Janet Colson

Janet Colson in outdoor setting

Paediatric speech pathologist

Caringbah / Engadine Community Health

“I love helping children and families with their communication, because it is so important. In the paediatric team we work with children from 0 – 16 and help with a variety of communication needs including speech, language, stuttering, social communication, voice problems and sometimes feeding difficulties. Children learn through play and play is a really important part of the therapy. Sometimes people probably think all we do is play, but actually there’s a whole lot of science and evidence that’s driving that.

I remember this two-year old who made me laugh. When we first started he didn’t have any words. He understood everything and mostly expressed himself with gestures. We had been working together for six months and one day during a game, it was my turn and he pointed at me and said “speech man”. I was so excited that he put two words together! I loved that he called me speech man, because he made me feel like a superhero. It was really cute and a wonderful moment. His mum was thrilled and now he’s putting lovely little sentences together.

I enjoy the unknown aspect of my job. I often think, I’m doing something with you now and I don’t know what you’ll do with that. Will you go on to be school captain? Will you go on to use your skills to help someone else communicate? What does the future hold for you?”