I found my voice in the kitchen! Meet the five-year-old who learned to talk… by baking
- Imogen Bowley was unable to speak until she found her voice through baking
- The five-year-old struggles with a condition called global development delay
- That changed when her father took her to the food warehouse where he worked
Whatever the question, some say that cake is always the answer.
And it certainly was for five-year-old Imogen Bowley, who was unable to speak until she astonishingly found her voice – through baking.
Imogen struggles with a condition called global development delay, which prevented her from speaking. But that all changed when her father Danny took her to the food warehouse where he works as a packer.
Imogen, then four, picked up some flour and Mr Bowley’s colleague told her it was used to make cakes, prompting Imogen’s first ever word – cake.
Five-year-old Imogen Bowley (pictured), was unable to speak until she astonishingly found her voice – through baking
Imogen (left) struggles with a condition called global development delay, which prevented her from speaking. But that all changed when her father Danny (right) took her to the food warehouse where he works as a packer
Mr Bowley returned home to Farsley, Leeds, to see if he could get Imogen ‘talking through baking’. She has been baking ever since, and this Christmas decided to make hundreds of cookies to give out in old people’s homes.
She also raised £700 to buy presents for elderly residents she thought would be ‘sad because they might not have any’.
Mr Bowley, 40, told Rob Lawrie on Radio 4 last night: ‘When I see her as ‘chef Imogen’ she seems to turn off from being a kid that can’t do much. It’s almost like it gives her superpowers.’
Andrea Dykxhoorn, a special educational needs coordinator who has got to know the family well, said that when Imogen puts on her chef’s costume, she ‘has full conversations and is able to express herself’.
When she was four, Imogen picked up some flour and her father’s colleague told her it was used to make cakes. That prompted Imogen’s first ever word – cake
Imogen’s mother Mandy, 37, said: ‘It is amazing. When she puts the chef’s clothes on, it’s like she’s a different person, how she interacts with people.’
She baked hundreds of cakes to sell at markets around the county, and used the £700 she raised to buy more than 100 gifts for residents at St Luke’s Nursing Home, Leeds – delivering boxes of chocolate, shower gels, art kits and books wearing a Santa dress.
She also baked cookies and wrote Christmas cards for each resident.