The Speech Therapy (ST) Week is celebrated annually in Singapore and this year’s celebrations at SPD were filled with activities aimed at getting people to find out more about the profession. This year’s ST Week fell between 30 October and 3 November and activities were planned according to the theme “We Care: Communication and Swallowing Health”.
Speech therapists at SPD planned a series of activities at its headquarters and five centres for staff, clients and caregivers during lunch-time with the objectives to:
1. Raise awareness of communication difficulties and its impact on quality of life
2. Create a better understanding of a wide range of communication disorders
3. Communicate the roles of a speech therapist
A quiz was designed to introduce alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) to participants. It required participants to guess a sentence or answer a question presented in the form of symbols. Symbols used in AAC systems are often in the form of signs, line drawings or pictures with text. However, to make the quiz more challenging, text was omitted.
In “Barrier Challenge”, participants were asked to follow verbal instructions read out by a game master, requiring them to perform actions related to a picture stimulus. Individuals with a language delay or disorder may face difficulties understanding others or expressing themselves.
The ability to follow verbal instructions is one of the skills that speech therapists try to impart and teach the clients.
“The activities were fun and the quiz was really challenging, mainly due to the unfamiliar symbols that we were inducted to. The quiz helped to reinforce the role of the speech therapist, and helped participants understand how symbols, letters, words and phrases are used to help create messages that aid the clients’ communications,” said Amily Goh, Lead Executive, SPD.
“Kudos to all who have helped out as well as those who participated! We hope that our activities have provided everyone with a better understanding of speech therapy and the role of speech therapists. See you next year!” said Chan Yi Ren, a speech therapist who works with children with hearing impairments at a special school and also with adults with autism at the Day Activity Centre.