Speech and language key to progress

Speech and language at play: Micah enjoys a dinosaur game with his older brother Jesse.
Speech and language at play: Micah enjoys a dinosaur game with his older brother Jesse.

Micah’s mother Rosemary said she was shocked to hear her son had been diagnosed with the condition and sought developmental help.

‘I always thought Micah’s silence meant that he would be a late bloomer, but when we were told that he had a severe speech and language delay, I just cried. It is very isolating to be told that there is something wrong with your child but that there is no official diagnosis for it,’ Ms Smith said.

Because a speech and language delay is not classed as a disability, Ms Smith said Micah would not have any allowances made at school, meaning the family needed to look elsewhere for support when they found the Telethon speech language program.

‘I heard about the TSH Speech and Language Program through another mum and when we arrived I was instantly relieved to see other children and families in a similar situation. I felt like Micah belonged somewhere.’

Ms Smith, from Nollamara, said when Micah was four his language skills were only at the stage of a two and a half year old, but as a result of the TSH Speech and Language program, he is performing well.

‘As a result of the program, Micah was doing things that my oldest child wasn’t doing in pre-primary or kindy.’

Deputy principal of the program Janene Hall said adequate oral language skills were vital for children to communicate their wants and needs, build literacy skills and develop healthy social skills.

‘The play-based thematic program is delivered and supported by a multi-disciplinary team of teachers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists and audiologists.’