I nearly fell off my chair when I was told that the initial consultation is $360 with no Medicare rebate!
It's so hard watching them struggle to get the words out.
I'm not surprised you almost feel off your chair! That's 3 times what I charge, and way more than the going rate (around Melbourne anyway). I'd say keep looking around as in my opinion that's way over-priced.
kelbo - Definitely get a prof opinion. If he's having trouble getting sounds out, it sounds like he's "blocking" which is definitely a sign of stuttering rather than normal dysfluency. It is much harder to work on stuttering if they're under 3, but still worth having a go. And as Alibubba mentioned you may be eligible to get a EPC plan through your GP and then claim 5 sessions through medicare (if you see more than 1 specialist, e.g. audio, Paed etc.).
torz - In terms of what you'd expect comprehension wise in the 12- 18 month old, and this is what they've demonstrated any instance of, not whether they do it every time (as many toddlers don't usually respond every time):
- follow routine instructions with cues (e.g. put the ball in the box [pointing to the box])
- identifies familiar objects from a group of objects (e.g. cup, ball, teddy, car, spoon).
- demonstrates appropriate use of objects in play (e.g. spoon, cup, car, ball, blocks). Play skills are very closely related to language development so play at this age can tell us a lot about their communication development.
- understand when you say "wait" or "stop" (even if they don't always respond).
With regard to teaching him language, you don't really need to focus on it specifically. The best way toddlers learn is through play, so if you focus on language in an acitivity he's initiated he's more likely to learn it. e.g. If he loves playing with a ball, throw the ball up and down, saying 'up' every time it goes up, and 'down' as it comes down. Roll the ball 'fast' and 'slow'. Name the actions as he's doing them. Name the body parts he's using for the action e.g. Kick with your foot
. Catch with your hand
. Look, I caught it. It's in my hand
. " Even if you don't do this, most kids will pick up language through your every day interaction, so don't worry too much about it.