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The Power of Communication

Anne Braekkan is a Speech and Language Therapist at Corseford School, this Christmas Anne wants to tell you about the incredible work she is able to do with the support of our donors.

Did you know almost one in 50 children in Scotland has difficulty with communication? For one in five of those children the need is severe. That can mean having no verbal communication at all - or just being able to use eye movement to express what you want to say. The support of our donors helps to ensure that more children get the right support. Children like Gemma.

When Gemma first came to us, even at her young age, she got so angry and upset because she found it very difficult to take part in spontaneous conversations. By the time she had managed to get her point across the conversation had moved on and she felt completely left out. We were able to support her to get the right equipment and help her to get the most out of it.

"Not being able to express how you feel can be so lonely and so frustrating. The best part of my job is that I get to help children to develop the ability to communicate their thoughts and emotions. "

Not being able to express how you feel can be so lonely and so frustrating. The best part of my job is that I get to help children to develop the ability to communicate their thoughts and emotions. It transforms their lives - and the lives of their families.

One of the young men I support who had very little physical movement and no verbal communication was trying out a communication aid, Eye Gaze. This technology allows the user to communicate using their eye movement to control the words that are spoken. During the trial, the lad looked over at his mother and used the words "I love you." His mother couldn't believe it. She asked, "Are you saying that to me?" And he looked at her and again stated, "I love you."

His mum was overjoyed. It was the first time her son had been able to communicate like this and he chose to express how much he loved her. More than anything, that's what he wanted to say. I was almost in tears. It's moments like that throughout my career at Capability Scotland that really inspire me. I know how I'd feel if that was me.

Thanks to our supporters we're making strides towards changing the way people with communication needs are supported across Scotland. We've teamed up with other organisations successfully urging the Government to make extra funding available to help improve services and provide equipment for people with communication needs.

Coms aid

We've also been able to change what we do ourselves.  Last year we trained 180 Capability Scotland staff in how to support people with their communication needs. We want to make sure that every adult and child Capability Scotland works alongside has the support they need to express themselves.

But there is so much more to be done.

It's so important that people feel included in our society. Your voice or expression can help  greatly with this. For some even just establishing a yes or no can take a little while but it makes a huge difference.

"I believe that everyone has the right to be heard and understood."

If I had a Christmas wish it would be that every person with communication needs is able to communicate to their full potential. By making a donation of £100 this Christmas, you can help us take a step towards making that happen.

Your donation could help us change the world for people facing communication challenges. Just £5 could pay for a kit which allows us to assess the level of understanding of someone who has no verbal communication. Please help us make sure as many people as possible are managing to say Happy New Year to their loved ones in 2015.

On behalf of Capability Scotland, we warmly wish you a Merry Christmas.

Anne

Your money can make a real difference:

£10 could pay for two kits which allows us to assess the level of understanding of someone who has no verbal communication. 

£30 could mean that someone needing assistance with a communications problem is given the help and emotional support they need from our Advice Line staff to take the required next step.  

£120 could buy a simple communicator which could hold 20 phrases enabling someone to tell their doctor where the pain is and when they can come for their next appointment.