ROAD PY) (BUM THE TO CORONAVIRUS RECOVERY
GETTING OUT AND ABOUT AGAIN
Support Workers and your child: busting myths!
Looking back on your ISO experience MOBILITY PRODUCTS
SPECIAL ISSUE #3
+ WINTER WARMERS PLUSâ€¦
LOW RISK AT PRODUCTS
REASONS FOR NDIS UNDERSPEND
BRAND AMBASSADOR UPDATE
TO OUR 3RD SPECIAL DIGITAL EDITION
I don’t know about you but I’m feeling all sorts of happy as (most of) our country appears to be on the road to recovery and getting back out and about as us Aussies love to do! The sheer pleasure of seeing people out and about up here in Queensland and enjoying life as we now it, makes me feel at ease and a sense of normality in life.
insights into how they fared during ISO so we have
Many of us are a little excited to see the back of restrictions keeping us inside and holed up for much longer that we are all used to, and despite the winter weather starting to creep in, us Aussies are doing what we do when winter hits – rug up, get outside and get active!
February 2021 and Sydney 10-11 April 2021), and
On a positive, most of us (61% of respondents to our COVID ISO survey) are comfortable getting back out into the community, so this issue we’re focused on doing exactly that. We look at how restrictions are easing and what things are now open with fun and safe activities to enjoy. We even get some insights from our brand ambassadors and what they are loving right now, as well as looking at the importance of park play! We look back on your ISO experience…as told by…you! Our readers gave us some incredible
SOURCE KIDS LIMITED
summarised these experiences for you. And we have
PO Box 690, Noosaville QLD 4566 ABN: 36 614 552 171
some cracking product features; these have been
a hit in our last two special digital issues so we’ve continued to cover great products across mobility products, winter warmers and low risk AT products.
Send all letters and submissions to: email@example.com
And as Australia returns to our ‘new normal’ we are ever so happy to bring you loads of wonderful new things here at Source Kids – you’ll see us more across digital, our expo events are back on the calendar (Brisbane 21-22 November 2020, Melbourne 13-14 we’re set to announce more exciting stuff very soon. And….if you missed it, we launched the most amazing exclusive, inclusive club over at Source Mama just for special needs mamas, so if you are looking for your
WRITERS AND CONTRIBUTORS Nicole Davis, Rachel Williams, Emma Price, Kelly Wilton, Brydi Saul, Finley Coll, Kai Seymon, Riley Saban, You First Disability, Leap In!, Permobil, Jodie Turner.
crew, your soul sisters who understand your journey
are waiting to connect, support and encourage, come on over and join us.
Carmen Smith Head of Partnerships & Strategy
Cheers to our June issue, and love to you all!
0438 847 969 firstname.lastname@example.org
Much love, Emma
Emma Price CEO/FOUNDER
Matthew Rainsford Head of Sales & Business Development 0499 017 354 email@example.com Naomi Sirianni – 0447 755 043 firstname.lastname@example.org
DIGITAL CONTENT EDITOR Nicole Davis email@example.com
8 The road to coronavirus recovery: Getting out and about again 12 Support workers and your child 16 How was your iso? 21 Product review – low risk/low cost assistive technology
30 Covid comedown: reflecting on the crisis and the things we missed 35 The importance of playing at the park for development
40 Updates from our brand ambassadors
Editorial and advertising in Source Kids is based on material, written and verbal, provided by contributors and advertisers. No responsibility is taken for errors or omissions, and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All material in Source Kids is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission by the publisher.
27 Top 5 reasons why people don't spend their NDIS budget
49 NETFLIX shows that represent people with disabilities
PUBLISHER/CEO Emma Price
44 Encouraging independence and development through exploration
Richard Deverell, Dev Design & Creative www.devdesign.com.au
37 Product review - getting out and about + winter warmers
24 Developmental activity ideas that are heaps of fun too!
BRAVER THAN YOU THINK – BOOK
Every parent wants the best for their child, but if your child has been diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability, there can be a lot of uncertainty. Braver Than You Think will help you in your journey as a parent of a child with a disability. In this book, you will learn the 5 BRAVE principles to help you help your child live their best life. Emily discusses the importance of early intervention and that "diagnosis is not prognosis". Emily’s book can be purchased from www.moveplaypaedtherapy.com.au ! moveplaypaedtherapy $ @moveplaypaedtherapy
Lah-Lah Sensory Friendly – Free Concert!
WE HAVE 2 COPIES OF THIS BOOK TO GIVE AWAY – please enter at www.sourcekids.com.au/win
The amazing Lah-Lah and Buzz presented their second online sensory friendly concert on June 12, proudly presented by Each! But don’t worry if you missed the live stream, you can re-watch it right here.
Now that the chilly months are truly upon us, we love this Insulated Food Jar from Stuck on You to keep all our winter warmers, toasty warm! www.stuckonyou.com.au
! stuckonyouofficial $ @stuckonyouofficial
Finbarr T-shirts for COVID-19 Research In light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has made us all revisit our plans for 2020, our friends at Funky Monkey Bars will donate all profits raised in the sale of Finbarr merchandise in 2020 to Western Australia’s Telethon Kids Institute to undertake research into COVID-19 and other kids medical research endeavours. To purchase one of these funky tees head to: www.funkymonkeybars.com ! funkymonkeybars $ @funkymonkeybars
ROUTINE CHARTS – KEEPING US IN CHECK! As we all move forward with new routines, check out the printable routine charts for boys and girls from the team at BrollySheets: www.brollysheets.com.au ! brollysheets $ @brolly_sheets
KINDERFEETS TRIKE/ BALANCE BIKE a great intro to balance and coordination We Rock The Spectrum – adds another location! Our friends at We Rock the Spectrum have just opened another great location down in VIC at Moorabbin on June 13, so hop, swing, and jump yourselves there for lots of fun! www.werockthespectrummoorabbin.com.au
! wrtsmoorabbinau $ @wrtsmoorabbinau !$
This super-cool Kinderfeets Tiny Tot Trike is a small 2-in-1 bike that has been designed for "tiny tots" aged 12 to 24 months. Starting off as a tricycle, the low step-through frame and absence of pedals to get in the way, kids can touch the ground with their feet and start moving right away! A great way to build gross motor skills. www.rainbowfun.com.au ! RainbowFun $ @rainbowfunaustralia SPECIAL ISSUE
As market leaders in special needs equipment in Australia, Astris PME can provide solutions that match the needs of people with a disability, and help therapists achieve the best outcomes for every client, in every age bracket. Our team is committed to researching new products and global innovation, to find the most technologically advanced equipment that help promote independent, active lifestyles. And we work with leading international manufacturers supplying some of the world’s best products, which means we can provide bespoke solutions which are just as unique as our valued clients.
Improving Lives of special people and their families Australia wide!
CHOOSE YOUR APPOINTMENT OPTION!
To keep you and your family safe during COVID-19, Astris PME have introduced a range of alternative approaches for safe, practical delivery of our services to you. Appointment options include Zoom or Telehealth and Zero Contact Deliveries (ZCD). Secure your place in the NDIS queue by choosing your appointment option and proceeding with your equipment trials this month.
Wheelchair Seating Systems
Positioning/ Sleep Sytems
Car Seats & Harnesses
Call us on 1300 131 884 or visit our website at astris-pme.com.au to find out more about our products and service. SYDNEY | CANBERRA/ YOUNG | MELBOURNE | BRISBANE astris-pme.com.au • 1300 131 884 • facebook.com/astrispme 4
Australia’s largest range of paediatric specialised equipment now available from a dealer near you!
Manual Wheelchairs Paediatric & Adult RIGID
Motion Composites APEX
Motion Composites Helio Kids
Motion Composites Helio A7
Motion Composites Veloce
Motion Composites Helio C2
Freedom Designs SP3
Freedom Designs NXT (Folding)
Freedom Designs Pro Tilt (Rigid)
Power Add-ons For Manual Wheelchairs
Ormesa Juditta B60
Ormesa Juditta B30
Contact us for a full equipment catalogue.
Klaxon Klick Hybrid Standard
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7 AND O
INSPIRE, EMPOWER, NITE Mums raising children with special needs
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THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
THE RONAADVTIROUS COROVERY RECO
Getting out and about again! While the coronavirus outbreak appears to be receding in most of Australia, the road to recovery may be a little bumpier than we first thought. Although most states are forging ahead with reopening plans, Victoria is currently experiencing a new wave of outbreaks, specifically in a number of Melbourne suburbs and restrictions on movement and activities have been reapplied. Witnessing these renewed outbreaks is understandably going to make some people nervous about getting out and about again, especially parents of children with disabilities and conditions which make them more vulnerable. Even as states and territories open up, physical distancing, good hygiene, avoiding large public gatherings and staying home if sick remain vitally important rules to follow for everyone, but especially for the most vulnerable among us. If you do feel the time is right to be ‘getting back out there’ again here’s what you need to know about what’s happening regarding restrictions easing around Australia* plus some tips for staying safe... * this is not an exhaustive list of all openings and restrictions and is current at the time of magazine release for the latest updates please visit the State websites
NSW From Wednesday 1 July, the following activities will be allowed. • Kids’ sport and community sports competitions for those aged 18 years and under • Adult community sport • Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25% of their normal capacity
MORE GETTING OUT AND ABOUT IN NSW: Caravan and camping grounds are open. There is no limit to the number of customers in the park or grounds, however, premises must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan. If you are visiting someone who is staying at a caravan park or camping ground, limits apply for visitors. Aquariums, zoos and reptile parks are open with restrictions, as are galleries and museums. Indoor cinemas in these venues will be closed. Swimming pools and indoor recreation centres are open with restrictions. National parks and state forests in NSW are open with no capacity limitations. If you are visiting a national park or state forest, avoid busy areas and practice physical distancing and remain at
least 1.5m from any other person not from your household. if you are visiting a national park camping ground you must book ahead. There are no limitations to travelling within NSW and you can travel to regional NSW for a holiday. Up to 20 people may stay in a holiday home or holiday rental. More than 20 people can stay in a holiday home or holiday rental if they are all members of the same household. For more info visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/whatyou-can-and-cant-do-under-rules
QLD On 1 June 2020, Queensland opened up for Queenslanders meaning Queenslanders can now travel anywhere in Queensland for any purpose at any time except for restricted areas. You can now stay overnight anywhere in Queensland for as many nights as you like and there are no longer different arrangements between the Outback and metro areas of the state. Businesses offering accommodation, including caravan parks are now open. It’s now also easier to catch up with family and friends, with a maximum 20 people able to gather in your home or in a public place, including yourself, members of your household or others. The gatherings of up to 20 people rule in QLD means you can: • play non-contact sport, including community and sporting club fixtures • go to the park, playground or skate park • attend your gym, health club or yoga studio and participate in personal training • go for a hike and enjoy other recreational activities in national and state parks Tourism experiences, museums and art galleries, cinemas, amusement parks and zoos, concert venues, theatres and stadiums are all now open with some restrictions in place. Visit www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/ healthalerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current- status/publichealth-directions for the latest info.
