Stint at Retail Outlet as Therapy for Welsh Teenager With a Rare Speech Disorder

by Gopalan on  January 17, 2009 at 2:16 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
 Stint at Retail Outlet as Therapy for Welsh Teenager With a Rare Speech Disorder
A stint as salesman in a retail outlet is being tried out as treatment for a Welsh boy with a rare speech disorder.

Rhys Chinnock suffers from selective mutism that prevents him from speaking in certain social situations, though he is very much capable of talking as others.

It is a condition which could have prevented him from finding work. But thanks to a training scheme the 17-year-old is gaining experience working in a high street store, growing in confidence and tackling his disability.

Rhys, from Bargoed, joined the Assembly Government-backed Skill Build course one year ago at the Caerphilly centre of ACT, Wales' largest work-based learning provider.

The training enabled him to improve his basic skills, such as reading, writing and maths, and he progressed onto the more advanced NVQ Level 1 in retail.

Thanks to Welsh Assembly Government funding, Rhys also gets one-to-one help from ACT specialist support worker Helen O'Rourke, who has helped him tackle his disorder and build his confidence.

He has progressed so much that ACT secured him a work-placement at the Caerphilly Sue Ryder Care charity shop, where he is happy to chat with colleagues and help customers with their queries, Moira Sharkey wrote in South Wales Echo.

Helen, who has been at ACT for two years as an additional support worker, said: "I am amazed at how quickly Rhys has progressed since coming to ACT. When he started, he was unable to speak to me, let alone other students and tutors. Now he is happy to engage with others and has come on leaps and bounds since starting his placement at the shop."

Sue Watson, shop manager at Sue Ryder Care in Caerphilly, said: "We have seen such an improvement in Rhys since he started at the shop. We encourage all our volunteers to achieve their aspirations and aim to give really rewarding roles."

Source: Medindia

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