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Frequently Asked Questions


FAQ – Speech Pathology


What experience do you have working with a kiddo like mine?

Nicole’s experience as a speech pathologist is broad and long. She initially worked in the disability field from 1997 – 2001 in the U.K and after returning to Australia in paediatrics specialising in stuttering with NSW Health from 2001 – 2021 when SBSP became full-time. SBSP has grown and now specialising in Neurodiversity-Affirming approaches, particularly for Autistic and ADHD folk.


How much does a session cost?

Fees on application.


Do I have to come to the sessions with my child?

Parents are required at all assessments and therapy sessions, unless these are being held at an educational space. Depending on age, behaviour and sensory needs, parents may be nearby during LEGO®-Based Therapy. Parents do not have to come when SBSP is coaching staff at non-home environments.


How many sessions will we need?

This is super tricky to determine. It’s a crazy algorithm of what is needed, what is doable and what the client will tolerate. A block of LEGO®-Based therapy is 6-8 weeks but can be ongoing. Stuttering treatment usually requires around 15-18 sessions to reach little or no stuttering but this is very variable. Building advocacy and communication capacities for Autistic people may be a life long journey with blocks of therapy.

FAQ – Neurodiversity-Affirming approaches for Autistic and/or ADHDer folk.

What does Neurodiversity-Affirming 

The short answer is an acceptance of all different kinds of brains that make up all different sorts of human beings with all different styles of communication. Changing our languages one part. Moving away from terms such as 'intervention' , 'deficits' and 'noncompliance' which reflect a need to be 'fixed' to language that is curious and works on growing self esteem, self-awareness , self-advocacy and communication such as 'differences',  'supports'  'choice' or 'exploring'.

This is not the same as brushing very real and complex difficulties  under the carpet. As a therapist this involves abandoning many assumptions that underpin our 'system with internalised ABELISM. A classic example would be social skills training or school readiness groups which aim to make our neurodiverse kiddos replicate the behaviours of neurotypical kiddos, even when this is compromising for their physical & mental well being. These are often reliant on 'compliance behaviour' and 'reward' which can lead to a lifetime of 'masking' (the daily tiring act of trying to fit in and appear neurotypical).

Neurodiversity-Affirming practices look to find support that 'fits' with our neurodiverse beings in ways that support us, enable us, have room to grow and respect our choices.

Imagine being told that you had to wear a scratchy yellow woollen jumper every day because it seemed like almost everyone else was doing that. Even if you hated the feel and the colour every minute of every day. And what you crave is your Nana's oversized faded, black, twenty year old concert t-shirt that helps your brain feel comfy and capable.

It's really not a tricky question anymore is it?

My child has had meltdowns with other therapists. Why?

Most Autistic people have a complex combination sensory sensitivities, anxiety, strong preferences, strong aversions, demand-avoidance, rejection sensitivity together with

'different' communication modes & levels. Our 'battery charge' for new or unexpected events or things goes down very fast. This is an accumulative depletion, so often Autistic kids have little 'battery charge' before they even walk into their assessment - getting dressed, getting into the car, driving a new route, parking somewhere strange, expectation of meeting a new person. Its A LOT.

At SBSP we have a space that is curated to meet neurodivergent people's sensory needs and use a very 'low demand' approach.  We encourage clients to settle into the space, take their time to be curious and explorative. We watch and wait. We are quiet and calm. We expect sensory bounciness and moments of retreat. It makes a HUGR difference.

FAQ – LEGO®-Based Therapy

Do you have to be super-keen on LEGO?

Maybe not super-keen but not aversive. I have worked with some girls for example who would have said they didn’t really ‘do LEGO’ and then loved it.

Is it just like a kid’s club or holiday care?

Definitely not! Each session is highly structured. Half the session is collaborative building with each participate taking on the role of the Builder or Supplier or Engineer for 5 or 10 minute turns before swapping. The second half is free-style building where the speech pathologist can observe how the kids are using the observation and adaption skills that they have practiced in the first half.


Is it just for little kids?

No way! Kids can start at 5 years if they have enough Level 1 Helper skills. At the Master or Genius Levels older kids can be masterminding large projects that require weeks or animations whilst managing the roles taken by the other kids in the group.


Why would I choose LBT over some other social skills programs?

LEGO appears to reduce the demands on kids and provide a safe space for them to access their whole brain (Dan Seigel – Flip lid link) enabling them to build skills.


Increasingly in the field of Autism researchers are looking for what they call ‘quality of life’ therapies. These do not impose a role or ‘neuro-typical’ behaviour norms on children. Such roles or scripts can lead to anxiety, frustration and shame as children grow into teens and adulthood. Instead LBT aims provide social adaptability within each child’s own system – including likes/dislikes, sensory needs/aversions, special interests and how big their ‘social cup’ is.

FAQ – Specialist Stuttering Support


Will my child’s stuttering go away by itself?

Many children start to stutter as they learn to put their words together. Traditionally we have waited for a period of monitoring to see if the stuttering stops by itself. However it is important to contact a speech pathologist as some risk factors do make it more likely that the stuttering will stick around.


Additionally, in terms of neuroscience ‘the neurons that fire together wire together’. This means the more you do something the more it becomes physically hard wired as a default position in your brain.


The stutter seems to come and go and is only there when they are excited. Should I see someone?

Stuttering is a ‘waxing & waning’ condition meaning that it can come and go. Most children who stutter do so much more when tired, emotionally reactive or when unwell. These things do not cause stuttering but they can exacerbate it, a little like exercise or dust with asthma.


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