Our therapists tell their stories...
“I’m really going to miss you, when are visiting hours?”
Occupational Therapist, Dalby
A 9 year old boy came to BUSHkids because he was experiencing difficulties keeping up with the handwriting demands in his classroom. After participating in an eight week group, focussing on fine motor development (including strengthening, dexterity, cutting and writing activities), and completing guided visual perceptual and handwriting tasks at home, David* ended 2012 with a handwriting award from his teacher!
Occupational Therapist, Emerald (*name changed)
Fun Friends Group
'Timmy' is a little boy in my Fun Friends group. He recently lost his father due to illness. His teacher said he has become even more withdrawn since the incident and the Psychologist and I have struggled for the past 5 weeks with his excessive shyness and fear of answering questions/interacting in the small group. Last week he opened up just a little by telling us his 'red thought' was that he is sad his Dad died. This week 'Timmy' came in with a toy car that he wanted to show me. He told me it was a present from his Dad and he liked it because it was green and fast. I asked him if he would share his show-and-tell with the group and he did. He was very proud of himself and grew in confidence for the remainder of the session.
Family Health Support Worker
Straight Talk Group
This term I have worked with a group of 6 year olds, a group of 6 girls. Together we worked through the "Straight Talk" program. The girls were selected by the guidance officer to participate in the program, as unfortunately, all of the girls had issues with self esteem and self confidence.
The class teacher of the girls spoke with me once the program had finished and said that the program seems to have been effective with all of the girls. Especially one little girl who, as she describes, has gone from being extremely reserved and shy in the classroom to initiating conversations and even being a little cheeky.
Family Health Support Worker
Humour within the success....
'Tommy' came to BUSHkids because he was very difficult to understand. He preferred to use the 'g' sound for fricative sounds such as 'f', 's' and 'sh'. You can imagine that there was some confusion when he said 'the sun is hot'. With many therapy sessions and support from parents at home he began to use 'f' and 'sh' correctly. This was definitely the case the day 'Tommy' came in to therapy after having gotten in trouble at school that day for quite clearly using certain four letter words in the classroom. Possibly words he had been using before but never quite been understood.
6yr old girl presenting with severe non-compliance/antisocial behaviour
A mother had her daughter referred by the schools guidance officer as her daughter's behaviours were evident only in the home environment. Upon discussing entry to BUSHkids, the mother stated ''we don't like being around each other'' and it was also reported that the child's behaviour had come to the point where she was stealing money from her parents.
Intervention consisted of an intense behaviour management program; ''helping the non-compliant child'', whereby both the child and parent attend sessions and the psychologist observes the quality of their interactions and so forth. The mother mentioned significant changes were evident even prior to halfway through the program. The psychologist then presented the "helping the non-compliant child" overview session, discussing in more detail the reasons underlying the selection of the programs strategies, which the child had come to understand well.
During a long term follow-up appointment, the mother stated "she now comes to me for cuddles regularly; she hasn't done that in a very long time". Aside from empirical changes evident throughout the program, that comment has stuck with me the most!
Diagnosis of ASD
A six year old boy came to us with a diagnosis of ASD. We have been conducting joint occupational therapy and speech pathology sessions with this child all year. At the beginning of the year, he would frequently not want to enter the therapy room, and when he did enter he used minimal eye contact and would only whisper when prompted by the therapists. We liaised with the Psychologist, who put in a behaviour management plan and this boy now comes running into the therapy room, will work hard for a full 45 minute session, uses his loud voice and the therapist’s name when speaking, and will often initiate conversation with the therapists. His school teacher has reported big improvements since the beginning of the year, and his mother has expressed positive comments regarding the therapy block. It’s great to see such a positive change in him.
Speech and Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist
Jack – aged 6
Jack came to BUSHkids with severe delays in understanding and use of language at the start of therapy. We had lots of fun sessions learning about basic concepts and vocabulary, and Jack did well to improve on targeted goals. I worked closely with his school and parents to ensure he was getting as much support as possible. Jack still has many things to learn so that he can communicate effectively, but I was very happy to have provided him with the first few building blocks, and his parents with some of the skills needed to keep building! I was also involved in securing an SLI (Speech-Language Impairment) verification at school for Jack, which means he will get ongoing help with speech and language at school, now that he has finished with BUSHkids. His family and the school were very happy with the support provided to Jack this year. Good luck for the future Jack!
Speech and Language Pathologist