On 7th May, 5 final-year speech pathology students were fortunate enough to join a group of medical students delivering the Teddy Bear Hospital Programme to the children of Cherbourg State School.
We organised and ran the Otitis Media Station. This preventative health information is particularly crucial due to the high prevalence of otitis media in Indigenous communities, and, indeed, in Cherbourg. Otitis media has grave implications for children as fluctuating hearing loss results in difficulties for children in developing speech and language, and in turn, literacy.
Our station was very well received and the children were very responsive to our message. (Although I think they taught us a lot more than we taught them!)
After meeting with the Head of Special Education Services, we were invited to the pre-prep room where we had the delight of playing with the children. (They were shy for about 30 seconds and then we became human climbing frames!). By playing with the children, we were able to informally assess their speech and language. This knowledge and the relationships developed at Cherbourg State School will inform our future clinical skills trip to Cherbourg.
Overall, our trip to Cherbourg was positive and unforgettable, and it is my plan that Griffith University Speech Pathology, Hope4Health, and the community of Cherbourg will continue our partnership for years to come.
Hope4Health Speech Pathology Representative