Lily is a vivacious 5-year-old who loves playing outside, pretending to be a power ranger, and like many girls her age, finds it hard to sit still for more than a second! Like all parents, Jess and Mat, were keen for Lily to start primary school just like all the other kids in the neighbourhood.
The Everyday Independence therapy team knew how important this goal was for Lily and her family to achieve. Lily’s Key Worker and Speech Pathologist Kristen from Everyday Independence developed an action plan and gathered a team of complementary therapists to get to work so that they could make Lily’s first day of prep a reality.
Lily has difficulties following instructions, communicating using words, and transitioning to different activities at home. Lily also experiences challenging behaviours including throwing herself on the floor, screaming, and throwing objects. The impact on Lily’s family life was huge.
Getting Lily ready to start school was a team effort. As the family’s primary support, Kristen supported Matt and Jess to explore both mainstream and special school options so they could choose the school that would best suit her needs.
Kristen also helped Mat and Jess access support to manage Lily’s challenging behaviours. They were supported with effective strategies to help reduce Lily’s challenging behaviour and improve her communication so that she’d be ready to engage with other children in the playground.
Under the social model of therapy support, this involved a whole family approach, provided in the home, and encouraged the use of positive reinforcement, modeling language, and building the family’s capacity to give clear and positive instructions.
“This was a big goal, and we were unsure if we could achieve it but with regular therapy sessions and building the family’s capacity, Lily started prep this year and we couldn’t be prouder,” said Kristen.
“Lily is thriving. She is now speaking in sentences, can sit on the floor with her classmates during group time, and is listening to instructions at home and at school”, she said.
At Everyday Independence, children aged under seven years and their families benefit from support coordinated by Key Workers, just like Lily. The Key Worker approach provides empowers families to meet their child’s needs and helps them to reach their potential.