Support for kids with speech problems could be coming

A GROUND-BREAKING support service for children with speech problems soon could be operating in the Gladstone region.

Royal Queensland Bush Children's Health Scheme, also known as BUSHkids, is preparing to launch a pilot program in which social workers will liaise with teachers and parents to help children who struggle to talk.

BUSHkids general manager Carlton Meyn said the concept would enhance the support his agency provided for children with developmental delays and other problems.

BUSHkids already employs speech pathologists, psychologists and occupational therapists who provide intensive pre-education support for thousands of disadvantaged children across Queensland.

"Often parents bring to us their children who can hardly speak," Mr Meyn said.

"The children do not have enough of the learning ability or the speech ability because of developmental delays.

"If the problem is not corrected by the age of six, the person is never going to speak properly. This affects their confidence and it rolls into other problems."

Mr Meyn said social workers would work with kindergarten and primary-school teachers to identify children who needed support.

He said the pilot program would start in Stanthorpe, Nanango and Kingaroy in the coming months. Mr Meyn said he hoped it would operate across the state soon.