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Speech-Language Therapists change children’s lives

Media Release 24 May 2008

Speech-Language Therapists change children’s lives everyday

Social skills are vital to a child’s confidence, ability to learn and interact with their environment. This will be the hot topic discussed by the 500 NZ and Australian Speech-Language Therapists gathering for a conference at SkyCity Auckland next week.

Every time Liam wanted to introduce himself, he felt a surge of panic because he could not say the “l” sound. How could he say his name?

Fortunately, help was close on hand in the form of a speech-language therapist. Further assessment of Liam’s speech highlighted a number of other difficulties, and a treatment program was put in place.

“The impact on Liam’s life since seeing an SLT has been huge!” proclaims Kelly; “I had no idea of the extent of Liam’s speech difficulties, and what he was up against. There was no way we could have dealt with this without professional help” she says.

The improvements Liam made through speech-language therapy were “almost immediate”, and the effect these improvements had on Liam’s performance at school and self-confidence were incredibly rewarding for all involved.

When asked how Liam is progressing six months on Kelly’s enthusiasm can’t be contained. “He's thriving – much, much more confident and doing well at school. In hindsight I think that Liam being the oldest child meant I had nothing to compare him to - I thought it was an age thing and that as he got older his speech would automatically improve.”

Liam’s therapist - Lucy Sparshott - actively encourages parents with concerns to seek the advice of a speech-language therapist. “So much can be done to improve communication skills, children needn’t be struggling with confidence, learning and self esteem ...and the earlier people seek help the better the results.”

Kelly’s final heart warming comment is an inspiration to all Speech Language Therapists as she wishes them well for their conference at Sky City 25-29th May.
“Keep up the good work!! You guys really do change lives.”

Facts about Speech-Language Therapy in NZ
There is only one Speech Language therapist for every 953 New Zealanders suffering from a communication and/or swallowing disorder. SLTs are asking for recognition and support from our communities so we can help our clients access the lives we all take for granted.


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