Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)​

How our speech pathologists can help with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)​

Communication impairments are common in people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); therefore, speech pathologists play a key role in their treatment, especially for early intervention.

The main purpose of speech therapy is to help children, teenagers and adults improve their speech, language, communication skills, and social skills and social interaction. Communication is a key ability required to forming relationships, engaging with meaningful life pursuits and function successfully in world.

Generally, speech therapy can help a person with ASD to:

  1. Develop the ability to express their wants and needs by using both verbal and non-verbal communication
  2. Understand verbal and nonverbal messages from their communication partners
  3. Interact with people in a way most people understand and to make friends
  4. Articulate well

Visual strategies and social stories are commonly used for people with ASD. In addition, our speech pathologists are certified to adopt the following evidence-based ASD treatment approaches to assist a range of age groups.

Common Treatment Approaches​

More Than Words – Hanen Program©​

The More Than Words Hanen Program was designed specifically for parents of children ages 5 and under with ASD and with other social communication difficulties. It is a family-focused, social- pragmatic intervention program. It addresses the unique needs of these children by providing parents with the strategies and support they need to help their children reach their full communication potential. It aims at improving children’s social communication interactions, play skills and imitation skills.

Through this program, parents will learn what motivates their children to communicate, how to initiate and extend interactions with their children, strategies for engaging with their child, how to use parental knowledge about the child to set appropriate and realistic goals and generalising communication goals through incorporating daily activities and routines.

Our speech pathologists are certified to deliver this program for suitable parents. Parents are welcome to contact us for more details.

The DIR®/Floortime® Model​

The DIR®/Floortime® Model (Relationship-Based Model) was developed in the 1980s in the United States by two researchers – Stanley Greenspan, MD, and Serena Wieder, PhD. It aims to promote development by encouraging children to interact with parents and others through play.

The model is based on a developmental theory that all children need to reach certain milestones so they can continue developing emotionally and intellectually, however, children with ASD and/ or with other disabilities have difficulty reaching these milestones. Therefore they need intense, individualised support. It is believed that this interaction will help children reach milestones in their emotional development.

This approach targets to promote development in several areas including sensory development, motor skills, emotional and cognitive development as well as communication. 

It is recommended that children start the program as early as possible. Our speech pathologists could provide specific therapy to your child in the DIR®/Floortime® program, collaborating with you and all the team members who are helping your child.

Social Thinking®​

It is a cognitive-based treatment framework for age 4 through adult with solid language and learning abilities and those with social learning challenges (including ASD, social communication disorder, and other related diagnoses). 

Social thinking is the process by which we interpret the thoughts, beliefs, intentions, emotions, knowledge and actions of another person along with the context of the situation to understand that person’s experience.” (Garcia Winner et al., 2020).

When we share messages with another person, we take this information to decide how to respond to affect the thoughts that person has about us to realize our social goals (such as being friendly to maintain a friendship, acting enthusiastic to impress an interviewer, etc.). Social thinking is our “meaning interpreter” – it allows us to translate the deeper meaning behind what others do in the world and leads us with how to respond. The social thinking ability has a significant effect on building and maintaining relationships with others, and success in school and at work. It affects the person’s social skills, perspective taking, critical thinking, self-awareness, self-regulation, social problem solving, play skills, reading comprehension, written expression, ability to learn and work in a group, etc. (Crooke et al., 2008; Garcia Winner & Crooke, 2009, 2011).

Our clinic works extensively on social thinking and you are welcome to find out more information from us to fit you or your loved ones’ need.

Social Thinking®​

The Denver Model is a play-based and child-led treatment approach. It focuses on the development of social communication skills through intensive one-on-one therapy, peer interactions in the school setting, and home-based teaching (Rogers & Dawson, 2009). The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) (Rogers & Dawson, 2010) is an extension of the Denver Model. It is a behavioural therapy for children with autism between the ages of 12-48 months. It is based on the methods of applied behaviour analysis (ABA). It combines developmental approaches with behavioural teaching strategies and can be delivered in a variety of settings.

Parents and therapists use play to build positive and fun relationships. Through play and joint activities, the child is encouraged to boost language, social and cognitive skills.

Our speech pathologists trained in using the ABA methodology would be an intergral part of your therapy team to deliver this treatment approach.

In addition to the above-mentioned treatment approaches, there are many variations and combination of therapy programs to assist persons with ASD. Our speech pathologists will assess and discuss your specific needs and customise an individualized treatment program using one or more of the evidence-based approaches. Feel free to contact us for a discussion on how we may assist with improving communication skills in ASD.

