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
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
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