The AHOS Program offers speech pathology students an opportunity to complete a paediatric service-learning placement at local primary schools.
Each term six speech pathology students (final year and from a number of universities) complete a 6-10 week placement offering service targeting speech sounds, language and pre literacy skills (assessment and therapy) in individual, group and class-based settings.
The students are usually divided into pairs, and are based in purpose-built health hubs (with dedicated student office and treatment spaces) in one or two of the eight primary schools in the Broken Hill township. They may also provide an outreach service to the preschools and /or primary schools in the outlying townships of Menindee, Wilcannia and Ivanhoe.
Each placement begins with teleconference discussion and online tasks, followed by a week-long orientation covering the following:
- Town tour and visit to RFDS base
- Interdisciplinary orientation – History of program, barriers to accessing service, supervision models, behavior management strategies, strategies for successfully working in schools
- Discipline specific orientation- familiarisation with assessment tools and discussion of therapy goals
- Skills session- assessment tools used to examine the skills of pupils without communication or behavioral concerns under close supervision, and
- Orientation to participating schools
The aim of this program is twofold: to offer a rewarding placement experience to speech pathology students, and to offer a much needed service to the deserved pupils of Broken Hill and surrounding regions. In addition, this placement seeks to target the aspirations of pupils by exposing them to allied health careers they might consider in the future.
If you would like to find out more about a speech pathology placement in the Allied Health in Outback Schools program, please contact your university lecturer or the BHUDRH program coordinator Claire Brunero or Education Support Officer, Rachel Lysaght.