QUEENSTOWN SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPY

About Nicole Wilkinson

•   Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology

•   Masters of Speech Language Therapy.

•   Member of NZ Speech-Language Therapists Assn.

 

After a stint in the NZ Army, and 19 years in the NZ Police, I went for a total career change.  Using a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I gained entry to the Masters of Speech Language Pathology at Canterbury University.  I spent two years commuting weekly between my home in Queenstown and Uni to qualify as a Speech Language Therapist.  I think the teaching staff had bets on how soon I’d quit – I’m sure they all thought I was mad doing that commute.  But I did it and qualified.

 

My family in Queenstown put up with this huge upheaval (or possibly just enjoyed having me out of the house?) and have been very supportive of my career change.  My family consists of a husband, two children, three dogs, a cat (called Rabbit) and a horse (although she doesn’t get to live in the house with the rest of us).

 

Two years of being a student wasn’t quite enough, so I’m now embarking on a PhD looking at dysfluencies caused by brain injuries.  This will be a long, slow, part-time process as I conduct my research alongside working as a Speech Language Therapist.

 

When I’m not working, researching or sleeping, I can generally be found alongside a Dog Agility ring most weekends, providing advice (often ignored) to one or other of the kids as they compete the dogs.  On very rare occasions they let me compete, but I think this is just so they can prove why they ignore my advice.  If I still have any spare time, then my happy place is hanging with my young horse in some of the most spectacular scenery Central Otago has to offer, up on the Crown Range.

Commonly asked questions

My child isn’t talking yet, and I’m worried.

Generally, if it’s worrying to a parent or family member, it’s worth seeking advice.  Getting an expert, clinical opinion from a Speech Language Therapist can provide reassurance, and get started on intervention in a timely manner if needed.  But it is also worth getting their hearing tested if this hasn’t been done recently.

 

People keep telling me my child will outgrow this delay in their language

There is a lot of variability in when children start to talk and how quickly this develops.  However, there are some risk factors that will increase the chance that your child will need extra support in developing their communication.  These include:

  • If they have trouble understanding language as well as having trouble expressing themselves
  • If they don’t use a lot of gestures
  • If there is a family history of speech and language delays
  • If there are other concerns with your child’s development or any neurological issues
  • If they were born prematurely

 

My child is hard to understand, should I be concerned?

Typically by about three years of age, parents will be able to understand their child 100% of the time.  But children take until they are about four years old before people less familiar with them to be able to understand them all the time.

 

Is speech language therapy only for children?

Speech language therapy can be accessed at any age, from young children to adults, depending on needs.  Some common reasons for seeing a speech language therapist are:

  • Delays in the development of speech sounds
  • Delays in the development of language
  • Voice disorders
  • Stuttering (developmental or acquired)
  • Speech and language disorders from strokes, brain injuries or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Voice and communication changes for transgender people
  • Accent modification
  • Following treatment for head and neck cancers
  • Pragmatics (social communication)
  • Rehabilitation of swallowing or assistance with safe eating

 

How long does a session take?

Sessions can be 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour.  This will depend on whether the session is assessment or treatment, the age of the client and the complexity of the treatment.

 

How many sessions will it take?

There is no definite answer to this question, but at the start of your sessions, you’ll be involved in setting the goals you want to achieve.  As therapy progresses, we’ll review these goals so we can discuss how long therapy should continue and the frequency of sessions.

Let's get started

CONTACT US

CONTACT US

  020 4144 2741

Based in Queenstown

       Available in the greater area

•   Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology

After a stint in the NZ Army, and 19 years in the NZ Police, I went for a total career change.  Using a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I gained entry to the Masters of Speech Language Pathology at Canterbury University.  I spent two years commuting weekly between my home in Queenstown and Uni to qualify as a Speech Language Therapist.  I think the teaching staff had bets on how soon I’d quit – I’m sure they all thought I was mad doing that commute.  But I did it and qualified.

  020 4144 2741

Based in Queenstown