Thirty percent of Australia's population live in rural areas, some of them quite remote. This can cause problems for people who need specialized medical services. One of the services in short supply for students is speech and language pathology.
One young student, Charlie Pole, was suffering at school because his speech was behind his peers.
Charlie's kindergarten teacher, Bree O'Shannessy, saw Charlie struggling in class. He was shy about communicating and was becoming isolated and withdrawn. The other kids couldn't understand what he was saying. She was concerned because untreated speech deficiencies can cause life-long problems, even affecting the child's ability to make a living as an adult.
Concerned for his well being, Charlie's mom, Kate, was driving him over six hours round trip to get him the help he needed. It was exhausting for them both. It was difficult for Charlie to respond positively because of the physically demanding trip to see the speech therapist. Thanks to Flying Doctor Speech Therapy, Charlie now receives treatment close to home and is making progress. It's an offshoot of the Royal Flying Doctors Service, which had been established ninety years earlier to bring medical treatment to people in the Australian bush.
Flying doctors help in two ways. There is a fly-in clinic; and telehealth services are also available. Giving Aussie kids access to speech and language intervention will provide kids like Charlie with the treatment they need to communicate and participate in education on a level with other students.
Kate is optimistic about Charlie's progress and sees the Flying Docs as giving her son a better future. She says "You just have hopes and dreams for your children that they can achieve everything that they'd like to, and I see this as a stepping stone on his journey,"
Over 25,000 new Speech and Language Pathologists will be needed by 2026. Contact Staffing Plus to discover what an expert staffing firm can do for your career.
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