Updated: May 27
Learn about Khadijah's work in Pakistan and how she has been able to adapt her background as a psychologist to her speech therapy work with children with behavioral issues
Meet Khadijah Nawaz, a dedicated and committed speech therapist who has been working with Haseeb, a five-year-old boy, for the past 18 months.
Haseeb is a patient who recieved Neubio's cochlear implant. Since his operation, Khadijah has made significant progress with Haseeb's speech therapy, and we were so lucky to have connected with her.
Haseeb has achieved all viable labio-dental palate + glottal sounds, with some minor issues in pronouncing the "na" sound. His phonics skills are also progressing well, ranging from A to J. Khadijah has noted a significant improvement in Haseeb's word skills level. He can successfully identify between 20-25 objects and their corresponding names, including body parts. Haseeb has steadily built his vocabulary and is now developing sentence structures.
Khadijah also noticed that Haseeb was experiencing some behavioral issues, which can often be a common challenge for children with hearing disabilities. However, with her background in psychology, Khadijah was able to identify and address these issues to ensure that they did not impede on Haseeb's progress in therapy. This is a crucial aspect of rehabilitation that is often overlooked, but Khadijah's ability to adapt her teaching style and methods to better suit Haseeb's needs is a testament to her dedication and expertise in her field.
Watch how Khadijah addressed Haseeb's behavioral signs during their therapy sessions
We wanted to learn a little more about Khadijah. Here is a short Q&A:
Interviewer: Hi Khadijah, it's great to have you here today. Can you tell us a bit about what life is like as a therapist in Pakistan?
Khadijah: Sure, it's definitely a challenging but rewarding profession. There is a great need for speech therapists in Pakistan, especially in the rural areas where resources are limited. As a woman, there are also some cultural barriers to navigate, but I am fortunate to work in a supportive environment at the Armed School of Corps in Nowshera.
Interviewer: Can you tell us about some of the challenges you face as a therapist in Pakistan?
Khadijah: One of the biggest challenges is the lack of awareness and understanding of speech therapy in Pakistan. Many people don't realize that there is help available for speech and language disorders, which can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, there is a shortage of trained professionals in the field, which means that we often have to work with limited resources and long waiting lists.
Interviewer: That sounds like a tough situation. What are some of the positives of being a therapist in Pakistan?
Khadijah: The biggest positive is seeing the progress that my patients make. It's incredibly rewarding to see a child who was struggling with communication start to develop new skills and become more confident. I also appreciate the sense of community in Pakistan and the support that I receive from my colleagues and patients' families.
Interviewer: Can you tell us about a particularly memorable patient or case?
Khadijah: One of my most memorable cases was a young boy who was non-verbal and had never spoken a word. We worked together for several months and started to see progress in his communication skills, but it wasn't until he said his first word - "mom" - that I really knew we were making a difference in his life. It was an incredibly emotional moment for both me and his mother.
Interviewer: That's amazing to hear. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in becoming a therapist in Pakistan?
Khadijah: My advice would be to pursue your passion and stay committed to your patients. It's a challenging field, but the rewards are immense. Also, don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and your patients, and to seek out opportunities for continuing education and professional development.
Interviewer: Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us today, Khadijah. Your work is truly inspiring and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Khadijah: Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure.