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South Australian families to benefit from grant

30 June 2015

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Act for Kids has been awarded a grant from Community Benefit SA (CBSA) to employ a part-time speech language pathologist for its Integrated Therapy Program in Adelaide, to provide assessment and interventions to children and young people who suffer from speech and language difficulties.

Act for Kids’ Integrated Therapy Program in Adelaide has been running since 2014. The program aims to help children and young people overcome their experiences and trauma through therapeutic support, and also offers counselling for families facing challenges.

Trauma from abuse and neglect results in wide ranging, and potentially permanently disabling, developmental impairments in children. Children not only exhibit emotional and psychological impairments, they may also experience speech and language, fine and gross motor, sensory and behavioural difficulties.

The aim of the speech and language component of the program is to improve speech and language developmental outcomes and general wellbeing of children and young people who have experienced trauma. Speech language pathologists can help with articulation of words, building vocabulary and improving communication.

Kathy Moar, Clinical Psychologist at Act for Kids, said employing a speech language pathologist will fill a service gap for children in Adelaide, and improve communication, wellbeing and family functioning.

“Language and speech are generally the first areas where difficulties begin to show, as trauma can have detrimental impacts on a child’s brain development and functioning. They might have delayed speech skills, if nobody talks to them or reads them books, they might have a speech impediment or not use many words or articulate their feelings well.

“Studies suggest that children with speech delays are more likely to have a difficult time communicating and bonding with others, which can have effect how they think and feel about themselves.

“If children miss out on these basics in childhood, it’s difficult to remedy later in life. It’s critical that children’s physical, social and emotional needs are met when they’re young and growing so their brain can develop normally,” Kathy Moar said.

About Community Benefit SA

Community Benefit SA (CBSA) provides one-off project funding to incorporated, non-government, non-profit, charitable and social welfare organisations to develop and strengthen communities across the metropolitan, rural and remote regions of South Australia.

Grants aim to improve the community participation, life management skills, well-being and quality of life of disadvantaged individuals, families and communities.