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Freida van Staden
Speech-Language Pathologist

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I graduated as a Speech-Language Pathologist in 1973, from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1972 I received a Speech and Drama Licentiate Diploma from the University of South Africa (UNISA).

My clinical  background includes positions as a Speech-Language Pathologist with the Transvaal Education Department, and as a research assistant and clinical tutor at the University of the Witwatersrand. While there, a special unit for young language and hearing impaired children was established and I was involved with the language impaired section of this unit. My experience includes working in a remedial school and at a boys’ home.
In 1978 I established my own private practice in Johannesburg.

I am a Member of Speech Pathology Australia, and also a
Member of the Private Speech Pathologists’ Association ( NSW).

I was privileged to be part of a group of Speech-Language Pathologists, situated in Gordon, Sydney, Australia, which I joined  in April 1998. I worked at this practice for just over 5 years until 30th June 2003.

In July 2003 I relocated to Albury NSW Australia and now work in  Albury, Thurgoona, Table Top  and Jinderra.

The practice in Gordon was originally co-founded by Dr Caroline Bowen.

Caroline Bowen PhD is an Australian Speech-Language Pathologist. Her clearly written, user-friendly and regularly updated  Web Site  provides theoretically sound information for families, students and SLP professionals about speech, language, voice, fluency and pragmatic disorders in children. Throughout the site, fact is clearly differentiated from opinion. Caroline includes a lot of information about her research interest of developmental phonological disorders, a question and answer section for  non speech language pathologists about phonological and articulation disorders and dyspraxia , and extensive links to other sites.

In Dr Caroline Bowen's section on Developmental Phonological Disorders she states:

"Speech-Language Pathologists are constantly asked the following two questions:

"Why do some children, who have apparently overcome their developmental phonological disorder, in that their speech now sounds quite all right, have reading and spelling problems?"

"Why do they have difficulty with, or slowness in, acquiring the pre-literacy skills that are a necessary foundation for learning to read fluently with understanding, spell, and produce written work?"

As parents and professionals we are finally beginning to get some answers to these important questions. Current research is showing that it is because these children have poor phonological awareness in particular, and poor metalinguistic skills generally.

Phonological awareness is the ability to recognise and manipulate the sounds and syllables used to compose words.

Metalinguistic ability is the capacity to think about and talk about language."

Research is showing more and more that phonemic manipulation is important  for developing reading, writing and spelling skills. The better able the child is to manipulate phonemes, the better equipped he will be, to read, write and spell. Some children who have difficulty with phonological development also have difficulty acquiring reading, writing and spelling skills. It is also beginning to emerge that linking the written symbol with the sounds (when the child is old enough), is beneficial in acquiring 'phonological awareness' and may enhance skills for reading.

It remains a constant challenge to provide motivating and positively reinforcing material for children just beginning to learn to read. Sometimes the mere initiation of  the task of reading is difficult.  Often, for children who find reading difficult, much coaxing, motivation and positive reinforcement is required.

As an incentive Creative Writing has been introduced.


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