GO PREPARED AND PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE: • Always carry your own supply of hand sanitiser or wipes • Avoid touching high use areas like handrails, benches, handles • Continue to follow the government’s COVID-19 hygiene advice which is: - Wash your hands often with soap and water - Use alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water is unavailable - Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth - Avoid public gatherings - Clean and disinfect objects you use often such as keys, mobile phone and wallet - Use tap to pay for purchases instead of cash - Stay 1.5 metres from other people where possible - If you are unwell, stay at home
VIC Due to the outbreak in some Melbourne suburbs, the situation in Victoria is changing daily. Here are the current restrictions and level of openings that we know about at the time of going to press. You’re strongly advised however to check official sources regularly. A number of Melbourne suburbs are now back at Stage 3 Stay at Home Restrictions – specially the following postcodes: 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064. If you live in one of these suburbs, there are only 4 reasons to leave home: Shopping for food and supplies; Care and caregiving; Exercise; Study and work – if you can’t do it from home. The businesses and facilities in these areas that have been able to reopen recently – such as beauty parlours, gyms, libraries and swimming pools – will again be restricted. Cafes and restaurants will again only be open for take-away and delivery. Elsewhere in VIC; public gatherings are now limited to 10 people and the number of visitors to a home will reduce to 5 visitors. Public playgrounds, outdoor communal gym equipment and skateparks opened on May 25. Physical distancing and group limits remain in place. Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, outdoor amusement parks, zoos and outdoor arcades are open with up to 20 patrons allowed per indoor space. The same
applies for indoor cinemas, movie theatres, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums. For sport and leisure activities: on June 21 there was a resumption of full-contact training and competition for people 18 years and under and this is currently still allowed. Changing rooms and showers are allowed to open for sporting and recreational facilities, including swimming pools. The ski season is open and shared facilities at camping and tourist accommodation were given the green light. Additionally, indoor play centres and toy libraries can now open with 20 people per space. More info at https://www.vic.gov.au/ coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-victoria
OTHER STATES: WA: www.wa.gov.au/organisation/ department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/ covid-19-coronavirus-community-advice SA: www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-andresponsibilities NT: www.coronavirus.nt.gov.au ACT: www.covid19.act.gov.au/faqs/faqschanges-to-restrictions TAS: www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/facts/ important-community-updates
DEALING WITH ANXIETY It’s important to consider that going back to ‘normal’ might be difficult for your child – they may not understand why life is changing again, they may have felt more comfortable and ‘safe’ in isolation or they may be anxious about their health. To help your child cope with the changes you can consider the following: Social stories – use picture boards, communication boards and social stories to take your child through the changes that are now happening and how things might look different than they used to. Limit media exposure – media ‘scare’ stories or too much information may not be appropriate for your child and may amplify any fears or worries they may have. Small steps – take things slowly and don’t make too many big changes all at once. Perhaps start with outings close to home and fewer ‘outside’ appointments than you had pre-COVID. Validate – let your child know that it’s ok to be feeling the way they do. Make yourself available to talk through their fears. Masks – while masks are not widespread in Australia you may need or wish to use one for your child. You can work with an OT on getting your child used to wearing one or use social stories and pictures to explain why they might see people wearing them out in the community. Reinforce – how good hygiene practices help to keep us all safe.
Are you ready for a change? Do you want to achieve better health & wellbeing for yourself? Be inspired by other mothers with heavy family responsibilities, who have changed their health, leisure and other important parts of their daily life. You can too! Healthy Mothers - Healthy Families is a comprehensive website that you can follow sequentially from module 1 through to 10 or simply focus in on what is a priority today. Visit the website to listen to six mothers share their stories. Explore the range of empowering topics, activities, fact sheets and insightful quizâ€™s created specifically for mothers of children with a disability. Whether an extra glass of water, a gentle stretch or even a moment of reflection each day, Healthy Mothers - Healthy Families can provide a framework and tools to help develo your very own personalised plan. At your pace, at no cost and online. For you.
Healthy Mothers Healthy Families PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY
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YOU FIRST DISABILITY
In association with
Support workers and your child
The NDIS has opened up a world of opportunities for our children. Now, more than ever, there are a multitude of different activities, therapies, providers and products to help them fulfil their potential. However, this array of choice and the focus on reaching goals that is part and parcel of the way the NDIS works, is a double-edged sword for already busy and stressedout parents. Of course, we want the best for our children; we want them to do ALL THE THINGS and be the very best version of themselves they can be – but we can’t do everything; there just aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week – especially when you have other children to care for, a job to hold down, a house to keep clean, people to feed…the list is endless! 12
One solution to consider is a support worker (or multiple support workers) who can work with you to keep your child active, challenged and happy while working towards their development goals. If your child is a NDIS participant, the funds for a support worker will come out of their Core budget, and there are a number of relevant support line items you could use depending on the goals your child has listed in their plan including:
WAYS TO USE A SUPPORT WORKER The types of activities a support worker can undertake are varied and your choice will depend on your own individual circumstances and family set-up, funding, your child’s goals and of course their medical and physical support needs. Just a few ideas of how a worker could help you include:
ccessing the community – taking your child to A activities, the park, shops, local playground
Attending therapy appointments with them
Assistance with self-care
Helping with therapy homework
Community, social and recreational activities
Group activities in the community
Community participation activities
You may also be able to access funds for a support worker if you have some wording in your child’s plan around maintaining your child’s informal supports – in other words – giving you, the parents, a break (or respite – the word we’re not allowed to use anymore!).
etting ready for school or university – preparing G breakfast, help with showering, dressing etc.
Personal care and dressing
Assistance with the evening routine
or older children, a young support worker can F be a social buddy and help build social skills; someone to hang out with, watch movies, play games etc. www.sourcekids.com.au
IT ALL SOUNDS GREAT, SO WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? There are a lot of misconceptions and mixed messages around finding, hiring and working with a support worker – it can sometimes put some families off looking into the possibilities they can offer. So this month we sat down with You First Disability Services and addressed some of the myths and questions that some of you may have surrounding hiring support workers and using industry service providers and here’s what they had to say...
s r e t s u b h myt A SUPPORT WORKER MUST HAVE AN ABN We come across this question quite often, but support workers do not need an ABN to work with all service providers. Since the roll out of the NDIS, providers across Australia have redesigned how they operate with many services now hiring support workers directly on casual employment agreements, removing the need for an individual worker who wants flexible work arrangements to need an ABN. It is always important to check the terms and conditions of hire with each provider first.
WE CANNOT HIRE PEOPLE WE KNOW This is not always true. We know that finding support workers to suit your lifestyle can always be a challenge so exploring your network first is an option that is highly recommended for some. While the NDIS does not support participants working with family members there are exceptions based on individual circumstances. If you have someone in mind that you would like to hire to assist you with your child’s individualised support, we can talk to you about your options.
HIRING A SUPPORT WORKER INVOLVES A LOT OF PAPERWORK Each service provider has a different process when it comes to initiating services; some prefer a more traditional approach involving paper-based forms
and others have taken the entire process online. What we have found is a combination of both these methods seems to work best, by providing a mixture of traditional in person, or over the telephone, contact with a real person and new age technology. Having a combined approach means our clients can always choose how they want to communicate with us and when.
I CAN ONLY USE ONE PROVIDER FOR MY SUPPORTS The premise of the NDIS for all participants is choice and control and there are no NDIS rules on engaging with more than one provider at a time. However, some organisations will have their own rules and regulations in place regarding this, so it is always important to check before you sign up to any services. At You First we recognise that you have multiple goals and we encourage you to engage with as many providers you need to support you to achieve your goals.
I MUST USE A SET NUMBER OF HOURS PER WEEK Every service provider is different, which is why finding the right fit for you is so important and some providers have recently introduced minimum weekly hours of service into their service agreements. At You First we believe in a tailored approach and as long as your shifts are a minimum of an hour long there are no minimum weekly hourly requirements for our services. We provide
what you need and when you need it creating an individualised approached that suits you and not the other way around.
ONCE I HAVE BOOKED A SHIFT, I AM LOCKED IN FOR IT NDIS guidelines for a cancellation of a shift are currently 10 days. At You First our services have been designed to be tailored to give you the flexibility that you need and if you do need to change a shift you have arranged with a You First Support Worker we do ask you to provide 48 hours' notice.
I MUST PAY A FEE TO SIGN UP FOR SERVICES 95% of service providers do not have a signup fee although if you are new to the NDIS some service providers may invoice your NDIS plan an establishment fee. If you come across a provider who asks for a fee upfront always ask for clarification on what the fee is for and check the legitimacy of the request before signing anything. Here at You First we believe that transparency is the best policy and we do not have any additional sign-up fees or charge ongoing account management fees. Give You First a call on 130 52 56 56 to find out more about how you can start creating individualised care and support options to suit your lifestyle www.youfirstservices.com.au
Helping You Find a Team of Support Workers That Put You First www.youfirstservices.com.au
Call: 1300 52 56 56
WRITTEN BY TINA WILD, CEREBRAL PALSY ALLIANCE
From brain tumour to bike rides in Hawaii – Jett’s 12 month journey Crystal and Peter are the proud parents of three active boys – Braxton (7), Jett (5) and Cruz (22 months). To look at them now they’re like any happy, busy family, yet twelve months ago their story was very different. Diagnosed with a brain tumour last year, five year-old Jett has battled chemotherapy and five brain surgeries, resulting in left side hemiplegia and third nerve palsy in his right eye. “Jett was in a bad way, he was in a wheelchair, struggling to walk more than a metre or two, had severe left weakness and had lost all his fine motor skills,” says Crystal. Crystal and Peter were recommended to Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) because of the organisation’s expertise with cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions. The combination of this expertise, Jett’s resilience and adaptability, and the unwavering love and support of his entire family and community, have helped his recovery.
sounds, naming common objects, early literacy skills, and stuttering. Jett also presented with a slight facial droop on his right side which meant he had difficulty making an even smile and keeping his right eye open.
