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) program had its first revision at the end of 2016 and is even better than before! It targets children between 8-12 years of age with social communication and emotional regulation challenges. It is best suited to children with cognitive and language skills within the normal range.

A recent pilot trial has suggested the program is also effective for students who have other diagnoses, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and social anxiety disorder.

The Secret Agent Society program aims to teach students with social and emotional difficulties how to recognise emotions in themselves and others, express their feelings in appropriate ways (with a focus on managing anxiety and anger), build and maintain friendships with others, solve social problems and prevent and manage teasing and bullying behaviour.

The program is extremely comprehensive because it requires program facilitators, parents and teachers working together to achieve program 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.