Partners in Communication

Partners in Communication is a Melbourne-based speech pathology practice. We offer a wide-range of services including individual speech and language therapy, social communication groups and parent coaching. Our clients vary in age from pre-school children through to adults.

Partners in Communication is NDIS accredited and we work closely with Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Teachers and other multi-disciplinary members of a client’s team. We provide consultation services across the community and support teachers with Social Thinking® programs within schools.

 
 
 

We can deliver through:

  • In School Support

  • Individual Consultations

  • Parent Coaching

  • Social Communication Group Programs

  • Prep & School Readiness Group Programs

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We can also assist with: 

  • Language Delay or Disorders

  • Learning Difficulties

  • Dyspraxia of Speech

  • Social Cognitive Challenges

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • ADD/ADHD/ODD

  • Social-Emotional Regulation Difficulties 

 

 Making Communication a Real Partnership

Group Programs

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At PIC we understand that the multidisciplinary team can be critical in creating a comprehensive and dynamic program for children with multiple needs. Together with Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, and experienced assistants, Sharon and her team provide several group therapy options.

 
 
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SSmarTs (Social Smarts for Teens)

This program is a new initiative at Partners in Communication and as of May 2017 had ethics approval to be rolled out as a Pilot Study.

It is a program for teenagers of high school age who struggle with managing the social dynamic at home, at school, with friends and looking forward – to the workplace or further education. We will be offering social groups that use best practices related to managing the social world and emotional regulation in teens.  Much of our focus will use the Social Thinking ® methodology (www.socialthinking.com), but other strategies will be incorporated as well.

It is best suited to those students who have language and cognitive skills within the normal range but who struggle with social communication and emotional regulation or have a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism.

The program is a 16-session program based in Caulfield North.

Parents will stay for the duration of the sessions where they will meet with Speech Pathology/ Psychologist facilitators (separately to the students), and have Social Coaching. This will provide an opportunity to discuss how to best support and reinforce concepts between group sessions and to be able to ask questions and discuss issues in a supportive adult environment. The Tuning in to Teens™ program is incorporated into these parent sessions.

Secret Agent Society

The Secret Agent Society (SAS) was originally designed by Dr. Renae Beaumont to explicitly teach social communication skills to children aged 8 to 12 years. The program is best suited to children with cognitive and language skills within or above the average range. It is a language-based program and relies on the capacity to learn from discussion and interactive activities. Of course, each time we run it at PIC, we tailor to the needs of the children within the group!

Additionally, our experience at PIC has been that the scripted and highly structured nature of SAS is excellent for some students. Especially when the entire team around the child is on board and using the language consistently. For others, however, we’ve found that there is a huge benefit to bringing in language, methods and techniques from the Social Thinking(R) methodology. Although Social Thinking(R) is entirely separate from the Secret Agent Society, the two are complementary. As such, PIC now runs SAS groups as a hybrid, incorporating much more from Social Thinking. This creates a longer, deeper learning experience for the students and parents, who have found it to have really positive long term effects.

Social Thinking differs from SAS in that it is more fluid, and explicitly targets more of the complex thinking that underlies social functioning. Whereas SAS addresses this in part, and also teaches scripts for social interaction.

As with all intervention, it is crucial to have the specialists, parents and teachers working together to maintain consistency and support the children to have the best long term outcomes.

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TASC (Adult Social Communication)

This program is an initiative that commenced at PIC in 2018 and is continuing in 2019.

It is a semi-structured group for adults who experience challenges managing the social dynamic at home, at their place of study, at work or with friends.

TASC is offering a social opportunity that uses best practice strategies to navigate the social world across a variety of contexts. Much of our focus will use the Social Thinking ® methodology (www.socialthinking.com), but other strategies will be incorporated as well.

It is best suited to those people who have language and cognitive skills within the normal range but who struggle with social communication and emotional regulation or have a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism.

TASC will run alternate Thursday afternoons from 12.30pm – 2.00pm at our office in Caulfield North. Minimum numbers required.

Contact office on 9973 1632 or admin@partnersincommunication.com.au for further details.

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Pre-Primary School Age Groups

These groups are for children who are doing their last year of kindergarten and will assist them with the skills required to:

  • Understand and consider the thoughts and feelings of themselves and others

  • Attend and listen

  • Initiate and maintain conversations

  • Regulate their behavior when in a group

  • Cooperatively play and learn with others

  • Negotiate and compromise

The group configuration is organised not only on the age of the children but also after careful assessment of their current social cognitive abilities.

Activities can comprise a number of the following:

  • Introduction of a new vocabulary around relating socially

  • Tasks requiring attention and focus

  • Understanding verbal and non-verbal cues

  • Social problem solving activities

  • Conversation practice

  • Understanding of the Zones of Regulation and relating them to ourselves and different contexts

  • A variety of games

The session ends with an opportunity for free play while parents receive group feedback, (approximately 15 minutes).

Social Thinking® has created the theoretical framework underpinning these groups, (www.socialthinking.com). The programs include:

  • ‘The Incredible Flexible You’ and

  • ‘We Thinkers’

The ‘Zones of Regulation’ is a program by Leah Kuypers and combined with the Social Thinking strategies provides students with a toolbox of amazing strategies to support their emotional regulation and social communication skills.

These programs are a curriculum for early childhood and are designed for approximately 4-6 yr old. Group timetables change based on interest and availability. Please contact our administration staff if you are interested in joining a program and we will try and accommodate you in a suitable group.

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Primary School Aged Groups

These groups aim to better equip children with the skills required to:

  • Understand and consider the thoughts and feelings of themselves and others

  • Attend and listen

  • Initiate and maintain conversations

  • Regulate their behaviour when in a group

  • Cooperatively play and learn with others

  • Negotiate and compromise

  • Relate socially and develop solid foundations of how to make and maintain friends

The group configuration is organised not only on the age/grade of the children but also after careful assessment of their current social cognitive abilities.

Activities can comprise a number of the following:

  • Introduction of a new vocabulary around relating socially

  • Tasks requiring attention and focus

  • Understanding verbal and non-verbal cues

  • Social problem solving activities

  • Conversation practice

  • Snack time

  • Understanding of the Zones of Regulation and relating them to ourselves and different contexts

  • A variety of games

The session ends with an opportunity for free play while parents receive group feedback, (approximately 20 minutes).

Michelle Garcia Winner of Social Thinking® has created the theoretical framework underpinning these groups, (www.socialthinking.com). The programs include:

  • ‘The Incredible Flexible You’,

  • ‘We Thinkers’ and

  • ‘Social Detective’.

The ‘Zones of Regulation’ is a program by Leah Kuypers and combined with the Social Thinking strategies provides students with a toolbox of amazing strategies to support their emotional regulation and social communication skills.

These programs are a curriculum for early childhood and are designed for 5-8 yr olds. Group timetables change based on interest and availability. Please contact our administration staff if you are interested in joining a program and we will try and accommodate you in a suitable group.

 
 

 Group Timetable 2019

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*Group allocation is dependant on suitability, and is assessed in advance during an initial appointment with one of our speech pathology clinicians.