Speech pathol­o­gist re­united with stu­dent


Stirling Times - - Front Page -

ABBEY El­liot could only speak in vow­els un­til the age of six. Today, the 16-year-old Pen­rhos Col­lege stu­dent is work­ing on a mu­sic video as part of a school project and her favourite sub­ject is me­dia.

Abbey was di­ag­nosed with se­vere ver­bal dys­praxia at the age of two, and a year later joined the Talk­a­bout pro­gram at Telethon Speech and Hear­ing (TSH) where she at­tended un­til start­ing full-time school aged six.

She said speech pathol­o­gists and teach­ers in the Talk­a­bout pro­gram, which is for chil­dren with lan­guage dif­fi­cul­ties, gave her con­fi­dence to speak, ad­vice on how to han­dle dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions and taught her so­cials skills.

Last week Abbey caught up with her for­mer speech pathol­o­gist Bri­ony Heap, of Scar­bor­ough and teacher as­sis­tant Esper­anza Moreno at TSH.

“Abbey’s amaz­ing. When she came here she was speak­ing in just vow­els so it’s amaz­ing how con­fi­dent she is even speak­ing to strangers,” Bri­ony, who joined TSH 11 years ago, said.

“I’ve still got a folder on my com­puter called Abbey of things her mum has sent me.

“I re­mem­ber Abbey and her friend Lau­ren Johnston were in­sep­a­ra­ble and some­times got a bit cheeky.”

Abbey said she was still in con­tact with Lau­ren and re­mem­bered them hid­ing in the blue boat in the play­ground when teach­ers were call­ing stu­dents in­side.

Bri­ony said the speech pathol­ogy team at TSH had in­creased from two to seven since she started. She said TSH was al­ways work­ing with new re­search.

A TSH class photo from 2007 with Abbey El­liot (bot­tom, third from left), Bri­ony Heap (top, sec­ond from left) and Esper­anza Moreno (top, sec­ond from right).

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d474729

Speech pathol­o­gist Bri­ony Heap with Abbey El­liot and Esper­anza Moreno (teacher assistant).

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