Kristy Gillespie and son Dylan, 9, with speech therapist Debbie Braund.
Kristy Gillespie and son Dylan, 9, with speech therapist Debbie Braund. Alistair Brightman

First word the start of greatness

THE work of speech therapist Debbie Braund has changed the life of a nine-year-old boy forever, according to his mother Kristy Gillespie.

Dylan Gillespie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition known as Dyspraxia, had never said a word until he met Mrs Braund in 2008.

"Because of Dylan's condition it was hard for him to speak and move freely," Mrs Gillespie said.

"He has some extra pieces on his genes, so his exact condition is extremely rare, less than 2% of children in the world have it."

Getting Dylan to talk was no easy task Mrs Gillespie said.

"We had seen about five other therapists, but none of them were able to get him talking," she said.

"Then we met Mrs Braund and he began to make a lot of progress."

Mrs Gillespie said while her son was not able to speak as well as the average nine-year-old, the changes to his life had been immense since he began working with Mrs Braund.

"He is able to form full sentences and even read," she said.

"It's been an incredible amount of progress for such a short amount of time."

Since working with Mrs Braund, Dylan had been accepted to a specialty speech and language school in Brisbane, Mrs Gillespie said.

"The school specialises in speech therapies and teaching students with learning difficulties," she said.

"Hopefully the school will help Dylan with his speech even more."

While Mrs Braund said she was sad to see one of her favourite patients leave, she was glad to see the progress he had made.

"We did a lot of work with PROMPT speech, as well as a lot of other techniques," Mrs Braund said.

"Going to the new school will be great for Dylan's development."


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