Speech pathologist reunited with student
TSH PROGRAM CURES CHILDHOOD IMPEDIMENT
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).
Speech pathologist Briony Heap with Abbey Elliot and Esperanza Moreno (teacher assistant).