“Since moving to Telepractice, Jett has just continued to progress his strength and achieve his goals. Now he can walk up stairs and do ten laps of his house riding his bike, it is just outstanding,” says Claire.
Jett has thrived with one-on-one bimanual, play and goal-directed therapy. By working with his occupational therapist he significantly improved in left hand and arm coordination, which positively impacted his play, eating and self-care tasks.
Twelve months after his final brain surgery, Jett's communication skills have significantly improved, as well as his ability to convey his needs. Jett now uses speech sounds accurately in longer words, names common objects, and attends to activities for longer. He also spontaneously uses both hands when playing and is more independent.
“Jett’s family have worked incredibly hard to implement his physio, speech and OT during a challenging time with many hospital admissions, chemotherapy sessions and trips to Sydney. It has been great to be able to continue to support his family through this time and ensure Jett gets the benefits of early intervention after his surgeries,” says Claire Smart, CPA physiotherapist. Just when the family thought they were getting back on track another challenge threatened to derail Jett’s progress: COVID-19. With social restrictions in place, the family were worried Jett would regress if he couldn’t continue therapy. They were relieved that CPA was providing their sessions via Telepractice (video). At first Crystal (Jett’s mum) was unsure how this would work, particularly physio, without physical contact. Crystal initial concerns were immediately alleviated after the first session: “Jett becomes very engaged in the Telepractice sessions, it’s almost as if it’s a normal physical session for him. It actually really surprised us. He’s taken to it like a duck to water and his therapists are able to get his attention and keep it for the whole duration.”
One of Jett’s first challenges to overcome through therapy was a significant motor impairment, caused by his brain tumour. He was having difficulty walking in a straight line and needed help walking over obstacles. Supported by CPA experts, Jett started to achieve his goals; improving the use of his left arm, hand and speech, and maintaining his health throughout his chemotherapy journey. Hydrotherapy proved to be an effective way of improving Jett’s cardiovascular fitness and strengthening of his left side. Speech therapy sessions addressed Jett’s difficulties with counting, using accurate speech
In association with
“Jett’s goals remain the same as before the lockdown, we believe because of Telepractice these are still easily achievable. If he didn’t have Telepractice, Jett would have to miss out on physio, speech and OT for many months. This would be a massive detriment to his recovery.” Jett’s been so resilient - from initial diagnosis, chemo, surgeries, and adapting from hydrotherapy in person to Telepractice. His therapists have found creative solutions, which Jett has embraced wholeheartedly. For example, Claire and Jett go on virtual bike rides to Hawaii and stop for ice cream! Crystal commented that Jett doesn’t see therapy as work - the bike riding, Simon Says and other activities are all fun games that he looks forward to.
“I no longer hear him say ‘I can’t’. The Jett I see today is a happier, more confident child compared to when I first met him. He is back to doing the things he loves, such as building Lego,” says Lauren Atkins, CPA occupational therapist. “Jett has come so far in the past twelve months. In addition to physical strength goals, he’s more confident, independent and motivated to challenge himself. We look forward to seeing all that Jett is going to achieve in the future!” Says Claire, CPA physiotherapist. Jett's speech therapy goals continue to target his stuttering and making an even smile, while his occupational therapy goals are focused on building skills to get ready for school. Crystal commented on how proud she is of Jett. He’s taken every setback in his stride, and despite being knocked around by chemo he’s still the same big-hearted, empathetic, happy-go-lucky boy. Nine days after his final brain surgery, on the way to his first CPA therapy session, Jett realised he only had one eye open. “He looked at me in the mirror and said “Oh mum, why do I only have one eye open.” I told him it was from his operation and that it may open one day but it doesn’t matter because he’s still the same strong, cheeky boy. He was completely unfazed by it,” says Crystal. “We’re so grateful to still have the Jett we know and love, humankind could benefit from Jett’s qualities and simple attitude to life,” says Crystal. CPA supports clients with a range of physical and neurological conditions. CPA@home provides expertise into your home, delivering evidencebased resources digitally, and funded through your NDIS plan. For a list of CPA services download our service catalogue today.
How was your ISO? WE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT THE IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK AND SOCIAL ISOLATION HAD ON OUR SOURCE KIDS FAMILIES. WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD? WHAT WAS HARD? WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU ENJOYED? THIS IS WHAT YOU TOLD US…
The most difficult things for you as parents: 44.30%
LACK OF REGULAR SUPPORT WORKERS
LACK OF THERAPY SUPPORT
NDIS SPENDING -
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF DOING EVERYTHING - SCHOOL, THERAPY, PARENTING
BEING ISOLATED FROM OTHERS
DID YOU SELFISOLATE DURING THE PROCESS?
FEAR OF CHILD CONTRACTING COVID-19
OTHER THINGS YOU TOLD US WERE HARD: “Fear of getting sick myself – and not being able to help my kids.”
YOUR NDIS SPENDING CHANGED THROUGH THE OUTBREAK BUT IT WAS A 50/50 SPLIT BETWEEN THOSE SPENDING MORE AND THOSE SPENDING LESS. SPECIAL ISSUE
CHILDREN NOW BACK IN SCHOOL
“As single parent with absolutely no support I was completed on empty and almost broke down.” “Working from home with significant responsibility; I couldn’t do it all.” “The daily battle to remote school a reluctant pupil with PDA.” “Just upsetting when you can’t explain properly to your child why this is all happening.”
Did your child’s school make accommodations with the school work sent home?
Ways you feel the crisis affected your child: “It has improved his independence.” “We've been working on social integration, so COVID-19 impacted the work we've been trying to do.” “All of my kids have been more clingy but bonded together well.” “My child is now more fearful.” “Lack of socialisation, reduction in access to outside support has isolated her.” “My son has had surgeries and assessments postponed.”
80% of you accessed teletherapy services Things you loved about teletherapy: “I’m disabled too so I was able to attend appointments I usually wouldn’t get to attend” ------------------“It was great that we did not have to leave the house, look for parking and wait in a waiting area. It saved us lots of time and stress.” ------------------“It was convenient, easily accessible and allowed for therapy in home.” ------------------“Less running around to appointments and not needing to find care for other child.” ------------------“It was great to break up the day with telehealth.”
“We spent quality time working on practical life skills rather than academic schoolwork. As a result, there has been some great positives with him increasing some independence that will now assist him at school.”
“In a positive way, it was a great break from the outside world, anxiety, noise. Both kids were living their best lives in isolation.”
“They've bounced back and can't wait for everything to return to normal.”
What was the most difficult thing for your child? 44.30% 53.16% 41.77% 59.49%
LACK OF ROUTINE MISSING THEIR FRIENDS AND REGULAR NETWORK NOT ATTENDING SCHOOL NOT BEING ABLE TO GO TO THEIR USUAL OUTINGS
FEAR OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING OTHER
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
And the things that didn,t go so well: “Telehealth didn’t work for my child. She said hi then ran off and I had a chat with her therapists.” ------------------“The lack of a person was too hard for my child to make sense of; he couldn't engage with someone through a screen.”
“Physio sessions were the hardest as I didn't know if I was doing the right thing. Also, difficult or impossible to do two people exercises.” ------------------“Providers weren’t apt at this mode and therefore activities were not always adjusted appropriately for this method and progress in this time was more limited.”
“There were some therapies that didn't work as well using teletherapy and need to be in person. Teletherapy also removed the more social aspect of therapy – the chatting before and after the session, etc.”
See our range of products that help with
hartsport.com.au/active-play Leading equipment supplier in Victoria for children with special needs. Helping families “Live Life” to the full!
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Get closer to your child! Give your child optimum support and height-adjustable comfort with Jenx Junior+. The family home demands children to be close to you. The Jenx Junior+ allows your child to be at the right height for you to get close to them. On the floor for playtime with other children, or raised to table height for dinner. Relax knowing your child is comfortable, with the peace of mind that theyâ€™re correctly supported. Call 1300 543 343 to chat to the comfort experts, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.medifab.com.au/products/indoor-seating/jenx-junior-0
Sensory Toys, Tools and Therapy items suitable for people of all ages and abilities
Online Therapy and Supports Lifestart is a specialist in providing quality
online therapy and supports for children, young people and their families.
1800 953 390
Why Lifestart? • • • • • • • • •
Our staff are creative, committed and energetic and they listen to you. We offer an individualised approach. We work as a team, giving you access to a range of expertise. We offer support when it suits you including early mornings, evenings and Saturday morning. We are an experienced, award-winning provider of online therapy across Australia. We will support you to feel comfortable using the technology. You can access our support anywhere in Australia. We are a registered NDIS provider supporting children and young people with disabilities. We use best practice approaches backed by research.
We offer choice in the supports available • • • • •
• • •
Daily life - toilet training, self-care, play skills, sensory regulation, sleep, mealtimes, feeding, independence, routines, getting organised, budgeting. Communication - early communication, Hanen programs online, Key Word Sign, advice and trials of communication systems, apps. Movement and fitness - early movement, positioning, mobility, fitness programs for young people. Positive behaviour support – self-regulation, behaviour plans, strategies and skill building. Wellbeing and anxiety management - building confidence, skills to manage stressful situations, youth support and counselling, Cool, Calm and Connected program. Social skills – regulating emotions, skills for building friendships, positive relationships, Secret Agent Society program. School – getting organised with home schooling, fine motor and handwriting skills. Assessments – functional and standardised assessments.
“With online sessions, my therapist has been able to continue supporting me even when other supports have ceased. We could persist with toilet training and were able to get our first success with the toilet during shutdown!” - Parent
Our Team “It’s great because I still get to see Rox, Zoom is really easy to use and I’d say to people, give it a go.” - Young person
We have a great team who know how to work with children and young people. They include occupational therapists, speech pathologists, physiotherapists, psychologists, educators, behaviour support clinicians and Inclusion specialists.
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Assistive Technology products really mean? What does Low Risk/Low Cost Assistive Technology g; continence clothin able Think anything from sensory gadgets to adapt n utensils to kitche able adapt items; items from personal to household our children’s assist can items these All tools! social communication and ng and buildi skill disability related needs which in turn encourages going! you independence! Here are a few ideas to get
NON-SLIP EZPZ MAT
FOR INDEPENDENT EATING A non-slip EZPZ Mat for eating is a winner to encourage independent eating and exploration of foods!
