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How speech and language therapy helped me

My name is Bradley and I am a student at Ambitious College.  

Struggling with my communication

In the past I found communication difficult because I was talking too quickly and too quietly a lot of the time. This made me feel like no one was listening, and I was often worried that I wouldn't have time to finish talking– leading me to speak even quicker. 

Sometimes, I also felt that people didn’t understand me and this meant that they gave me too much help. It was frustrating for me because I was not able to speak for myself as others would keep talking over me. Instead, I wanted a chance to say I needed help, or to describe the help that I needed. 

When I felt that people weren’t listening to me, I felt annoyed – not at the people – but because the situation was challenging. I knew that I sometimes found it hard to say things in the right way or would struggle to say the right words.


I wanted to find my own voice

To improve my communication, I have received help at Ambitious College. The speech and language therapist produced a programme for me, helping me to be understood. This included working on how to say different sounds. This felt silly at times but was also fun.  

My teacher encouraged me to talk to more people in the classroom, working with my peers and staff to practice my conversation skills. My keyworker also helped with my communication by listening to me and helping me to understand my feelings.


Communication allowed me to build rapports

At first, I found it hard to speak to staff and new people. It was not due to my personal feelings towards them, it was because I was still getting to know them and trust them. But now our relationships are fun and I like talking to them. As I continued to improve my communication, some peers and staff became my favourite people to talk to, including staff members that have since left.  

Now that I have worked hard on my communication, I am able to help other people in my class with speech and language. I talk to my peers without help from staff, as well as helping my peers with their communication skills.


My speaking confidence has given me new opportunities

At college we built and designed ukuleles as part of an employment project. We held a silent auction and it was my job to announce the winners over Microsoft Teams. I practiced with my teacher and during the announcement everyone understood me – this was a big achievement for me.  

Now, I am also attending infill classes at a mainstream college and because of the progress I have made, I feel comfortable talking to new people that I encounter. Infill classes allow me to join mainstream college classes with my support staff.


My hard work has paid off

Improving my communication has helped me in many areas of life, but my biggest achievement is being able to say my name – I didn’t say my name for six years! Now I am introducing myself to visitors and new people thanks to my improved confidence and the fact I feel good about myself.  

Lastly, I now feel like I am understood.  I am also able to talk to a couple of people in college about my feelings, and though I can still find this hard sometimes, it is important to talk about them so I can get help. To help with this, I have a ‘feeling book’ so that I can talk to my teacher about my feelings at the end of the day. 

Now that I have the skills I need for adult life, my next goal for the future is to talk as much as possible! 


About the author

Bradley is an autistic young person who is currently studying at college. Bradley enjoys writing stories, making people laugh and watching nostalgic cartoons, as well as helping others with their speech and communication.