Professional Speech Therapists

Louisa Ong
Blissany Yan
Alina Tuladhar
Ji Hong Chan
Lucy Rhodes

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Tilegne Therapy is a multidisciplinary clinic that offers Speech, OT, Music Therapy and dietetics. We aim to offer a service where our therapists can work together in order to support the goals of each patient.

Why Choose Tilegne Speech Therapists ?

We Know We Are Impacting Your Child’s Life

Our speech therapists know that their programs and intervention are helping a child communicates, and that functional communication skills will help the child throughout their whole life. This is what motivates us everyday to create engaging therapy activities to focus their learning while making speech therapy fun.

We Empower And Educate Parents / Caregivers

The most important influence on achieving speech therapy goals is the family members/caregivers who provide support outside of therapy sessions. We understand that teachable moments happen in every moment, and we will empower families to make the most of such moments by providing feedback, resources and tips to use at home.

Our Quest For Learning Never Ends

We know our clients deserve the best treatment approach, and it is this passion that drives us to regularly update our clinical skills and participate in ongoing professional development programs. Our speech pathologists hold full registrations with their professional associations and keep updated with the latest research in evidence-based practice in order to offer the most effective intervention for your needs.

Our Ability To Work With Clients With Diverse Needs

We know our clients deserve the best treatment approach, and it is this passion that drives us to regularly update our clinical skills and participate in ongoing professional development programs. Our speech pathologists hold full registrations with their professional associations and keep updated with the latest research in evidence-based practice in order to offer the most effective intervention for your needs.

Customised Treatment Strategies For Every Client

Because we know that every client is a unique individual, despite having the same “diagnosis”, we tailor our therapy programs to make it fun, efficient and outcomes-driven, according to the needs of each client, taking into account aspects of their environments, abilities and caregiver support. Our customised speech treatment programs adhere to research-based practice, and speech  therapy goals are targeted using the SMART framework.

Bilingual, Experienced Clinicians To Maintain Ties To Cultural Roots

Our time bilingual speech pathologists can provide speech therapy in Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, Nepalese, Spanish and Melayu. A bilingual speech assessment helps us to determine the true cause of a bilingual child’s communication difficulties. Bilingual speech therapy can move a client through their goals while taking into account language, accent, and dialect differences. This means the child does not have to give up on their mother tongue and can continue to maintain their cultural ties and bond with parents who may only speak a native language.

We Offer Something For Busy Parents

We offer a range of speech therapy options such as Saturday- appointments, school-based, childcare or Telehealth sessions. We also assist in understanding the range of funding options that may be available for your child. We are registered with Medicare, NDIS and private health insurers for suitable clients.

We Believe That Therapy Progress Can Be Made Anytime / Anywhere

Waiting times are stressful and clients’ learning potential could be stifled if intervention is delayed. We also believe that neuroplasticity happens at any age, and progress can be achieved with the right team, right motivation and effort and effective therapy programs. With our large team of experienced therapists, we can offer sessions with minimal wait times. Let us help you develop your potential in life.

Speech Therapy Process

A booking for an initial assessment will be matched to the most suitable therapist. Upon receiving your concerns and conducting initial
assessments you may receive verbal feedback or pay for a comprehensive report with findings of the assessment.

Case History Questionnaire

You may be asked to fill out a form to provide information regarding your prior medical history and your concerns relating to your condition. The therapist may discuss this information to assist with assessment and speech therapy planning.

Initial Assessment

Your speech therapist may use informal and/or formal assessments to identify your child’s strengths and needs. If required, with your consent, the therapist can go to your child’s school or your home to obtain more information. If your child has been seen by other health professionals (e.g. psychologists, occupational therapists), it will be beneficial to bring the reports so that the speech therapist can get a better understanding of your child’s development and associated concerns. Several areas of development will be assessed, such as attention, listening skills, articulation, understanding, use of language and oral-motor functions.

Analysis of Assessment Results

Upon completion of the assessments, your therapist will spend time analysing and making recommendations on areas of concern. If a formal assessment report is requested kindly note that it is chargeable.

Speech Therapy Sessions

Depending on the assessment, your speech therapist may recommend therapy sessions with the frequency to be determined upon discussion. Therapy sessions can be conducted in the clinic, at home, at school or via telehealth. Ongoing guidance and feedback will be provided to carers to work with the child outside of therapy sessions to facilitate goal achievement. Speech therapy goals are targeted in an evidence-based approach using the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, and Time-Based).

Our Speech Therapists Profiles

Louisa Ong

Clinical Manager & Senior Speech Pathologist | BSpPath(Hon)

Louisa is an experienced senior clinician who is committed to providing high-standards of clinical service provision in speech pathology. She completed her Bachelors of Speech Pathology (Honours) from Flinders University (2009). She developed valuable expertise and experience in a range of clinical skills and knowledge having worked in the public and private healthcare institutions in culturally diverse and multi-ethnic Singapore and Australia.She is fluent in Mandarin, Hokkien and some Malay. Louisa has developed high level interpersonal skills and is able to liaise with people from a diverse range of backgrounds. She is able to assist patients to better understand the partnerships within various healthcare professionals/ associations in the community sector in achieving greater communication outcomes. 

