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Telethon Speech & Hearing: Helps Build Confidence In Children

by Jemma Fletcher (follow)
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TSH teaches children with speech, language or hearing impairments to listen and speak.

Telethon Speech & Hearing is a specialised language service for children who are having difficulty with speech and language delays or disorders.

Their Talkabout Program is a specialised playgroup and school for children under five years of age who are experiencing delays or disorders in speech or language. There are 4 Talkabout Programs to choose from; they range from playgroups for 2 and 3 year olds, to Kindergarten and Pre Primary classes for 4 and 5 year olds.

Telethon Speech & Hearing: Siamos family

According to Natalie Willacy, a speech pathologist and deputy principal of the Talkabout program, a drop in confidence can be common for children with a speech or language delay. “Confidence in your abilities is the foundation for good learning,” said Ms Willacy.

“It’s all about instilling that confidence in our children because they can come in with that awareness that their language is different to other children. Structuring our programs so that they’re achieving goals set specifically for them gives them that confidence, which then lays a good foundation for learning going forward.”

“Parents report that once their child has confidence in their language abilities, they’re more likely to start using that language in social situations with family and friends, and, in general, communicate more with others.”

Telethon Speech & Hearing

For mum Sonia Siamos, the program has been a godsend for her son Ronan. “I had noticed he was a lot quieter than my daughter, and the child health nurse had reported he was always on that later side of things with all his milestones,” she said. “Everybody said ‘don’t worry about it’, but my gut told me to investigate and push things further. I knew something wasn’t right.”

Ronan was attending kindergarten when his language delay was formally picked up. His mum signed him up with the Talkabout program, which he began attending the following week. They have been there ever since. “Ronan is a July baby, so he was one of the eldest in the class. However, his speech was like one of the youngest.”

He is now seven and a half and is enrolled with the Talkabout Literacy Group, a reading and spelling support program for Year 1 and 2 students. “Telethon has really helped him come out of his shell and be more confident, and has given him beautiful ways of learning in an active way, as well as good behaviours. He’s a real chatterbox now, and very social. It’s also helped me be more confident, and to be his advocate and know what I need to ask for on his behalf. They give you guidance in the overall scheme of things, which has just been fantastic.”

For more information about the Talkabout program, visit their website here or telephone Telethon Speech & Hearing on 9387 9888.

Do you know a late talker? Watch this video for three signs your child has a language delay.

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