Autism ex­pert help­ing clients ful­fil po­ten­tial

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health -

SPEECH pathol­o­gist Heidi Stieglitz Ham from Autism and Lan­guage In­ter­ven­tion WA said she would never for­get the first time she worked with an autis­tic child.

“This child was a gor­geous boy with beau­ti­ful blue eyes and black hair and he used echolalia, im­i­tat­ing lan­guage from videos. I could see that he was ex­tremely bright,” Dr Stieglitz Ham said.

“We es­tab­lished a con­nec­tion and it was a joy to see him progress and grow dur­ing the time that I knew him.”

It was years af­ter this ex­pe­ri­ence when Dr Stieglitz Ham re­alised her own fa­ther had un­di­ag­nosed autism.

Dr Stieglitz Ham’s niece and nephew were all also later di­ag­nosed with autism, inspiring her to open and man­age her pri­vate prac­tice, Autism and Lan­guage In­ter­ven­tion WA, as well as be­come part of the Perth Psy­cho­log­i­cal Ser­vices’ di­ag­nos­tic team.

“I help my clients un­der­stand their strengths and scaf­fold their weak­nesses,” she said.

“Some­times they need help un­der­stand­ing how their brain works best.

“I work with in­di­vid­u­als who have never been told that their brains process in­for­ma­tion dif­fer­ently and that they see the world through a dif­fer­ent fil­ter.”

Last week, the Ned­lands res­i­dent won the $10,000 Perth Con­ven­tion Bureau City of Perth Schol­ar­ship, which will en­able Dr Stieglitz Ham to speak at a con­fer­ence for speech and lan­guage pathol­o­gists in the US in Novem­ber.

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d438755

Dr Heidi Stieglitz Ham with Chris Martin and Danny Tay­lor-Smith.

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