Louisa is certified in the Hanen programs It Takes Two To Talk and More Than Words,Talktools for sensory processing disorders, DIR Floortime, amongst other credentials. She and her team have extensive experience with a broad range of communication and learning difficulties, including children with autism and developmental delay, and adults with swallowing & cognitive difficulties that may arise from medical conditions (e.g. Stroke, Parkinson’s), or head/ neck surgery or disability. Outside of work, Louisa enjoys connecting with nature and going bushwalking.

Blissany Yan

Senior Speech Pathologist & Supervisor | BSc(Hons)Sp&H Scs | PGDip Education (Distinction) CertIV (Allied Health Ass OT/PT)

Recommended for bilingual patients who speak Mandarin and Cantonese.

Hailing from Hong Kong originally, Blissany has had unique experience ranging from her hometown to South Africa. Bliss has had unique experience working with children in Africa and Hong Kong.

Blissany has a bit of a green thumb in the garden and a chef’s touch in the kitchen.

She often helps us maintain our lovely sensory gardens.

Blissany has been working as a speech pathologist in various settings (childcare centre, school, hospital, aged care facilities) for nearly 20 years. She hails from the University of Hong Kong with a Bachelors of Speech and Hearing Sciences (Honours) and has a Postgraduate Diploma of Special Education. She has extensive experience working with paediatric clients of all ages; from young children to teenagers and young adults. She also loves to work with adults with different communication and swallowing needs.

Blissany has special interests in working with young children and their families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She also finds particular interest in the areas of feeding and swallowing, autism and AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). She is most passionate in helping clients and their families incorporate the skills they learn into their daily lives. Blissany is certified in PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System Level 2), Hanen program More Than Words, SOS approach to paediatric feeding, PROMPT, Myofacial Release, Beckman’s approach, Talktools (Oral Placement Therapy Level 2) and LMRVT.

Outside of work, Bliss enjoys tending to her garden and hiking.

Consultations are available in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Ji Hong Chan

Speech Pathologist | MSpPath | PGDip Public Administration

Ji Hong is a speech pathologist with special interest in voice and the relationship between communication and mental health. Ji Hong enjoys working with clients of all ages and backgrounds. His main areas of practice are child and adolescent language, speech and social communication. He also works with adults who have voice disorders and communication difficulties due to stroke and brain injury. Being a migrant and a multilingual speaker himself, Ji Hong is passionate about working with families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Ji Hong also loves to work collaboratively with other specialists to ensure the client and the family receive the best possible care. Ji Hong has a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours in Linguistics) and a Master of Speech Pathology from the University of Melbourne. Before becoming a speech pathologist, Ji Hong worked for the Malaysian government and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration. Ji Hong is fluent in English, Mandarin and Malay. He also speaks Cantonese and Russian. Ji Hong loves classical music and has been taking vocal lessons in his free time. He finds his knowledge of the voice as a speech pathologist very helpful!

Alina Tuladhar

Speech Pathologist | MSpPath

Alina completed her Master of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University. She is passionate about supporting individuals and families affected by communication difficulties and bringing out the best potential that is within a child. Alina has worked across private practice, schools and healthcare institutions in Australia. She provides assessment and therapy to children with a variety of communication difficulties in the areas of speech, language, literacy and social communication. Her therapy sessions are designed to be fun and interactive whilst meeting the specific needs and interests of each child. Alina continually seeks to improve her skills as a clinician through professional development. She has completed training in Hanen More Than Words, social communication, Sensory Processing and Executive Functioning and DIR Floortime. Alina is fluent in English and Hindi. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and meditating.


Lucy Rhodes

Speech Pathologist | BSpPath

Lucy is an energetic and enthusiastic speech pathologist who completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University. She is passionate about working collaboratively with clients, families and other health professionals to provide people with the best possible outcomes. For many years, Lucy worked as a swimming teacher for people with disabilities as well as a receptionist and therapy assistant at a speech pathology clinic. These work experiences have exposed her to the needs and vulnerabilities the children and families face across settings; and thus deepened her ability to work with difficult emotional behaviors, maintain close and open communication with parents and professionals and to maximise outcomes for the child. Lucy’s special interests include pediatric speech and language, social skills and augmentative and alternative communication. Outside of work Lucy enjoys, bushwalking, camping, photography and a variety of arts and crafts. 

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