Less than a year ago, the autistic Edgewater boy ” who has difficulty expressing himself through a condition known as childhood apraxia of speech ” could only say one word.
But thanks to intensive speech pathology and help from his family, Liam can now speak in two to three-word phrases, as well as use a range of different sounds to convey his thoughts.
Local speech pathologist Emily Dawes described him as a determined and truly remarkable child.
Kallaroo resident Trevor Strickland is another affected by communication frustrations, but not because he has a speech condition himself.
Mr Strickland is a primary carer for his mother Barbara, who has a brain condition known as corticobasal degeneration, which makes speaking and swallowing a day-to-day battle.
Ms Dawes said Mr Strickland had supported his mother through years of speech pathology.
‘Trevor is an inspiration to speech pathologists and the community for his unwavering support and care of Barbara, providing full assistance with her activities of daily living, and his vigilant and passionate advocacy for her,’ she said.
‘Communication is a basic human right, and because of the nature of a communication difficulty, it can be very difficult for individuals to advocate for themselves.’
Speech Pathology Australia recently paid tribute to Liam and Mr Strickland.
Liam was named Inspirational Client of the Year, while Mr Strickland was honoured as Inspirational Carer of the Year.