Kate La Spina

Speech And Language Pathologist

Townsville

  • Works with adults
  • Works with children

Looking for something that didn’t have the blood and guts of being a doctor, Kate recalls the positive impact a speech and language pathologist had on her brother and her path was set. 

Kate draws on her personal experience of having a hearing loss in one ear and sees being able to communicate and express needs, wants, feelings and thoughts, as a basic human right. With an interest in childhood language and developmental delays, and complex communication, Kates aims to support her clients to give them a voice or a means of communication. 

“My focus is very much on the client and working with them to meet their goals in a collaborative way. I work with a family-centred mindset that allows flexibility in the way we approach therapy, ultimately providing children and adults with the tools to find their best way to communicate.” 

Kate has calm approach, slowly building a rapportletting the client take the lead to develop the relationship. 

“Activities that involve games or taking turns are usually very popular with my clients. It’s great and  helps get the best results, as these activities intertwine the therapy and some fun in each session.”   

Working mostly with children, both younger and older, Kate likes to find out what the client responds to best by working in a multimodal way. 

“I might start with one approach, like Key Word Sign and at the same time introduce something that is picture/symbol based. This way the client can start to respond and use what method they prefer. This can be a slower way of working initially but helps build the foundations for stronger client led outcomes. I really enjoy the imagination and spontaneity of working with children, you can just try something slightly different and it has a huge impact. It’s always great to be part of the journey when parents and their children start communicating together, or have more robust way to communicate, it’s like a whole new world opens up.”   

Skilled in using many AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) methods, Kate is a Key Words Sign presenter, can help develop picture cards for clients, use PODD books or PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), and help implement high tech [or technology] communication devices. Kate is trained in the LIDCOM program, a program designed to help young children with stuttering, and can help parents and teachers using the Hanen parent information program for language development.  

Kate has a particular interest in safe swallowing, mealtime management and is SOS trained, working with children and adults to increase the variety, texture and amount of foods they eat. 

To take a break and unwind from busy days, Kate enjoys nothing more than getting the mixer out and baking; and if you’re lucky enough to run into her on a Monday morning you’ll be offered sweets and treats from her favourite collection of cheesecakes, lemon meringue pies and caramel slices. 

Kate studied at James Cook University and is a proud North Queenslander. 

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