Given Back the Gift of Speech

Article excerpt

Byline: Rodney Stevens Rodney.Stevens@northernstar.com.au

WITHOUT extensive speech therapy following her stroke, Jenny Sheldon says she still wouldn't be able to talk, read or write.

For four months twice a day Jenny worked with speech pathologist Liesel Younger to regain her communication skills.

Ms Younger said following the stroke Jenny, a former school teacher, who had a stoke in the classroom five years ago, was left with major communication difficulties.

aJenny couldn't read, write or speak, but now she can speak well,a she said.

Since regaining her communication skills, Jenny, an accomplished jazz singer, has gone on to study a Certificate IV in Recreational Leisure Therapy at TAFE.

The determined woman said she hoped to secure permanent employment as a leisure therapist.

aIf it wasn't for the speech therapy with the amazing Liesel I wouldn't be where I am today,a she said.

aLiesel Younger helped me in rehabilitation with my speech; she helped me with my vowels. I could only say a[approximately]yes' and a[approximately]I don't think so'.a

aI wanted to get into leisure therapy as I like to put back something, and I know what the situation is like for many of these people from when I had the stroke.a

Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) National President Christine Stone said many Australians struggled to communicate effectively to interact with their friends and families, work and participate in social events. …

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