Speech Therapy Melbourne

(03) 9878 2578

Speech Therapist Melbourne

The Little Bookworm
323 Springvale Rd,

Forest Hill, Victoria, 3131

Phone: (03) 9878 2578
Mobile: 0418 568 010
Fax: (03) 8672 6450

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About Us - Michelle O'Brien

Hello, my name is Michelle O'Brien. I am a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist, a member of Speech Pathology Australia and the owner of The Little Bookworm.

I have 20 plus years experience as a paediatric speech language pathologist, working with children and their families in early intervention (children 0-6) and with children in schools. My background includes working with children with underlying physical and/or intellectual disabilities, and also children with developmental speech and language delays and disorders.  In addition I have recently worked at La Trobe University at as lecturer and researcher.

My specialist skills and interests are in the following areas....read more.

  • Speech development and disorders (delayed speech, disordered or distorted speech, dyspraxia (difficulty with coordinating oral muscles to form speech sounds), dysarthria (difficulties with muscle tone - low tone resulting in floppy muscles, or high tone resulting in very tight muscles and the impact of muscle tone on speech);
  • Language development and disorders (children late to begin talking, difficulties with any aspect of spoken language development such as spoken grammar, vocabulary, narrative and conversation skills);
  • Autism spectrum disorders including children from mild disorders, to children who have no speech;
  • Pre-literacy skills (oral vocabulary, phonological awareness - the ability to identify words in sentences and part words (sounds and syllables) in words;
  • Parent/child interaction and its impact on early speech, language development, pre-literacy and literacy development; and
  • Assisting parents and carers choose books and use book sharing strategies that enhance their child's interest and skills in oral language, pre-literacy and literacy.
  • In addition, because I am an active researcher as well as clinician, I have skills and interests in using up to date research evidence to inform my clinical practice.

In addition to my qualifications and experience as a speech pathologist, I also am a parent and aunty, and have the practical day to day experience of managing a household, family and career. As a consequence of this experience, I understand the importance of incorporating speech and language goals into everyday activities where possible rather than attempting to add them to an already busy day.

I have a grown up daughter and two beautiful dogs, Audrey and Henry (of course by daughter is beautiful also!!).  Audrey and Henry come to work with me most days.  For many children, coming into a child friendly clinic and being greeted by a couple of exuberant K9s helps break the ice. Of course dogs are not everyone's cup of tea, and for those children, Audrey and Henry play at the back of the clinic.

I also have a background in information technology and its application to health care, and a PhD in the area of clinical decision support (using information technology to assist making clinical decisions). I have a passion for research and have strong focus on using research evidence to inform clinical practice decisions when research evidence is available.

I look forward to meeting and/or working with you and your child or children.  Please do not hessitate to contact me with any questions (follow the Contact Us tab).



Research papers

Tuohy, A., and O'Brien, M. (2008). Spotlight on students' work: Evaluation of study methodology: Studies investigating characteristics of OME that impact speech and language development. Acquiring Knowledge in Speech Language and Hearing, 10 (3), 103-4.

Williams, S., and O'Brien, M. (2008). Spotlight on students' work: To intervene or not to intervene: Australian Indigenous children with  OM-induced language delay. Acquiring Knowledge in Speech Language and Hearing, 10 (3), 104-5.

O’Brien, M., Dodd, K. J. and Bilney, B. (2008). A qualitative analysis of a progressive resistance exercise programme for people with Parkinson’s disease, Disability and Rehabilitation, 30 (18) 1350-1357.

O'Brien, M. C. and Yearwood, J. L. (2005). Decisions Surrounding Adverse Drug Reaction Prescribing: Insights from Consumers and Implications for Decision Support. Journal of Research and Practice in Information Technology, 37(1), 57-71.

O'Brien, M. C., and Yearwood, J. L. (2004). Risk: Drug therapy versus adverse drug reaction.  A case study approach with consumer, medical and expert views. Proceedings: HIC 2002: Improving Quality by Lowering Barriers, 453-455

O'Brien, M. C., and Yearwood, J. L. (2003). Insights into consumer decisions surrounding adverse drug reactions: Some preliminary results. Proceedings: HIC 2003 RACGP12CC, 100-105.

Oates, J. M. and O’Brien, M. C. (1987) Medical, Rehabilitative and Psychosocial Factors Associated with Alaryngeal Speech Acquisition and Proficiency.  Australian Journal of Human Communication Disorders 15(1), 39-48.

Research Reports

O’Brien, M. (2009). Review of Speech Pathology Service Provision offered by Catholic Education Office Melbourne. School of Human Communication Sciences, La Trobe University (NB: this is not a public document).

O’Brien, M (2006).A Scoping Study to Investigate the Evidence Based Practice of Total Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Continuum of Care with a Focus on Long-term Health Related Quality of Life Outcomes. School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of Ballarat.

O'Brien, M. C. (2001). Final report to department of health and aged care for contract for services GPCG #12. Adverse drug reactions improved decision support (ADRIDS). Ballarat: Collaborative Centre for E-Health.

Research students

Decker, L., Kipka, P., O'Brien, M., & Connell, J. Investigating the integrity of speech pathology practice when delivered indirectly (working title)

Loke, A., and O’Brien, M. The influence of book type on infant interest in book sharing.  Honours study (2009 - 2010)

Tan, S., and O’Brien, M. Mother-child interaction during book sharing. Honours study (2008 - 2009)

The Little Bookworm and the BW logo are trademarks of Paediatric Speech, Language and Literacy Pty Ltd, ACN 124 787 944, as trustee for the O’Brien Trust, ABN 98 233 279 903