionals.
SpeechNet Speech Pathology & Learning Centre aims is to provide YOU with a website and a Learning Portal that gives YOU what you want and need to help the children in your life. Our goal is for two-way communication with the public about what they need. If there are resources, information or activity ideas you would like to see on our website contact us or the link Our Resources & Tips for YOU link and tell us what you need.
Author: Dr Sandra McMahon, B.App.Sc. (Sp. Path.), PhD Certified Practising Member of SPA. Director of SpeechNet Speech Pathology & Learning Centre a multi-disciplinary allied health services that support families of children 0-18 years. Dr McMahon has had over 15 years research & Clinical experience in paediatric speech pathology, was the Director of a major Metropolitan Tertiary Hospital, was a University Lecturer and has presented at many Parent (Multiple Birth Association, Infant Reflux) and Professional seminars.