– VISUAL PROMPTING
BROLLY SHEETS WITH WINGS – DRY NIGHTS ARE HERE TO STAY!
Accidents happen but when you have a Brolly Sheet protecting your child’s bed, there will be no more stripping the bed in the middle of the night, just a quick change instead so everyone can get back to sleep quickly!
RRP $29.95 www.childrensdisabilityproducts.com.au
Time Timers are a great tool to give your child a clear visual prompt of how long they have until they are finished their task. Its large size and bold numerals make this timer easier to read for visually impaired users and can be used as a visual depiction only, or add sound to signal the end of a time segment.
ModiBodi Red – FOR TEENS
ModiBodi Red undies are specially designed for period wear. No more worry about tampons/pads, this product is a must have for girls.
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SPEAKING WITH SYMBOL-BASED AAC
INC KID WORLD
– GET DOWN AND GO, GO, GO! This Mesh Tunnel from Hart Sports is constructed from a see-through mesh that allows for great air flow and visibility, making it ideal for kids that may fear enclosed spaces. A great one for working on gross motor skills like crawling! RRP $72.50 www.hartsport.com.au
– INDEPENDENT DRESSING! Did you know that clothing is a low-tech item because it focuses on building the independence of the wearer with cleverly adapted features? Inc Kid World is designed to fit orthotics/AFOs and hand splints! Check out these stylish Sea Buggy Jeans in a range of sizes. RRP $89.95 www.inckid.com
TEACH ME TOYS
This amazing form of AAC is used by many children, teens and adults who need assistance with speech. The AAC is used as a daily communication tool and to build language skills. Already very popular amongst many schools and therapists, it is great to explore as from the first time someone opens the app, a few taps are all it takes to start talking to the world! RRP $399.99 (IOS), RRP $189.99 (Macs) www.assistiveware.com
– FEELINGS AND MOTIONS FLIP CHART
LOOK N COOK
Emotional regulation is an ongoing learning process for children. From changes in routine to even hormones, it is a never-ending cycle of learning how and why we are feeling something. Feeling flips is a fantastic tool for children when they have difficulty expressing or dealing with their emotions.
Kids who are keen in the kitchen will love this colourful cookbook that features 62 step-by-step basic recipes that create a great foundation for cooking independence. Each picture step has accompanying text and a colour coding system makes it easy to follow measurement and temperature requirements. Users simply match the utensil colours to colours used in the recipes.
RRP $19.99 www.teachmetoys.com.au
– SPECTRONICS – THE ORIGINAL STEP BY STEP PICTURE COOKING PROGRAM!
RRP from $99.00 www.spectronics.com.au SPECIAL ISSUE
IRABINA AUTISM SERVICES
Understanding Oscar MICHELLE’S JOURNEY WITH AUTISM
At Irabina we’ve been fighting the isolation forced on us by COVID-19 with a regular interview series, sharing stories from Autistic voices and advocates from around the world. We’ve brought everyone closer together even as the pandemic forced us apart. We’ve been fortunate to speak with the likes of Prof. Temple Grandin, Yenn Purkis, Prof. Andrew Whitehouse, Dr. Wenn Lawson, Kathy Lette and more, hearing their tips for coping with COVID-19 and discovering their thoughts on how the pandemic will affect our community moving forward. But it’s our heartfelt conversation with long-time Irabina parent and supporter Michelle Payne that resonated the most.
A Lonely Beginning Michelle’s eldest son, Oscar, was diagnosed with autism and a mild intellectual disability in 2011, at three years of age. Michelle recalls, “all of a sudden I had a three-year-old that I didn’t know anymore… My ideas, my preconceived notions about parenting, they got very quickly thrown out the window and had to be changed.” Michelle also experienced a feeling of grief, wondering “How is this going to impact him? Is he going to be able to get married? I mean he’s three, and I’m thinking about can he get married?! Can he live on his own, can he be independent! All these uncertainties go through your head.” “There were two diagnoses that hit me and I just thought, oh my gosh, I don’t know anybody. I don’t know anybody in this position. I’m alone. I’m a mum and I have my husband and we’ve got each other – but that’s it. We’ve got no support in this space.”
The Breaking Point We asked Michelle what led her to Irabina Autism Services. “I can’t remember who referred me or where I got put on, but I got told Oscar needs to go to Irabina, so we had our intake appointment but there was a waiting list back then. It was going to be 6 months or so before we could get Oscar into the Readiness for School program.” “I wasn’t coping – the lovely intake officer saw that – I just burst into tears when I got there and said ‘I don’t know how to parent my son’.”
Michelle Payne with her two sons, Oscar and Archie
Oscar had a very limited vocabulary and was having a lot of meltdowns. “I didn’t understand him and he was trying and he was frustrated and he wanted to tell me what he wanted and I didn’t know. It was just this cycle of stress and anxiety in trying to figure out each other.” Thankfully, Irabina was able to help. “The intake officer was so lovely and kind. She said, ‘Would you like to see somebody? Talk to somebody about some strategies for how you might be able to handle your parenting with Oscar?’.”
Moving Forward “I can’t remember how many weeks it was, but I came in every week. and I’d talk about the things I was struggling with. The psychologist would then help me with some strategies, and I’d be able to go home and then the following week I’d say ‘Yes this worked, no this didn’t’ and she’d help me with cards, PECS, visuals, setting up things to create routine in the household... I just thought, ‘Oh, finally! I feel like I’m kind of navigating this space for the first time in months’.” “That’s where my absolute love for Irabina came from, because I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them. I was at my wits end at that point as a parent.”
Making a Difference – Running for a Reason For Michelle and husband, Andy, it was a no-brainer to do more to help other families and children living with autism. Originally an ultra-runner, Andy decided to start running to raise money for autism, running 100km in the Blue Mountains and managing to raise over $15,000. Recognising that they were onto something, but also that Andy couldn’t keep “doing stupid things”, they went through the painstaking process of creating the Oscars100 charity and developed the Hut2Hut race. Michelle says they decided, “let’s use this as a platform for raising funds and get people involved. Not just to raise funds but also to raise awareness and really talk to people about autism and disability and what they can do.”
Understanding Success From that point onward, the path forward became much clearer for Oscar and Michelle. With understanding growing between the two, Oscar went from strength to strength. He has since represented Victoria in the Junior Special Olympics, winning a gold, three silvers and a bronze, despite being the youngest athlete and competing against 16 year olds. Michelle credits Oscar’s growth to early intervention and the social skills groups he attended at Irabina, “From a kid who couldn’t even balance, he was running 400m, 100m, 200m, long jump and we just stood there and thought, ‘Wow, how far has this kid come?’.”
Since then, the Oscars100 Hut2Hut race has grown into a huge event, attracting runners from all over the world, helping to raise funds and awareness for autism.
What’s Next? With COVID-19 continuing to impact many services and events, Oscars100 has turned to Telehealth to deliver their newest initiative, a special program just for siblings of children with autism. Partnering with Irabina Autism Services, Archie’s Club (named after Oscar’s little brother, Archie) meets weekly online, providing a safe, supportive environment for kids to expore their feelings, make new friends and learn about autism.
We just stood there and thought, “Wow, how far has this kid come?” From such a lonely, uncertain place, Michelle says it took throwing her expectations out the window to learn to “appreciate everything”. “Every milestone. Every little thing that they do, you see in their faces and they’re so proud of what they’ve done. It doesn’t really matter what it is. It could be brushing their teeth independently for the first time. It could be showering for the first time. “Those little faces that just acknowledge that they’ve done something – that’s where you get the joy and that’s the beautiful part of it. You have so many moments, and it’s wonderful.”
Completely free thanks to the financial support of Oscars100, Archie’s Club filled up within a matter of days, with a long waiting list of parents and carers keen to enrol their children when the next program begins. Michelle hopes to continue supporting families affected by autism, saying, “I’m just so thrilled that we’ve been able to work together to make that happen. It’s so exciting.” Irabina Autism Services thanks Michelle Payne and Oscars100 for their continued friendship and support. To watch this interview in full visit: www.irabina.com/michelle-and-oscar
At Irabina Autism Services we’ve provided wrap-around support for children, young people and families affected by Autism for over fifty years. Family-centric approach with wrap-around support
World-leading programs backed by research
Customised to meet the individual’s goals
Available online using Telehealth
To find out more about our services to support parents and carers like Michelle visit:
L A T N E M P O L E V DE S A E D I Y AC TIV IT S P A E H E R T H AT A O O! O F FU N T ’re taking a Whether you erapy or just break from th xtra k in a bit of e want to snea e, m o h t work at developmen se e t a few of th take a look a so much fun ideas that are e n’t even realis your child wo ing! they’re work
Activities to help core strength
CROSSING THE MIDLINE
Good core strength is the essential foundation for not just gross motor skills but fine motor skills too!
Draw an imaginary line down the middle of your body, starting at your head – this is your midline.
BE AN ANIMAL: Getting down into a squat position, crouching and being on all fours are all great for core work. Put a bunch of animal names on paper into a hat and be ready to move like whatever your child pulls out – frogs, kangaroos, bears, crabs, dogs and more work here!
WHEELBARROW WALKING: Hold your child's knees or ankles as they walk forwards (and backwards!) on their hands. You can have races with siblings or have your child throw balls into a basket to up the fun level!
HOP SKIP AND JUMP: You can keep things simple and play on the trampoline, have a game of hopscotch or jump with a skipping rope. All of these things build lower extremity strength and activate the core muscles.
SUPERMAN STYLE: Get your child to lay on their stomach on the floor and encourage them to fly like Superman by lifting their legs and arms off the ground – separately and then together. Motivate them to reach as far as possible by holding out stickers or a toy. The same activity can be done over a gym ball. 24
Crossing the midline with our hands/ arms is something the majority of us do every day without even thinking about it and it’s an important developmental skill children need to acquire to assist with writing, cutting, sport, tying shoelaces, and more.
• Using a spray bottle and towel, your child can wash the windows in your house or on a flat surface such as the table.
• Paint a vertical surface. Grab some large paintbrushes and paint a fence with water.
• Place finger puppets on one hand and encourage your child to remove the puppets with their opposite hand.
• Wash the car. • Sorting objects into piles encourages crossing the midline to place objects into the correct pile. • Dance with scarves or ribbons. Make up a dance with lots of cross body movement.
• Squirt gun target practice – set up paper cups and let your child take aim with a water gun!
• Trace a large lazy 8 on its side (infinity figure). If you are working on the vertical, make sure your child is standing square on and in the middle of the figure.
