Melbourne Paediatric Specialists

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Ms Katherine Ong

Paediatric Speech Pathologist - Feeding, swallowing & early communication
Katherine Ong, Paediatric Speech Pathologist – Feeding, swallowing and early communication

Ms Katherine Ong

B.App.Sci. (Speech Pathology) M.A. (Applied Linguistics)
Certified Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia

Paediatric Speech Pathologist
– Feeding, swallowing and early communication

Paediatric Speech Pathologist Katherine Ong is a member of our Allied Health Team. She consults privately at Melbourne Paediatric Specialists and welcomes new patients and referrals.

Clinical Interests

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.

Background and Experience

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.

Practice Philosophies

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.

Select Presentations & Publications →

  • 2012 Supporting breastfeeding: A speech pathologist’s perspective. World Breastfeeding Week Twilight seminar, RWH, Melbourne.
  • 2012 Nurturing the baby and mother: The role of speech pathology in infant feeding. K. Ong & C. Veness. Victorian College of Lactation Consultants annual conference.
  • 2012 Effect of position during bottle feeding on physiological stability for preterm infants, J. Dawson, L. Myers, A. Moorhead, S. Jacobs, K. Ong, F. Salo, C. Kuschel 7 P. Davis. Poster presented at National Perinatal Society for Australia & New Zealand annual congress.
  • 2011 Investigation of early feeding abilities of infants with congenital cardiac conditions, B. O’Connor, K.Ong, C. Veness & SK. Ho. Speech Pathology Australia annual conference.
  • 2011 Inpatient Tube Weaning at RCH: 2 case examples. “I Can’t Eat” conference, RCH, Melbourne.
  • 2010 Feeding Disorders & Food Refusal. RCH Annual Paediatric Update.
  • 2009 Feeding Problems in Infants with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. CHERUBS Annual Conference.
  • 2002 Predicting aspiration using the Paediatric Dysphagia Screening Test: Results from a multi-centre pilot study, K. Ong, S. Reilly, K. Weir, G. Baikie & D. Reddihough. Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Alice Springs, N.T; Inaugural Conference of the Australian Academy of Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine, Sydney.
  • 2001 Assessment of children’s swallowing using videofluoroscopy, K. Ong & E. Ferguson. Australian Bobath Neurodevelopmental Association National Conference, Melbourne.
  • 2000 Looking beyond the mouth: A joint approach to a child’s feeding problem, K. Ong & B. Jordan. New Zealand National Dysphagia Symposium, Hamilton, New Zealand.


  • Morse, S., Haritou, F., Ong, K., Anderson, V., Catroppa, C. & Rosenfeld, J. (1999). Early effects of traumatic brain injury on young children’s language performance: a preliminary linguistic analysis. Pediatric Rehabilitation, 3(4), 139-148.

Public Hospital Affiliations

  • The Royal Children’s Hospital
  • The Royal Women’s Hospital


Paediatric Speech Pathology

Practitioner Consultation Fees & Appointment Availability

Katherine Ong:

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[Updated: 27 April 2022]

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