Talking is something often taken for granted, until it is suddenly taken away.
With the help of speech pathologists, like Natalie Williams, people who suffer speech difficulties due to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident are getting the help they need to get regain their communication skills.
Speech pathologists diagnose and treat a range of communication disorders and Natalie and her team have worked with four Lifetime Support Scheme (LSS) participants, each of whom has sustained a serious brain injury affecting their ability to communicate.
Natalie said that her work with Lifetime Support Scheme participants has been particularly rewarding.
“Contributing to the early discharge from residential rehabilitation has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my work with Scheme participants. Our participants are so pleased to get home and still continue the intensive rehab-style therapy they were accessing before discharge, but in their own environment,” she said.
“It is wonderful to work with a client in their own context, rather than in an office or hospital ward.”
“I have also loved the teamwork involved in working with Scheme participants. The Lifetime Support Authority has gathered a group of highly skilled, flexible therapists and service planners to ensure that goals are set and the team works together to ensure the participant meets them – it is an outstanding multidisciplinary team.”
“Before the Scheme, I would often see blame and fault associated with these situations. There would also be anxiety from the client and their carer around funding for services and support.”
“Now, I see a focus on support for the participants, with a strong emphasis on improving function and participation.”
Natalie said that communication involves speaking, hearing, listening, understanding, social skills, reading, writing, cognition, memory and using voice, and so far has worked with LSS participants in all of these areas of communication.
Image – above right: Natalie Williams.
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This article was featured in the June 2015 Edition of LSS News. The LSS Update is a quarterly enewsletter from Lois and the LSA team.