Early communication difficulties including delayed speech & language, and introduction of key word signing. Paediatric feeding and swallowing problems. Introduction of solids and progression with textures. Feeding refusal and oral aversion. Transition from tube to oral feeding.
Katherine Ong is a speech pathologist with over 25 years experience working in public hospitals, community health and early intervention. She has worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital since 1991, and has specialised in feeding, swallowing and communication disorders due to complex medical and neurodevelopmental problems. Katherine has worked with infants and young children with a wide range of medical conditions such as prematurity, cardiac disease, gastro-oesophageal reflux, allergy, tracheostomy, vocal fold palsy and failure to thrive.
Katherine’s experience also includes work within multidisciplinary teams, assessing and treating children with specific language impairment, autism spectrum disorders, saliva control problems, developmental delay, cerebral palsy and airway disorders.
Katherine has extensive experience in clinical education of speech pathology students and regularly presents at conferences to speech pathologists and other health professionals.
In addition to her appointment at RCH, Katherine works as a senior speech pathologist in the Newborn Intensive & Special Care nursery at the Royal Women’s Hospital.
Katherine has undertaken training in Hanen “It Takes Two to Talk” and the SOS approach to feeding. She is certified in NDT, and in the NCAST Feeding Scales.
In 2011 Katherine was awarded an “Uncle Bob’s Travelling scholarship” which enabled her to travel to the USA to attend advanced training workshops in paediatric dysphagia and to visit the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, a leading centre of paediatric care.
Katherine helps parents to understand their child’s communication and feeding behaviour, and to see the situation from their child’s point of view. She believes it is important to consider the child’s feeding and communication in the context of their development overall, and to understand the interaction of medical, psychological and environmental factors.
Katherine enjoys working collaboratively with families and other professionals (eg. Paediatricians, lactation consultants, allied health) to maximise outcomes in therapy. She believes that the goal of therapy is to enable the child to reach their full potential. Katherine offers practical and functional suggestions for incorporating therapy goals into everyday life.