Activities that encourage writing practice Shaving cream Try practicing writing numbers and letters in shaving cream on a tabletop or tray, or even on an upright mirror to encourage wrist extension.
Games Playing Guess Who can become a sneaky, secret game where players have to write questions and pass them to each other. Or a classic game that encourages writing is the always entertaining Hangman!
Create your own storyâ€Ś Try writing a creative story together; take turns writing sentences or every second word and mix it up! Your child can also draw a picture to go with the story creating more opportunities for creative expression.
Finger gymnastics Take little fingers to the gym! Kids can manipulate a pencil in different ways; rotate it around like a baton using the fingers; roll the pencil back and forth between the fingers; flick it around. All these little exercises help strengthen the muscles needed for writing.
Three wheelie fun ways with scooters Scooters are a great way to work on gross motor skills, balance and coordination. Mix it up with different games and activities to work different muscle groups. Superman:
Have your child lie tummy-down on the scooter. Hold their legs and have them reach out forward with outstretched arms as far as they can go. This is awesome for core strength.
Repeat the previous activity, however this time scatter some toys around for your child to grab with their hands. Increase the speed of the scooter to make it a faster game. Smaller toys will work for enhancing fine motor development, and larger toys will help with grasp and co-ordination.
Lead your child through a variety of movements with the board. For example: Simon says, kneel on the board and push yourself forward with your hands five times. Simon says, sit on the board and push yourself backwards with your hands three times, and so on.
Ways to work on dressing skills Sticker hunt:
You can help kids practice reaching for different parts of their bodies with tape or stickers. Pop them on the bottoms of feet, ankles, back pockets, shoulders etc and challenge your child to pull them off.
Work on the fine motor skills needed to master buttons by posting coins or buttons into a money box, or cut a slit into cardboard or card-stock and 'post' the buttons through. Cutting a slit into fabric will up the level of skill required to pass the buttons through.
Simple socks: Instead of socks, you can use loom bands or jelly bracelets for your child to loop over their feet. The bands will need to be stretched just like socks but there is no floppy fabric to deal with that can make learning the initial stretching over the toes step difficult.
Dress ups: Dressing up provides heaps of opportunities to learn the mechanics of getting dressed. Provide a box of clothes that are just a little too large to help your child practice the necessary motions without the tight fit of their regular clothes.
Freedom is choosing where you want to explore.
Wizzybug! Exciting and fun powered mobility option for young children Wizzybug is a powered vehicle for young children to experience early years in an adapted mobility device. It has a range of controls and seating adjustments and can be used with close adult supervision indoors and outdoors in accessible areas such as level gardens, playgrounds and parks enabling children to have a fun experience with their first wheels. Independent mobility has been proven to assist and encourage important developmental skills, along with giving your child the freedom to safely explore their environment.
- Suitable for children aged between 2-5 years (maximum weight 20kg) - A range of control options including joy stick, specialist switches and remote operation - Easily transportable â€“ dismantles quickly - Has a standby charge of 2 weeks and will usually run for a few days based on moderate use - 8km range on full charge - Maximum speed of 2.9km/hr (speed can be limited)
Wizzybugs can be hired or purchased from CP Tech.
Call us on 1300 106 106 to find out more.
BY LEAPIN PLAN MANAGEMENT
DON'T UNDERSPEND YOUR NDIS BUDGET
TOP 5 REASONS
WHY PEOPLE DON'T SPEND THEIR NDIS BUDGETS
Do you know if you’re getting the most out of your child’s NDIS budget? According to the latest NDIS quarterly report, last year 30% of NDIS funding went unspent. It seems we are heading towards the same outcome this year. So, why aren’t people with NDIS plans spending all of their budgets? Here are a few reasons that we’ve found and some tips to help you manage your funding.
1. IT CAN BE HARD TO FIND THE RIGHT SERVICES. It can be hard to use your funding when you can’t find the right support providers. This is the case for many participants living in regional or remote areas who may find access to services more difficult than participants living in large cities.
3. SAVING IT FOR LATER. Some people make the mistake of trying to save more of their budget than needed for later. When the time comes for your next plan, any unspent money will not roll over, meaning leftover funds will no longer be available. Your NDIS funding is provided to help you achieve your goals. The best way to do this is to use the money in your plan to purchase the supports and services you need. Having unspent funds doesn’t mean that your funding will automatically be reduced in your next plan. Each NDIS Plan you receive will include the ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports your child needs to achieve their goals.
4. A FAMILY MEMBER IS PROVIDING SUPPORT. Informal support provided by parents, siblings and other family members can sometimes reduce your need to access NDIS funds.
Although the recent changes since COVID-19 mean some support providers are delivering services through telehealth or online platforms, many people may still have difficulties in getting the supports they need.
You cannot use your NDIS funding to pay for a family member to provide supports. This is important to help you maintain good relationships with your family.
One of the benefits of plan management is that you can work with all providers (whether they are registered with the NDIS or not). That means you have the freedom to choose any provider you like including independent care workers and allied health professionals like physiotherapists that are not NDIS registered.
If a family member is providing assistance, you may be able to flexibly use your NDIS funding to access other supports or services that meet your needs. For example, if a family member is helping with everyday household tasks, any Core supports – Assistance with daily living funds can be used to purchase Consumables. Funding in the Core supports is now completely flexible within the four budget categories which are: Assistance with Daily Life, Assistance with social and community participation, Consumables and Transport.
2. U NCERTAINTY ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN PURCHASE WITH NDIS FUNDS. Not having a proper understanding of your NDIS Plan, what it covers and what you are allowed to spend it on can make it difficult to ensure you spend all of your NDIS budget. Be sure to take the time to understand your child’s plan and how funding in each of the budget categories relate to their goals. This overview explains the different NDIS Plan budget categories – Core Supports, Capital Supports and Capacity Building Supports – it’s a good place to start to give you an understanding of what each category covers.
AS OF 31 MARCH 2020,
35% OF FUNDING REMAINS UNSPENT WHICH EQUATES TO OVER
$6.07 BILLION !$
5. YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED. There are a number of reasons why your personal circumstances may change, which could affect the supports you need. A change of circumstances could include: • Changes to your living arrangements • Changes to your child’s disability needs • Changes to your employment (young adults and adults) • Changes to the care or support provided by family and friends If something does change that affects your needs or the supports in your plan, you need to complete a Change of circumstances form and contact the NDIA. In some cases, this may lead to a Plan Review. It’s important to always make sure that your child’s NDIS Plan includes the supports they need through each stage of life. Leap In! can help you understand your NDIS Plan, effectively utilise your allocated funding and connect you with relevant providers. You can call us on 1300 05 78 78 to speak to a plan manager for advice or email us at email@example.com. Why not sign up to Leap in! plan management today and start using the My Budgets section of the Leap in! app. Visit www.leapin.com.au to find out more.
Creative Play for Growing Minds!
Sensory Toys Therapy Toys Educational Toys Games & Puzzles Art & Craft Kits Pretend Play
STOCKTAKE SALE NOW ON! 28
So everyone can thrive We want to help every Australian build a connected future, including those who have difficulty using a standard home phone. Telstraâ€™s Disability Equipment Program offers a range of solutions to support customers who are older or have a disability. Visit telstra.com/disability, or call our Hotline 1800 068 424 (Voice), 133 677 (TTY).
A PARENT'S PERSPECTIVE POST COVID
D VI CO COMEDOWN:
BY KELLY WILTON
REFLECTING ON THE CRISIS AND THE THINGS WE MISSED
Recently, I’ve finally had a bit of time to process what the last couple of months have looked like, and it’s been quite a ride! I now actually have some physical space as my 8-year-old twins have returned to their special school part-time, so I just have my teenager at home studying online (self-directed, apart from when it comes to food).
THIS IS HOW THE COVID CRISIS UNFOLDED FOR OUR FAMILY: • Watching with disbelief as other parts of the world were affected by COVID-19, thinking ‘it won’t reach Australia? Will it? No. It might!’ • Eek! It’s reached us. • Now what? • Outbreaks in our community just as my son’s seizures start to return with a vengeance! • ARGH! • Meds increased, phone calls and emails to doctors. Lucky that our doctors are on speed dial. • Decision time – you are all home. Yay, they say! • Next day – ‘stop bloody fighting, this is going to be a long ride.’ • After 4 weeks, we better do some “home schooling”. • Let’s not. We will chop up all the work sheets instead. That’s fine motor done for the day. • My kids sack me as their teacher. Or did I quit? I can’t remember. • OMG my kids are NEVER going to go back to school. • Pivot – work on communication – Install Kids Messenger. • 65 calls made on the first day to Nana and friends
from school and family in Melbourne. • Second day – more calls to Nana. This time, my son just sets the iPad up and I hear ‘Mikey are you there?’ He ignores her. He doesn’t want to talk. He just wants her to watch him eat! • Nana hangs up. There’s been a lot more of the above, rinse and repeat, so to speak. It feels a long time since the early days of the toilet paper hoarding insanity. The days have been long but the weeks short…or something like that. I didn’t realise how much my kids were taking in regarding the outbreak, until I realised that they WERE TAKING IT ALL IN! The bellows of ‘toilet paper’ and ‘virus’ are new words we’ve added to my son’s growing vocabulary. How much therapy as a family are we going to need after this? One day (well most days), I’d had enough of my husband, so I got in my car (when you could drive decent distances) and took off with the twins in the back. Then I realised, what the hell was I doing and drove back home. He can help me with the twins. We reconciled our differences and moved on.
A simple routine and a life that is not jam-packed works for us, and it’s the only way we can stay together – if we reduce some of the ‘noise’ – the busyness and commitments to be everywhere and doing everything. We worked hard to get the balance right and we seemed to be starting the year off strong.
As a family we have experienced isolation and loneliness before, but never in this scenario, on this scale. And it all felt very different to the other times where, due to our life of being a medically complex family with varying disabilities – physical, intellectual, mental health to name a few, we’ve had to adjust over the years.
We were busy, but only with the things we chose. That was something that our mental health doctor told us to work on – let it all go, focus on family and work only. Then slowly add things again. As soon as the scales tip, you will feel it. The overwhelm will creep back and the tightness in the chest will catch you off guard because you haven’t felt it for so long.
Then, there’s my neurotypical teenager who’s been working from her bedroom, only emerging for cameo appearances throughout the day to bring her dirty dishes out. Will she need therapy after all this? Probably.
