One of the core elements of what we do at Hear and Say is supporting children to hear and speak, which relies on the skills of qualified speech pathologists. We sat down with Josh McVeigh to get a better understanding of what’s involved in speech therapy and why he is so passionate about working with children with hearing loss.
“I’m pretty new at Hear and Say really, having graduated from a Bachelor of Speech Pathology late 2021. I was drawn Hear and Say because someone I knew worked here and would always praise the amazing work done for children with hearing loss,” said Josh.
Research has found that 94 per cent of Australians don’t realise that clear speech can be the main form of communication for children born deaf or hard of hearing1, it can even come as a surprise to those who study speech pathology.
“When I started at Hear and Say, the biggest surprise I had was realising how well children can hear and communicate with the appropriate hearing technology and listening and spoken language intervention,” said Josh.
It takes a bit of work to achieve these outcomes – Josh goes on to explain exactly what might be involved in a specialised speech therapy lesson.
“In lessons, I use reading books and storytelling quite often – they are fantastic methods for developing important language and listening skills from an early age. I also routinely sing songs (poorly, I might add), as there is so much potential for engaging communication and listening opportunities during nursery rhymes and singing.”
Josh’s musical abilities aside, he has already proven to be a valued member of our team, working with audiologists to best support our families. This has turned out to be one of his favourite elements of the job…
“Being there when a cochlear implant is switched on for the first time, and the co-treatment sessions (where we undertake speech therapy in an audiology appointment) with myself and the audiologists has been an awesome experience. To be able to help children learn to listen for the first time, and see their family’s reactions is a pretty special feeling,” said Josh.
1First Voice. (2021). Public Perceptions of Deafness Market Research. [Unpublished raw data].