Sarah and Early Start Australia

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Participant focus

Sarah is a 25-year-old published author and illustrator who lives in a farm with her parents in Southern Cross, Western Australia.

She works in paid employment as an administrative assistant at the local council offices one day a week and also volunteers at a local animal sanctuary when she can.

Sarah enjoys a variety of hobbies such as cooking, reading, arts and crafts, digital art, listening to music, drawing anime and illustrated characters.

Sarah travels to Perth fortnightly where she has guitar lessons, sings in a rock band, meet up with friends through a social group and attends speech therapy.

She is often seen around East Victoria Park with her speech pathologist Tayla from Early Start Australia, enjoying a coffee or chatting.

These real-world, or hobby-based interactions with her clinicians form part of her fortnightly therapy.

Tayla and Sarah have worked together for a number of years and have made positive steps forward in building Sarah's independence.

Early Start offer evidenced-based early intervention therapy services and support to children, young adults and families Australia-wide - including occupational therapy, speech pathology, physiotherapy, dietetics and psychology.

Sarah and her speech therapist are pictured chatting in a cafe

Achieving her goals

"I enjoy coming to therapy and I like to hang out with my speech therapist" Sarah said.

Tayla describes the importance of the approach she takes with Sarah in their sessions together.

"From developing a really strong friendship and rapport with Sarah, it's helped with motivation within therapy" Tayla said.

"Particularly because we work on goals and things that she wants to work on, it's a very person-centred approach."

After publishing her first book, "The Bush Tale of Timmy Lamb", Sarah wants to continue writing books for all children.

Her next big goal finishing her second book, 'The Bush Tale of Miss Hen’, published very soon.