I never appreciated the hard work that we put in as a family to make our family tick but I know there are others out there who live a similar life to us and ‘get it’.
We started off positively enough, however I didn’t account for the fighting, oh the fighting! The irritability that the kids were experiencing resulted in a WWF session each day. I never really appreciated the routine that we had prior to this whole situation, but now I do – how important it was to keeping us all in balance. 30
We just miss our family routine – the gentle rhythm of our days and the light activities. I know that in time, when everything is back to ‘normal’ and everyone is busy again, people will move on and the time that we all had to stay home, will be just a distant memory to some. For us though, we will happily be at home, strong in the awareness that this is where our heart is. www.sourcekids.com.au
BY JODIE TURNER
"MUM CAN WE DO THIS FOREVER??!?!" During lockdown I was fully aware there were parents everywhere struggling to find ‘that balance’. You know, the balance between ‘the routine/learning timetable’ approach and the ‘forget home schooling – teach life skills instead’ approach. I am just going to put it out there – I was neither of these!! Our approach consisted of our two boys choosing two schoolwork tasks to complete in the morning and then they had the afternoon free to play, enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air; the no rush lockdown life. It was incredible to have quality time together; reassuring – knowing we were in our safe place and relieving – that we were managing to live in each other’s pockets for what seemed like an eternity. We were lucky enough that my husband, Scott, could continue to work and earn regular income, having a job that did not require close contact with anyone. As always, he continued to be the supportive husband and daddy we know and love by working hard and doing those all-important essential shopping trips, fully armed with hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes! I felt like we had it covered, we had it under control and things were good… But then came week 5, along with tears, tantys and full on feelings of “I can’t take this anymore”. We all craved human interaction, not the facetime kind of interaction, the normal face-to-face gig! When the announcement came that schools were reopening here in WA, we were torn between the fear of the Covid 19 virus and the need for some routine, education, and social distanced interaction. When Jay, our youngest son said “Mum can we do this forever” I knew then, it was definitely time to begin our new normal. But I had questions… How do I know they will wash their hands? What if they touch something and then stick a finger in their nose? What if someone breathes on them or stands too close? Will they cling to my leg at the school gates after all this time home with me? Truth is… it was me who got too used to lockdown life, whilst the boys were thinking “Yessssss BRING THIS ON”. I realised, after 6 weeks of teaching the boys about stricter handwashing, social distancing and the potential spread of germs, the boys were well and truly prepared for what was to come. School have implemented guidelines of as much social distancing humanly possible in a school, staff well equipped with sanitiser and regular cleaning of classrooms. Also, staggered school finishes mean less social contact and school pick-up traffic. Hats off to the staff for the hard work they put in to provide a smooth transition back to such a supported new school life. Having EXTREMELY supportive teaching staff welcome your child back into the classroom during a global pandemic, anxiety ridden period has to be half the battle, right?!!??!
TRUTH IS… IT WAS ME WHO GOT TOO USED TO LOCKDOWN LIFE, WHILST THE BOYS WERE THINKING “YESSSSSS BRING THIS ON”.
GUILTY!! I am holding my hands up to the fact that I like to go in to the pre-primary classroom with my son Jay just as I did with his brother Joel (now year 3 who won’t let me near the building). I like to watch him do his thing in class to begin the day and then plant a sloppy kiss on him when us parents have to leave, So the “no parent policy” in the classroom has given me a new perspective on my parenting… leave them to it!! I am aware that all kids are different, as a parent you will know when it’s time to step away and the new rules in school have taught me… this mumma was clearly well overdue stepping away. Now, Jay hops, skips and jumps into school with an amazing sense of glowing independence. There are many things COVID-19 has taught us as a family: 1. W ith support and unconditional love through testing times, our children gain resilience. 2. Never take LIVING for granted. 3. A new normal is not the end of the world. 4. Appreciate the simple things in life. 5. T here are always lessons to be learnt and challenges to face – be sure to get through them together. SPECIAL ISSUE
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ADVERTORIAL Introducing the SPC ProVital Range of Level 4 Pureed Fruit Cups and Diced Fruit in Juice are now available for purchase in the community thanks to our partnership with Atlas McNeil Healthcare. Our fruit is hand-picked from the pristine Goulburn Valley in Australia. We have designed our cup to be accessible for those with fine motor difficulties, making it easy to open so you can enjoy your nutritious serve of fruit. Our range features products that have been specifically developed to meet specific health requirements caused by conditions such as dysphagia, constipation and malnutrition. DYSPHAGIA You may experience difficulty swallowing food and or drinking fluids for a number of reasons. It is often caused by a number of age related conditions like stroke, Parkinsonâ€™s disease motor neuron disease and dementia. If you have trouble swallowing food and fluids, you may be at risk of poor nutrition and dehydration. A speech pathologist may have recommended changes to the textures of foods or drinks1. If you are on a Smooth Puree Diet (Level 4), then the SPC ProVital Puree Fruit Range is suitable for you. CONSTIPATION Constipation can be caused by many lifestyle factors, including a change in routine, not eating enough fibre, not drinking enough fluids and as a result of getting older. Making some small changes to your lifestyle can help with treating constipation. These changes include increasing the amount of fibre in your daily diet, drinking more fluids and regular exercise. Good sources of fibre include wholegrain cereals, fruits, vegetables and legumes2. SPC ProVital Fibre Right Apple Prune Puree is a good source of fibre, providing 5.8g fibre per serve. MALNUTRITION Your Dietitian may recommend extra Energy and Protein in your diet, based on your individual needs. You may need extra energy and protein if you have recently lost weight, had a loss of appetite, have experienced muscle wasting or have poor healing wounds3. SPC ProVital Fibre Right + Protein Apple Puree provides a good source of protein (10.3g per serve), 668Kj of energy and is also an excellent source of fibre (7.0g per serve).
Contact us for a free sample
Abri-Flex Junior is a disposable pull-up style continence aid that is discreet, comfortable and can be worn just like normal underwear. Designed specifically to fit teenagers and children aged between 5-15 years.
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THE IMPORTANCE OF
playing at the park FOR DEVELOPMENT
It may be colder outside but it’s wonderful that we’re able to get back out in the community again, and that means we can let our kids get back to the important business of outdoor play – albeit with a few social distancing and extra hygiene checks and rules in place. Play is essential for all children’s development and a well-designed play area can help promote physical activity, excitement, social skills development and behavioural changes, while promoting multi-sensory engagement and positive behaviour.
SWINGS Children with sensory issues will find both their vestibular and proprioceptive systems challenged. There are a number of different types of swings available that can provide different benefits including spatial perception and trunk control.
sand. Sandpits can offer some fantastic social and communication opportunities.
SLIDES Slides provide an opportunity for children to experience vestibular stimulation as they move down the slide. Children learn to organise themselves at the top of the slide in order to slide down while sitting or lying on their stomachs, and also problem solve to work out ways to slow down if they feel they are going too fast.
CLIMBING NETS Climbing nets provide opportunities to develop upper and lower body strength as well as problem solving and motor planning skills.
ROCK WALLS Rock walls are beneficial for the development of grip and arm strength as well as leg strength.
Children are also required to plan and organise
Sandpits allow children to enjoy a variety of sensory experiences – tactile, vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive. While they can be challenging for children with sensory issues, your child’s OT should have some great suggestions on how to get your child into the sandpit and playing in the
their bodies to successfully reach the top of the
RINGS Rings give children the opportunity to co-ordinate their bodies and develop upper body strength
MANAGE THE DIFFERENT SURFACES
Many local parks have bark around the play equipment and then grass in the seating areas. These different surfaces are great for new walkers and for learning balance and dexterity. If you’re lucky enough to visit a beachside park, then walking onto the soft sand at the beach, then the hard, wet sand at the edge of the water and then finally the sloshy sand in the water is a great workout for legs.
CLIMB A TREE
Climbing, pulling up, using arm strength and balance. Tree climbing has it all. It is also daring enough to distract kids who may not like the physical aspect of physio from the hard work their body is doing.
SOCIAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Along with the physical benefits outlined above. Playgrounds are also import spaces for children to develop social skills and in some ways, they are a classroom for life. Just some of the skills that children learn in the playground, or issues that they will encounter include: • Initiating, continuing and ending interactions with other children and learning how to be included in pre-existing groups of children. • Learning how to lose games and not always get their own way – not all children are going to want to play the same way or do the same things together. • Turn-taking and patience are also important skills that get lots of chances to be practiced at the park! • Children also get the opportunity to learn to listen to their own bodies – recognising when they’re thirsty and tired, and may need a break, or when they need to stop having fun to go the toilet. • Transitions get lots of practice at the park too – moving between different pieces of equipment for example and then of course, there’s the allimportant listening to mum or dad when they say it’s time to go!
Opening the door for more choice and control over your support network
SUPPORT TO SUIT YOUR LIFESTYLE You First have changed the way in which traditional disability services operate, opening the door for more control over your support network.
EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT ACCESS
COMMUNITY BASED ACTIVITIES
Our goal is to give clients more support and flexibility to find Support Workers that suit their lifestyle.
Disability Services 36
1300 52 56 56
GETTING OUT AND ABOUT +
EVERY HUMAN For the bigger kids, we are loving the warm and stylish unisex seated parker available in a range of sizes at Every Human. RRP $306.95 www.everyhuman.com.au
JUST ARRIVED AT MEDIFAB!
TER WIN WINTER MERS WARMERS WAR
Bikes and trikes are a fabulous way to get out on the sunny winter days for some fun. Astris PME have a big range and there is something to suit everyone. We rate the Rifton adaptive trike – perfect for growing children – it can be quickly adjusted, no tools needed! POA www.astris-pme.com.au
Winter has hit and it’s chilly in most parts of Australia, so it’s time to get moving to keep warm and active as restrictions begin to ease. Check out some of these products to help with getting out and about!
BINGO EVO ‘MINI’ STROLLER
BIKES + TRIKES FOR OUTDOOR ADVENTURES!
KEEPING THOSE FINGERS WARM AND TOASTY
JUST ARRIVED AT MEDIFAB!
An additional size for the much loved and very popular Bingo Evo Stroller has just arrived. It’s a highly supportive stroller pushchair for very small children down to 6 months old! It’s easyto-use tilt-in-space and recline functions will get you out and about in comfort and style!
Keep little fingers and hands warm with these cute winter gloves that don’t cost a bomb. Wear them like mittens or fingerless gloves, with a button hoop closure, the choice is yours!
