South London-based speech and language therapist and voice pathologist, Shafaq Hassan, tells us about what makes her passionate about her profession and what it’s like going in front of the media to talk about communication needs…
I’m a Speech and Language Therapist & Voice Pathologist based in Streatham. My work predominantly involves helping children with difficulties including lisps, speech sound conditions, phonological disorder and language delay.
Earlier this year, I was invited to take part in the Living the Life television programme on Sky 806 Islam channel to discuss how speech and language therapy transforms lives.
As a British Pakistani, I’m well aware of the need to raise awareness of communication difficulties and cannot emphasise enough the need to end the stigma of labelling. My aim on the show was to empower and enable people to seek help when and if they need it.
Often a lack of understanding about how to access speech and language therapy combined with the fear of being labelled can often hold people back from seeking help. With this in mind, I decided to try to keep things as light as possible as I was determined to reach out to the community in a cordial manner and explain things in lay terms.
The 40-minute-long show went well and the feedback I received afterwards was very positive. Parents in the community suddenly felt comfortable contacting me for advice about their children’s communication difficulties and this was a new experience for me – but one that I hope will endure.
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