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August 21-27 is Speech Pathology Week and to commemorate the occasion Connect Health & Community volunteer, Leesa, has written a story about her speech pathology experience.
This is a story about speech pathology and how it helped me. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to have speech therapy.
I went to speech pathology because I could not talk until I was two. Before I started speech therapy, I couldn't even make a baby noise, so my parents decided to give me a chance to talk by going through speech therapy.
I went to private speech therapy because if I went to a public one there was a bit of a waiting list. My parents sent me to a private practice which only cost them $15 at the time for an hour and a half per week. They got most of the money back through Medicare.
After about 10 years I only had speech therapy once a fortnight because my talking was getting better. I had to practise at home with a tape recorder and play it back to hear myself speak.
Speech therapy taught me how to speak clearly and how to drink properly. I was having trouble swallowing because I was drinking too fast and started to choke. It was a horrible situation because I couldn’t breathe.
Speech therapy helped me learn how to say letters and words properly by watching my speech therapist and copying how she used her mouth, lips and tongue to make the right sounds.
I had cue cards showing letters and words that I had trouble with and my speech therapist would break down the word into separate sounds to make it easier. Take the word ‘hippopotamus’ for example. She would break it down to hipp-o-pot-a-mus.
At times I wanted to give up because it was hard, but Mum and Dad pushed me to go to keep going to my speech therapist. When I get tired I still have problems saying difficult words and swallowing – but in the end, it was worth every cent because I can communicate with the world. Now, I never shut up… even when I’m asleep.
The benefits of having speech therapy are that I can say words more clearly and swallow property without choking. Speech therapy has given me more confidence to get out in the community. I love that I can encourage other people to get speech therapy because if I can talk, so can they.
I say to people who are going to see a speech pathologist; don’t give up.
Connect Health & Community offers speech therapy for children who have problems with speaking, understanding, socialising, eating or drinking.
For more information call us on 03) 9575 5333 or visit https://connecthealth.org.au/our-services-programs-groups/speech-pathology-for-kids/Reading and writing
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