Ansunette Pelser

Speech and Language Therapist

Qualifications

B.Communication Pathology: University of Pretoria, 2010

PGDip in Disability and Rehabilitation: Stellenbosch University, 2016

My poised, well-spoken and very dynamic grandmother suffered multiple strokes when I was in high school, leaving her without the ability to communicate. After seeing how this affected her life, I decided to pursue a career as a speech-language therapist, as I truly believe that being able to communicate is vital to our well-being and quality of life. I completed my training at the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 2010. I first worked in a public hospital setting, where I had the opportunity to work with both the adult and paediatric populations. In this setting, I was fortunate enough to gain experience in treatment of children with special needs, especially autism, Down Syndrome, and cerebral palsy. I also treated adults with a wide variety of communication and swallowing disorders following brain and spinal cord injuries. I collaborated with a colleague to establish an Early Childhood Intervention group at the hospital, which is where I fell in love with training parents and caregivers. Following this, I worked in a private hospital setting, where I spent a large portion of my career treating adults and children following strokes, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or diagnosis of degenerative neurological diseases. I have a great passion for, and extensive experience in, treatment of aphasia, dysphagia, apraxia of speech, dysarthria, and cognitive-communicative disorders.

I am committed to lifelong learning, and as such, I have committed to expanding my skill set to better serve my clients. I have completed multiple courses regarding dysphagia (swallowing difficulties), aphasia (language impairment following a brain injury), and dementia; and have presented research in these areas at national conferences in South Africa. I have been trained to work with high-risk infants in the NICU (Little Steps certified); and have recently completed my More Than Words certification with The Hanen Centre. In 2016, I completed my postgraduate diploma in Disability and Rehabilitation through Stellenbosch University. My postgraduate qualification has allowed me to approach therapy in a holistic manner, keeping international standards in mind while tailoring treatment to be appropriate for each client and their specific needs.

I feel most alive when I am in nature, preferably running or doing yoga (and now that I live on an island, trying out all the fun water activities!). I also love a good cup of coffee, a heart-to-heart chat with someone I love, and getting lost in a book. I know that starting the process of speech therapy may be daunting, but it is my privilege to support my clients as they embark on this journey, working alongside them to make it a rewarding experience.