Being put on a waiting list when all you want to do is get your child the help they need, can feel frustrating. We can totally empathise with you as we receive many calls and emails from worried parents every day who are desperate to get an appointment with a Speech Pathologist. We ARE still accepting new clients into our clinic, but unfortunately, we do have a waiting list, so we cannot offer an immediate appointment when you first make contact. Please read the information below that outlines why we have a waiting list and what the process is that we follow to ensure we can help as many families as possible when new appointments do become available.
Why do we have a waiting list?
In case you were not already aware, unfortunately, there is a nationwide shortage of Speech Pathologists and a huge demand for speech pathology services around the country. In addition, we have some children with lifelong disabilities who require therapy for an extended time, before they have a break from sessions. While we have a wonderful team of Speech Pathologists, they all have different areas of expertise, so not all therapists will suit your child’s specific needs. Therefore, we gather some information about your child’s difficulties when you first make contact with us to ensure we can place you with the best therapist based on your child’s needs. Sometimes that may mean you can be seen by any one of our therapists (therefore increasing the chances of getting an appointment quicker), but other times it may be limited to just one or two therapists if it’s a more complex difficulty that requires additional training and study that they have completed (therefore, it can take longer to get an appointment). Your own availability will also impact how easily we can offer appointments to families if you are restricted to minimal days and times that you could attend appointments.
How long will it take to get an appointment?
The time frames for being on the waiting list can range anywhere from a short time (weeks) to a longer time (months). Whilst we know that this is not ideal, we are trying our best to accommodate as many families as we can by offering appointments as soon as they become available, but we also value offering quality services by not rushing children in their therapy journey and discharging them too quickly if their difficulties haven’t improved. It’s a difficult balance, but we try our best to help as many families as we can. Appointments become available when other children are discharged from therapy, or if a family moves away or they choose to have a break from therapy, or a child progresses through therapy much faster OR slower than first anticipated or various other reasons. Unfortunately, these things can be unpredictable, so we cannot put a definite time frame on upcoming appointments as they vary so much.
Due to these various factors, we cannot say that our waiting list is “XX months long” because we simply cannot predict which of our current clients will be finishing up when, and we don’t know if your own schedule and flexibility will change over time.
What happens when an appointment time becomes available for my child?
We will contact you via SMS and email when we can offer you an appointment time with one of our Speech Pathologists based on the availability you give us when you first contact us and are placed on our waiting list. If you receive an appointment offer, please ensure you reply to the SMS or email as soon as possible as we will move to the next person on the waiting list if we do not hear from you within 24 hours. If we don’t hear from you, we will still keep you on the waiting list until a new appointment time has become available, but it will be for the next available appointment that comes up.
My child only needs an assessment and/or report for another specialist, can I book for just an assessment and not ongoing therapy?
Yes. Some children are scheduled to see another specialist such as a Paediatrician who require assessments and reports from a Speech Pathologist. If you need just the assessment and a report, without necessarily looking for ongoing therapy immediately, we can accommodate for this. If one of our existing clients cancels an appointment, we try to offer this spot to other families in need of a one-off appointment. Please remember though that ongoing therapy is NOT a guarantee thereafter, but we write very detailed assessment reports that you can take to your specialists and/or you can take to another speech pathology clinic if you happen to get in elsewhere sooner. The choice is up to you if you’d like to take this option and if it suits your child’s needs at the time. Please speak to our lovely admin team to discuss your needs so that we can make arrangements accordingly.
We ARE still accepting new clients into our clinic and we are actively working on helping as many families as we can by working through our waiting list frequently. If you’d like your child to be added to our waiting list, please complete the form below.