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Why choose SBSP?


Step Boldly Speech Pathology (SBSP) works from a Neurodiversity-Affirming approach.


What does that mean?

  • SBSP embraces all neurotypes. We are all amazingly different and some of us have differently wired brains. We are ‘different not less'. At SBSP we  genuinely meet our client’s where they are at, rather than traditional approaches that aim to change Autistic & ADHD humans to be more like their neurotypical (what society believes is “normal”) peers.

  • SBSP encourages our clients to choose their own magic. Our Lismore therapy space is curated so that our clients can feel safe & comfortable, choose where they want to be in that space and how they would like to interact with the environment.

  • SBSP is about lessening the demands in therapy & creating a low arousal, safe space to ‘be yourself’.

  • SBSP acknowledges and embraces all modes of communication from both adults and children.

  • Nicole Rappell has a passion for Professional Development including:

    • A vast array of techniques for the assessment & treatment of stuttering (Lidcombe Program, Camperdown Program, RESTART-DCM)

    • Gestalt -Language Processing and how that fits with AAC (2023)

    • LEGO™-Based Therapy for social participation

Gestalt Language Processing (and AAC)

Did you know that there is more than one way to learn language? Wow!

Some researchers estimate that up to 85% of Autistic humans (and many neurotypical humans too) learn language from the starting point of set phrases or gestalts (delayed echololia, scripting, repetitive YouTube clips). This is called Gestalt Language Processing (GLP) and has six clearly defined stages moving from gestalts through to complex grammar. This is very different from how we understand ‘typical’ language development traditionally. We usually conceptualize language as growing from sounds to words to phrases to sentences to narrative. This is called Analytical Language Development (ALP)


Now here’s the tricky thing. Using tradition ALP therapy with our GLPers can actually slow down or prevent them from communicating the way they need.  Thorough assessment and a gentle curiosity approach (be the detective) are essential. At SBSP we love working with GLPers  and everyone in their environment to build and grow their language systems in their way!

Specialist Stuttering Support

Nicole has worked tirelessly for well over a decade to develop specialist skills for stuttering therapy. She is one of the few speech pathologists in Australia to be dually trained in the two most evidenced-based interventions for early childhood stuttering: Lidcombe Program (Australia) and RESTART Demands & Capacities Model treatment (Netherlands). Having more ‘tools’ enables Nicole to support families to choose an intervention that best suits their home and child.


Nicole also works with families in understanding ‘stuttering gain’ and how to develop a curious and accepting relationship with your stuttering.


LEGO®-Based Therapy

LEGO®-Based Therapy (LBT) set Nicole’s practice alight with excitement at the positive outcomes.  LBT is an evidence- informed play-based social communication program. It is not about making our neuro-diverse children more neuro-typical. Rather it looks to each child to find their strengths through being guided towards the development of observation and adaptability skills.


LEGO®-Based Therapy is designed for anyone wanting to improve their social communications capabilities (in line with feeling comfortable as themselves) from 5- 18 years of age. Initially the program was devised for  Autistic children & teens but Nicole has found it has far greater reach across neurodiverse & neurotypical folk (Autism, ADHD, anxiety, trauma, self-regulation & sensory issues). It is fluid and can move with the participant from individual to small group work, with the opportunity to progress through 5 levels: Helper, Builder, Creator, Master and Genius.


The benefits of LEGO®-Based Therapy may include:

  • Choosing the strategies you want to use from a 'smorgasbord' - not one idea suits all.

  • Problem solving & adaptability

  • Maintaining focus & attention

  • Conflict resolution & collaboration

  • Creativity & friendship building

  • Descriptive language and listening

  • Fine motor skills


Participants are teamed together based on sensory profile, interests and communication abilities.

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