Michelle Batey (nee Santarelli) is one of the directors of Early Start Speech Pathology.

Michelle first commenced her career in 2004 working for Hunter New England Community Health service in Forster and Taree and later at East Maitland and has worked at an Early Intervention Centres, an adult Rehabilitation Hospital and a community preschool. Michelle then moved further north and spent the next 3 years working for a reputable private practice where she discovered her love of working long term with clients, to achieve the best speech pathology outcomes.

Michelle moved back to Newcastle in 2009, and worked for a large multidisciplinary private practice, where she coincidently met and worked with Amy Pollitt. She then decided it was time to work for herself and purchased Early Start Speech Pathology. Early Start has grown from a single team member to now a team of 9.

Michelle’s working days are; Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and works from both Wallsend and Warners Bay offices.

Michelle has a special interest in Autism Spectrum Disorders and has a real attachment to working with her adolescents, supporting them navigating their school system and social world, working holistically with the child’s team of therapists and school as well as using the child’s special interests in therapy approaches, always.

Michelle has extensive training in: HANEN, Floortime DIR training, Making up Lost time in Literacy (MULTILIT), Thrass and extensive emergent literacy and literacy training through Macquarie University Reading Clinic. She has attended a number of Social Thinking workshops along the years and uses Social Thinking vocabulary and techniques in her treatment approach as part of the therapy plan. She regularly attended the Spectronics Inclusive Learning Technologies Conferences as well as the Asia Pacific Autism Conferences. Michelle has attended Key Word Signing workshops as well as extensive phonological, articulation and Childhood Apraxia of Speech training and workshops. Michelle is PODD trained and has extensive understanding and approaches to Alternate and Augmentative Communication (AAC) Systems, knowing that one system does not fit all.

Michelle has worked previously in a multidisciplinary setting, and enjoys working closely with a number of clinical psychologists and Paediatricians in the Newcastle area, being part of the process and the diagnostic path of Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Learning Disorders.

Michelle is a Pearson Clinical Examiner and assists Pearson Clinical with undertaking Australian wide research in the area of speech pathology assessments and procedures.

Michelle was previously the Hunter Private Practice Representative, and also sits on the External Committee for Newcastle University, Speech Pathology Undergraduate Program.