Growing people’s skills, knowledge, understanding of speech pathology and its impact on people and the community were the drivers behind a young Speech Pathologist establishing her own business.
When Lauren Haskins started her boutique practice, A Growing Understanding Speech Pathology, it was with a business model built on coaching and mentoring.
“It is all about growing everybody’s understanding about speech pathology. Supporting the children, who are our clients, through educating and upskilling their parents, educators and speech pathologists for better communication outcomes,” Lauren said.
Her passion for this model was fired by more than a decade in the public service and seeing the best outcomes for clients happen when they were supported and their immediate team of clinicians, educators and families also received the same level of assistance.
“I had some amazing opportunities that led me to have strong foundations specialising in paediatric speech pathology as well as leading me towards clinical supervision and support,” Lauren said.
As a University of Newcastle Honors graduate, Lauren landed a generalist position at Cessnock Hospital where she worked with senior speech pathologists and other allied health specialists seeing adults and children. She moved to the Newcastle Community Health Centre to supervise second year speech pathology students on their clinical placement and also did a stint at Nauru working with asylum seekers and refugees in the detention centre.
“I really enjoy supporting other clinicians, from students to the experienced, to maintain and develop their skills. Then over time, I saw a need for increased focus on providing the same knowledge and information to parents and educators,” Lauren said.
Lauren has several speech pathologists in private practices and not-for-profit organisations she provides with supervision and support. Regular industry workshops are also hosted by her practice.
As for her clients and their families, one-on-one consultations with children include parents and educators being trained and coached to do therapy in everyday settings in between sessions.
“This means the child’s main communication partners can provide the child with therapy multiple times a day and the frequency helps to maximise the outcomes – confidence in their communication skills, support to reach their full potential and building lasting relationships,” Lauren said.
Outside the therapy sessions, there is access for parents to workshops, training, coaching, resources and clinicians who are available throughout the week for additional support.
Since starting her full-time business in October at Gateshead, it has grown to three pathologists that treat children from birth to adolescence with communication difficulties in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle in a fun and engaging way.
Lauren sees children and their families as well supporting local speech pathologists. She also extends her services via Telehealth, usually via Skype or Zoom, to clinicians and patients in regional New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. Her most recent role is working with the international not-for-profit organisation, Hanen to train speech pathologists and educators to support children’s main communication partners across Australia and New Zealand.
IMAGE | A Growing Understanding Speech Pathology Director, Lauren Haskins.