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Physio-Led Therapy Stories

16+ years: Transitioning to Independent Adult Life

Aysha skips the OT waitlist by starting therapy with a physio

Seventeen-year-old Aysha* spends much of her spare time listening to her favourite artists like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish and seeing live theatre productions. She is about to finish high school. Aysha faces challenges that impact her learning and physical abilities, and her mother was worried she might have to leave work to care for her. She wanted support to explore Aysha’s interests in theatre and music and find volunteer or paid work.

Aysha is able to communicate using a combination of some single words and gestures. Living with her mum, and 10-year-old sister, Aysha attends a special developmental school where she receives on-going therapy support.

Anticipating the need for additional support to help her prepare for and ultimately cope with life outside of school, Aysha’s mum was told by other parents about potential long wait lists for occupational therapy. Concerned that, without immediate therapy support, she might be forced to quit work, she was relieved to learn that Everyday Independence could offer immediate access to therapy with physiotherapist, Terry.

Engaging with Aysha and her mum, Terry discovered that Aysha was passionate about theatre and music, particularly after her involvement in the school play. Aysha’s mum was also keen to explore options for volunteer or paid work after school, to help her build skills and explore potential employment opportunities. This was an urgent priority for the family.

Physio Terry involved her team’s occupational therapist and speech pathologist to undertake focussed assessments and liaise with the therapist at the developmental school to understand the work done so far. Terry then supported Aysha and her mum to explore opportunities for after-school activities, including visits to a local dance and theatre group and the local op-shop. Terry arranged for a habit coach to support Aysha with a four-week trial of weekly, after school shifts volunteering at the op-shop.

A key outcome for Aysha’s mum was to clarify the opportunities and supports required for Aysha to participate in more full-time voluntary work once finished at school, which gave her a more positive feeling about her ability to remain in the workforce with further NDIS funded support.

Commencing therapy with a physiotherapist, combined with personalised occupational and speech therapy, along with continuous, affordable habit coaching, has empowered Aysha and her family to access the necessary supports for her to achieve greater happiness, inclusivity, and independence.

*names have been changed due to privacy.

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