This stable and durable stroller option is extremely agile thanks to a compact mobility base and will keep your child comfy during winter walks, with the function to grow the seat to provide long-term use for growing kids!
RRP $5.00 www.kmart.com
RIBCAP KIDS BIEBER BEANIE TO KEEP THE EARS WARM Bieber Kids is the original, soft, smooth Ribcap that is loved by kids for its unique look and feel. It’s perfect for active children and will keep them safe and snug for their outdoor activities! RRP $195 www.dejay.com.au
FOLLOW ME-MOMO TRICYCLE The popular Momo Tricycle can be connected in only a few steps and without the use of tools. Perfect for the child who needs a bit more security or tires when biking solo, this coupling system is connected quickly and easily to be uncoupled whenever a child wants to zoom off again! POA www.astris-pme.com.au
THE COOLEST ACCESSIBLE JACKET Jam The Label’s gender neutral Confetti jacket has been designed to be easily put on and taken off whilst sitting in your wheelchair. We love this confetti design! RRP $85.00 www.jamthelabel.com
Speech-language pathology is about enhancing your child’s communication skills so they can participate in everyday life. A speech pathologist can help your child if they’re struggling with communication such as expressing themselves, understanding instructions, pronunciation, stuttering and more. At Growing Early Minds, our speech pathologists are experienced in working with children who have experienced trauma, complex needs, developmental delay or disability, including autism. Literacy skills — reading, writing and spelling Language development — understanding and speaking
TELEHEALTH SESSIONS AVAILABLE Telehealth is an alternate and flexible way of delivering therapy services. Instead of driving to a clinic, your face-to-face appointment is virtual, using a phone, tablet or computer. No wait times, no travel costs, and ensuring the continuation of support during difficult times are just some of the benefits. 02 9622 8500 growingearlyminds.org.au
Speech development — clarity, articulation, stuttering and dyspraxia Voice control — quality, volume, tone, pitch and awareness of voice Cognitive communication skills — problem solving and imagination Practical language and social skills — making friends and social interactions Feeding and swallowing issues — difficulty coordinating sucking, swallowing and limited food choices
Click here for more information on speech pathology or to get started Servicing North West and Western Sydney regions, or from anywhere in Australia via telehealth services
BRAND AMBASSADOR UPDATES
OUR BRAND AMBASSADORS
WE CH BRAND A ECKED IN WITH HOW THE MBASS ADORS T OUR O Y WE LOVE ’VE BEEN DOIN HEAR GA T HEIR UP HOW EA DATES O ND C H O F T HEM F GETTING HAS B B AND INT ACK OUT AND A EEN L I S T E N) O L I F E! R E A D (A B O U T TO T HEIR N UPDATE D S.
BRYDI SAUL Brydi has been super busy this month! With some easing of COVID restrictions she has returned to school and has finally been able to return the gym! This month, Brydi helped raise money for Variety QLD by participating in the Bad Hair May campaign and came up with an awesome unicorn hair creation! She also entered a 5km virtual fun run called RunRona run by Clothing the Gap and the money went to helping aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health care in remote communities. We took the opportunity though to get outdoors and she did her 5km out on a cycling track. Brydi has also been enjoying local lake walks and taking her puppy Mochi with her. Of course, she is still training hard at home on her race rollers too as she is hoping to enter more events that are coming up. She definitely is enjoying life getting back to the new normal and being able to go to school and see her friends again! Home school went well but she LOVES her teachers and being at school.
RILEY SABAN Riley, our NSW brand ambassador shares some spectacular places to visit in his home state! Here’s his latest video update for you all.
KAI SEYMON GREAT FRIENDS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE Hi everyone! I hope everyone has been enjoying being back at school or having the kids back at school (mum says lol!). I mentioned in my last update that I started a new school in the middle of Covid. I had to move schools due to bullying that I was finding really hard and also the schoolwork was very stressful. I have changed into the Aspire Program at Manor Lakes College which is a specialist stream at the school and I am so so happy. Life changing for me! My teacher Joe and assistant Principal Francesca are amazing and have really helped me settle in! They are very sensitive to my needs and I feel safe and helped in all areas of school. I cannot believe how much of a difference it has made! I love that they 'get' me, that the work is fully adjusted and there is NO HOMEWORK...I know! How cool! My classmates are really nice, and I have made two great friends Seth and Kyle. The two pictures are of me and Kyle in class (sharing with permission). Kyle loves the Bulldogs like me and even has his own YouTube channel! He is pretty excited that next month he will be featured on a postage stamp! for real! Keep an eye out. Kyle uses a communication board and I like to help scribe for him in class also. He sometimes accidently runs over my foot with his wheelchair which we both find funny. He has invited me to join his All Abilities basketball team which I can't wait! I love basketball too. Seth, my other friend is really nice! It turns out we actually went to playgroup together, but we can't really remember. This is a picture of Seth and I when we were just 3 that my mum found! It is just so nice to have friends finally at school. It makes such a difference. Until now I've not really had one ...now I have 2 great ones! I also made my first book at school & called it "Becoming Friends". This book is about not judging people by their appearances. I hope you are all enjoying catching up with a few friends and keeping safe. Love Kai
FINLEY COLL I’m so happy to be out of lockdown! My family and I rode our bikes to the markets for a Saturday morning out. I was in my Wike Bike trailer which goes on the back of mum or dad’s bike and then when we get to the market it turns into a type of pram so I can enjoy the markets too. It was so good to be around people. We ate delicious crepes and then had a play in the playground which is at the market. There were loads of people out enjoying the sun. Also, I love having my classes back to normal. It's so good to be with all my classmates again. We were supposed to be going to London for a holiday on the 24th June so I am really sad that that's not happening, but I am going for a sleepover at my carer's on the weekend so I’m excited about that. I do not miss lockdown at all! I’m so happy to be around people again. I hope everyone is enjoying being with their people as much as I am. Fin
Find out more at kiddylicious.com.au
Find out more at kiddylicious.com.au
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Encouraging independence & development through exploration A young child's ability to explore their environment ushers in a cascading array of cognitive, social, emotional and spatial skills that together provide tremendous opportunities for growth.
• If they do not crawl or walk or have access to EARLY mobility, they do not learn that their world is a 3-dimensional universe with walls, doors, toys, siblings or parents.
In order to learn, children need SELF-INITIATED exploration: • If they cannot bring objects to their mouth, their language may be delayed because the oral muscles are not adequately stimulated.
• Crawling (or self-initiated mobility) provides children opportunities to learn about the environment and social relationships, as well as developing their own self-awareness. (Butler, 1991).
• If they cannot bring an object from one hand to the other and manipulate it around their hand, it is harder to learn size, shape or texture.
• If children cannot move independently, their visual skills related to spatial relations may be delayed.
• If they always have to wait until an adult brings them an object, curiosity is not fostered.
So, without self-initiated mobility and exploration many aspects of development are at risk of being delayed.
PERMOBIL WANT TO HELP CHANGE THAT WITH THE NEW EXPLORER MINI Self-initiated mobility is defined as movement that is controlled by an individual and may include: • ambulation (e.g. walking, crawling) • use of non-powered technology such as prosthetics, walking aids and manual wheelchairs • use of powered technology such as motorised wheelchairs and battery-operated ride-on 44
toy cars (Logan, Hospodar, Feldner, Huang, & Galloway, 2018) Powered technology is usually considered when other means of movement have not been successful. The problem with most power mobility devices is they were not truly designed for EARLY development. In fact, they are designed for “it’s really late-but let’s see if we can catch up” and compensate for what has been lost or never gained. Until now we have not been able to observe or examine the full benefits of early self-initiated mobility for young children with disabilities, as there has not been a truly appropriate mobility device. The Explorer Mini was specifically designed for these very young children to be placed in postures that will promote development and allow for selfinitiated mobility.
WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE FOR A CHILD WITH MOBILITY IMPAIRMENTS? In typical development, children need to work through their developmental milestones such as when learning to crawl. They often fail at first and keep trying until they’re successful. Parents don’t typically prop them up and “save them”, they let them struggle through. This is where the Explorer Mini can give a young child a safe opportunity to work through postures that may promote development when they otherwise would be unable to self-initiate mobility. It may take time and practice, but they can ultimately be successful with posture and independent movement. www.sourcekids.com.au
PRODUCT FEATURES Developmentally inspired seating
The Explorer Mini is an ergonomic device with multiple weight bearing surfaces to help promote safe, stable upright postures. The intuitive design provides just the right amount of support enabling young children with mobility impairments opportunities to develop strength, endurance and postural control. Each element of the Explorer Mini was designed specifically for developmental milestones in early childhood.
• Small yellow ball-shaped handle is within visual fixation range for young children
• Promotes bilateral upper extremity integration
• Mini Explorer telescoping-column
Upper extremity weight bearing surface
• Adjustable support for safe seated or standing position • Tool-free height adjustment supports growth • Adjustable seat height for peer interaction and exploration • Supports changing positioning for activities and incremental standing • Altering height taps into vestibular system
• Handle promotes reaching, visual and oral exploration • Encourages eyes and hands coming to midline • Promotes contact to volar (palm of hand) aspect of hand which leads to grasp and release and haptic perception which is recognising objects through touch
• Weight bearing on elbows helps promote head and trunk control • Develop body awareness through proprioceptive input • Aids in development of spinal curves • Supports respiratory function by helping to open rib cage
Saddle seat • Gentle slope promotes anterior pelvic tilt • Positions knees in slight abduction supporting hip development • Allows forward/backward rocking to facilitate anterior to posterior development • Removable seat facilities independent standing
To find out more about the product features and the research supporting the development of the Explorer Mini visit the Permobil website and their paediatric blogs. SPECIAL ISSUE
Astris PME provide an extensive range of wheelchairs designed to match active lifestyles and express individuality. ZIPPIE lightweight paediatric manual wheelchairs are versatile and offer a full range of easily tailored options and accessories, that can be tailored to suit a child’s personality and needs. The QUICKIE manual wheelchair range consists of rigid lightweight wheelchairs, folding wheelchairs and positional tilt in space wheelchairs that are designed to provide premium control, excellent driving performance and are highly adjustable to suit the needs of every individual.
Call us today to arrange a free trial: 1300 131 884
SYDNEY | CANBERRA/YOUNG | MELBOURNE | BRISBANE astris-pme.com.au • 1300 131 884 • facebook.com/astrispme
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Shower time can now be fun and safe for everyone! Nearly 3 children every day are treated in Australian hospitals for burns as a results of scalds, mostly caused by hot water. 80% of those in the bathroom… but the award winning thermostatic shower mixer can help change this.
