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Everyday Life Stories

Colin Builds Language to Express Himself

Let us introduce Colin; Colin is 43 years old and has been predominately non-verbal and has navigated life using a limited number of single words to communicate, along with language cards and family/support staff interpretation.

Colin has been working with Behaviour Support Practitioner Ellie in the Launceston team. After only a short time with Colin, it was clear to Ellie that his challenging behaviours resulted from his inability to express himself clearly, leading to frustration.

Ellie connected with Everyday Independence Speech Pathologist Wan and shared Colin’s story. Wan immediately had ideas of how she could support Colin with his communication barriers and officially joined Colin’s dedicated therapy team. Wan quickly identified opportunities in Colin’s daily routine that could significantly improve his quality of life. A simple but important example of this was Colin’s breakfast choices – with limited language skills, the housing staff often decided what to have for breakfast, so this was the starting point for Colin and Wan.

Together with Colin’s support network, they worked to introduce more communication cards that reflected meal choices and food selection. The cards covered a greater variety of breakfast meal options: toast, cereal, porridge and more, and were followed by condiments and brands such as jam, honey, Weetbix, Cornflakes and so on.

The new system was working superbly and proving to be an enormous success, with a noticeable decline in the frequency and intensity of certain behaviours of concern. With the support of his family and therapy team, Colin has gained greater choice and control over this small but significant part of his life, and the amazing outcomes are just getting started!

Achieving Greater Outcomes

Recently, Wan attended an appointment with Colin, hoping to watch the breakfast cards in action. To her delight, when it came time for breakfast, Colin announced (yes, verbally!) ‘Honey, toast’ without missing a beat. And this isn’t just two new words added to his vocabulary, but a two-word phrase!

Colin, his family, and the therapy team are proud of his hard work and commitment to achieving this personal goal. There is a refreshed sense of belief in Colin, with the teams quickly setting their sights on more everyday language – none more important than ‘Mum’, ‘Dad’, and ‘family’.

When asked about her time with Colin, Wan said,

I am excited to watch his progress, as his communication has changed so much. I am very excited to see all the things he will achieve by being able to communicate his wants and needs.

Speech Pathologist, Wan

Congratulations, Colin and team – these outcomes are truly amazing, and we can’t wait for an update on all your language milestones!

Are you Ready to Achieve Positive Life Change?

Speak to our Access team on 1300 179 131 or complete an online form, and we’ll be in touch to learn more about how we can assist you or someone you care for.

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