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www.specialneedsplayequipment.com.au @specialneedsplayequipment (02) 9725 4961 www.therm-oz.net.au • Contact Sarah on 0439 992 011
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NETFLIX shows that represent people with disabilities nothing better than When it’s cold outside (and even when it’s not) there’s s are worth checking hunkering down for a bit of a Netflix binge. These show on the screen... out if you’d like to see people with disabilities included The Healing Powers of Dude The Healing Powers of Dude is being hailed as a series that’s breaking new ground regarding representing disability on screen. It’s the story of Noah, an 11-year old boy with social anxiety disorder navigating public school for the first time alongside his emotional support dog, Dude. Noah’s best friend is Amara who uses a wheelchair because she has muscular dystrophy. Funny, sweet and light-hearted – this is one for all the family.
Ozark Marty, a financial advisor drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder money to appease a drug boss; This Netflix series is one that always makes it onto the ‘most bingeable’ lists and one of its most loved characters is Tuck, played by Evan George Vourazeris who just happens to have Down Syndrome.
An eerie, supernatural Young Adult series – when everyone else mysteriously vanishes from their wealthy town, the teen residents of West Ham must forge their own society to survive. The show features a deaf character, Sam who is played by deaf actor, Sean Berdy.
The Politician This dark comedy follows the tale of an ambitious student who will stop at nothing to become his high school’s student body president. The cast of the series is notably diverse – including, a deaf African American actress, a trans actor, and an actor with cerebral palsy – the great thing is that no one at the school treats these differences like they’re a big deal.
Crip Camp Crip Camp is a joyous and exuberant Sundance Awards nominated documentary about Camp Jened, a ramshackle, freewheeling summer camp for teens with disabilities in the early 70s that transformed the lives of its campers and ignited a landmark movement as they became activists for the disability rights movement and fought for accessibility legislation.
In this family sci-fi series a widowed single mum discovers that her son, Dion, has super powers and tries to figure out how to raise him safely and responsibly. The real star of the show however is Dion’s classmate, Esperanza, who has osteogenesis imperfecta and uses a wheelchair. Esperanza is played by nine-yearold Sammi Haney who actually lives with this condition.
Atypical Now in its third season, the heartwarming and often hilarious Atypical follows the life of Sam Gardner, a teenager on the autism spectrum. Keir Gilchrist who plays Sam is not autistic himself, but the series has incorporated actors who are on the spectrum as the series has progressed.
Plus, a move that everyone loves...
Wonder Based on the New York Times bestseller, this movie tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial difference who enters the fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
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A place where different abilities are celebrated! We are an online supplier of therapy equipment, toys and resources for people with different abilities. Our products are carefully selected to assist in the development of skills in a wide range of areas, and are also motivating and engaging for endless fun!
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he’s part of our Allowah Family
Keeping up therapy online
What is your family’s story? How did you come to be part of the Allowah community?
If you were to describe your family in three words, what would they be?
My husband, Rob, and I have three sons, Kyle, David and William. Kyle, my son from my previous marriage, is twenty. I raised him as a single Mum for six years. When I met Rob, I didn’t really want anything to do with In responding to the precautionary him - I wasn’t interested in a relationship. But, he was measures social distancing, persistent! We fellaround in love, got engaged and got married. Kyle Allowah walked meis down the aisle, andonline gave a speech at now offering therapy. the wedding - every girl in the room cried! Then, we had David. William came as a surprise, a year later.
A mad-house. That’s three words!
Online therapy sessions can offer you
NSW / ACT
We knew something was wrong with William when he the tohecontinue tojust access was in myflexibility tummy. Once was born, he wouldn’t stop services crying. He cried all daydesktop, and all night. I took him to a via your computer, paediatrician, who told me he was ‘just being naughty’. laptop and other mobile devices. This I told them that a six-month old can’t be naughty, they means you can continue to access don’t know how. Finally, William was diagnosed with a serviceswhich wherever youbrain. areIt(provided rare condition effects the explained why he never and couldn’tto eat. He internet)! started having seiyouslept have access the zures. It was a hard time. David was only one, so I had two babies. I never saw David, I was always at the hospital withSome William.benefits I would drop off at day-care and then ofDavid online therapy Rob would take him to his grandparent’s place. I spent all include: my days with William in hospital. Finally, I met a wonderful paediatrician who told me Strengthening partnerships withit to go• look at Allowah. As soon as I visited Allowah, parents and carers appealed to me. Everyone there was so nice and when William first started coming there, I don’t think he cried Empowering carer’s interaction at all,• he loved it so much. That’s how we knew it was the right place.
• Engage with other individuals who take part in your child’s care such as
What have your experiences been, both negative and positive, of raising a child with disabilities? What are some of teachers, disability support workers the challenges and joys?
and even siblings!
In terms of the negative, I struggle to give all my boys equal • time Therapy can now accessed in takes a up all and attention. Whenbe William is home he my time andenvironment while Kyle and David familiar to understand, the child.it is still hard. I try to spend as much time as I can with all of them. This can be a huge advantage for Kyle is old enough to look after himself but I still like to the children who are comfortable spend time with him when I can, I take him out for brunch and that. and I will hang out too, in things theirlike day toDavid environment and arewe go to the movies together. reluctant to leave this. The other challenge of having a child with disabilities is that you’re limited in what you can do with them. I can’t How will Allowah therapists just take William to a trampoline park,continue the other kids are toosupport big and it would be too dangerous. to you and your child in this
challenging time? Having William was a big learning curve for our family. I
have worked with people with disabilities for a long time but my husband had never encountered anything like • this. Goal – We But,directed it has madediscussion him a much more gentle, open and honest person. It has made us andtherapy our marriage resilient. I understand that online know that now there is nothing that life could throw at us might be new to a lot of families that we couldn’t cope with.
and perhaps some families wonder
There have been so many positive experiences whether online consultation is forin raising William. He brings so much joy to our family. Whenever we them, our therapists are happy to get together with our extended family they all say, ‘He’s so discuss with how William’s online smile, therapy great, look how far you he’s come!’ like all the other at Allowah, is the best. All he has to do is smile cankid’s meet your child’s goals and he melts everyone’s hearts - especially the nurses!
NSW / ACT
What are some of the best memories you have with William? When he first walked, that was a special day. It was Christmas day, and he would have been about three and a half or four. We were at my in-laws and he pulled himself up on the edge of the lounge and then made his way to the other lounge. Everyone in the house lost it! We were all so • Technical – contact your excited, screamingsupport and shouting. Even David was saying, ‘He’s therapist doing it! He’s and doingthey it!’ can guide you
set up the appropriate app on your Recently, William has started putting sentences together. mobile device the other day and they said to We were at the neurologists
I actually was recently talking to a family who is considering One of Allowah’s therapists trying Allowah. I told them, ‘Do it, absolutely!’ I know that in ourThe playground – about to William is getting such good care there. staff are well trained. William gets to do great stuff with - he head offAllowah to an online even went to the Easter show. On the weekends, I am busy therapy session? cleaning the house and looking after the whole family, I don’t have time to bake a cake with him. But, he can do that at Allowah! The activities they put on are really good, the principles and continue the and Rowena is fantastic.
therapy at home.
Allowah has been so good for us. When William needed to
We acknowledge that your child
• Other modalities – If video have regular blood tests, they helped with that. When he conferencing doesmonitoring, not work best needed to have seizure they helped with that. for you, our therapists can also William receives the same loveand at Allowah than he would at schedule phone calls emails home. He loves the attention! On the car trip here, for consultation. You can record a he knows where we are going and says, ‘Allowah! Yay!’ video or take photos on your child’s progress; therapist can review it and What are your dreams and hopes provide recommendations during scheduled meetings. for William and your family?
the therapy. That’s okay! Therapy sessions are relationship also a great opportunity What is your with for parents and carer to chat Allowah like? What through barriers andwould discussyou to achieve goals. We don’t saystrategies to a family considering want to onto our knowledge, coming tohold Allowah? but rather, we want to pass on our William comes here every fortnight so during the term knowledge so you canorimplement
is the dream of every parent of a disabled child. I would love Online therapy is just another mode him to be able to feed and himself. of for providing services anddress does not Kyle and David have already told me that they will look after William when compromise the quality of the service, I’m not around anymore. But, I don’t want that weight on instead it builds a strong partnership their shoulders. I’ve said to them, ‘I will put him somewhere with and you have and parents you can take himcarers. with youIf everywhere youany can. Share the load’. After all, they will have their own families. question about online therapy, please feel free to contact your therapist and mostly I just want for William what I want for my weBut, are more than happy to help.
him, ‘How’s David?’ He said, ‘Good.’ They asked, ‘How’s Kyle?’ • Resources – our therapists plan for He said, ‘Good’. Then, they asked him, ‘And, how’s Dad?’ and your We can William said,session. ‘A pest!’ I nearly lost it,send it was material so funny!
or resources you need to prepare
When I was driving William up to Allowah, we had the radio prior to the session so you are ready on and Colby Caillat’s song ‘Bubbly’ came on. I used to sing to go when he was little, in hospital. When it came on it to William in the car, William was singing it at the top of his lungs. He • Education and troubleshooting knew it, word for word. He must have been a good – listener! The doctors told us that he would walk, may not like sitting innever front of never the eat and never talk. And, look at him now! He’s doing all of that. screen for he the of Imagine what else willwhole be able duration to do.
and stays a few days a week during school holidays. He loves it! I’m pretty sure Monty is his best friend. He loves Ruby too.
I would love for William to be independent, which I’m sure
other boys - for them to be happy and healthy. If they are happy and healthy, that’s all that really matters.
Allowah provides Disability Support services for children aged 0 - 18 years with complex disabilities and medical conditions.
disability support services
Complex Disability and Health Provider
• Short term accommodation Planned or Emergency • School Holiday programs • Post surgery care • Early intervention • Therapy Services • After school care • Support Coordination (children and adults with complex needs) • Many other supports including Assessments, Equipment advice and so much more
Allowah 8 Perry St Dundas Valley NSW 2117 02 8877 3400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Therapy and care for young children with autism AEIOU creates a lifetime of opportunities for children with autism, and provides practical advice and support to families. AEIOU is an NDIS-approved service provider. To find out more, call 1300 273 435 or visit aeiou.org.au. Untitled-1 1
9/04/2020 9:23:48 AM
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