Services we offer
BUSHkids is a not for profit organisation providing primary health care to children and their families in rural Queensland communities.
BUSHkids builds capacity in local communities to identify and respond to children who are at risk of poor health, educational and social outcomes. BUSHkids provides early intervention allied health for children and families who otherwise may have been unable to access services in their local area.
Locations of Service Centres
BUSHkids has six service Centres across Queensland supported by a Brisbane office team based in Toowong.
Each Centre has a team including a Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Clinical Psychologist and Family Health Support Worker, and are located at:
- Mount Isa
- Inglewood (Family Health Support Worker)
With Early Intervention Facilitators located at: Agnes Water/Miriam Vale, Kingaroy/Nanango and Stanthorpe.
Who we see
It is the core business of allied health professionals providing child development and therapy services within BUSHkids to improve the health and well-being of children with, or at risk of, developmental and other difficulties by investing early in their health.
- BUSHkids Speech-Language Pathologists aim to reduce the incidence or impact of communication and eating difficulties through the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children with speech, language, voice, fluency, literacy and eating difficulties
- BUSHkids Occupational Therapists assess the skills which may impact on a child’s participation in their self-care, play and school activities
- BUSHkids Psychologists aim to reduce the incidence or impact of emotional, social, academic and behavioural difficulties
- BUSHkids Family Health Support Workers support allied health professionals by providing a range of education and skill-development programs to children and their parents/caregivers
BUSHkids allied health professionals work in a collaborative partnership with families or caregivers within a family-centred framework and aim to improve family functioning to meet the child’s and/or family needs.
Priority for BUSHkids services will be given to young children not yet accessing education services and not eligible for other government, non- government or specialist services.
Access to BUSHkids Services
Parents/carers are welcome to refer their child to BUSHkids by contacting their local BUSHkids Centre by phoning or calling in to the Centre.
BUSHkids also accepts referrals from trained professionals working within the health system or education department (e.g. teachers, doctors, social workers, guidance officers). Whilst Health and Educational Professionals may submit referrals independently, they must complete a Referrers Referral Form.
Please complete an Individual Referral Form - email, or take in person to your local Centre.
Please note: the consent of the parental/carer is mandatory.
The eligibility of each referral and the individual needs of the child and family are considered carefully in order to ensure that appropriate services can be provided. Although BUSHkids services are completely free of charge, it is anticipated that families will ‘pay’ through the time and dedication they commit to their child’s therapy programs.
Psychologists at BUSHkids are concerned with emotional, social, academic and behavioural difficulties of children and their impact on the family and adjustment later in life. Psychologists may assess the nature and extent of difficulties using a range of interviews, observations, and assessments (including various psychometric assessments, eg: IQ/ADHD/ASD). Once the assessment phase is completed involvement from parents, teachers and others will be encouraged during the process of developing a treatment plan.
Psychologists at BUSHkids can provide services for children with difficulties in the following areas:
- Anxiety, and school refusal
- Anger and aggression
- Social skills
- Self esteem
- Mood changes and withdrawal
- Coping with family changes
- Difficult behaviour such as tantrums and destructive behaviour
Intervention may involve:
- Education and support to family members, schools, and others involved with the child and family
- Individual therapy to assist children and their families to deal with difficulties, develop skills, and problem solve
- Parenting programs to find new ways to manage behaviour
- Group programs where experiences can be shared and skills learnt and practiced amongst peers
The main goal of occupational therapy at BUSHkids is to enable children to participate as fully as possible in their activities of everyday life. Occupational Therapists use purposeful and therapeutic activities to help children cope with the demands of the following daily tasks.
- Self-care - e.g. personal hygiene, dressing, mealtimes, toileting
- Play - e.g. climbing on playground equipment, using toys appropriately, socialising with peers, imagination, creativity
- School - e.g. learning, handwriting, reading, organising
The Occupational Therapists at BUSHkids can assess difficulties in skills which may impact on a child’s participation in their self-care, play and school activities. Some of the skills assessed (but not limited to) include:
This is the ability to coordinate and use the large (gross) and small (fine) muscle groups of the body. Examples of these skills include:
- Jumping, skipping, hopping , balancing
- Throwing, catching and kicking balls
- Drawing, colouring, painting, threading
- Cutting, handwriting, computer keyboarding
- Using cutlery, tying shoelaces, brushing hair, wiping bottom
Visual Perceptual Skills
This is the ability to process and interpret visual information in a meaningful way. Some activities which require this skill include:
- Handwriting – writing within lines and letter formation
- Reading – keeping place while reading, remembering sight words, copying from the whiteboard/blackboard.
- Other academic skills – organising and setting out work
Sensory processing allows us to interpret and use what we feel (touch, movement and joint position), see and hear, to act appropriately to the demands of the environment around us. Children who experience difficulties with sensory processing may over- respond or under- respond to touch, movement, or things they hear or see. This can impact greatly on their participation in everyday activities.
If indicated, occupational therapy intervention can be provided in the form of education and consultation to parents, schools and others involved with the child; and/or individual or group therapy programs for children.
At BUSHkids, Speech-Language Pathologists assess, diagnose and treat children with Speech, Language, Voice, Fluency, Literacy and Eating difficulties.
Language is made up of a student’s ability to understand word relationships, sentences and stories (that is, a student’s receptive language skills), and to express thoughts and ideas in logical, grammatically-correct sentences (that is, a student’s expressive language skills). Children with language difficulties may have difficulty with one or more of the following:
- Understanding questions
- Following instructions
- Understanding concepts (big/little, in/on)
- Understanding sarcastic comments
- Following stories as a whole, drawing conclusions, making predictions
- Understanding that the meaning of a word can change depending on the context
- Requesting objects and actions
- Using Grammar and using complex sentences
- Saying long, complex sentences (using words such as 'because', 'so', 'but' and 'although')
- Giving clear instructions
- Telling stories that include all the important details in a logical order
- Using clear, precise language to express him/her self
- Asking questions
SPEECH - difficulties occur when a child cannot pronounce particular speech sounds correctly. This can cause difficulties in being understood and being able to participate in school, family and community life.
LITERACY – difficulties in reading, writing, spelling and composing stories, essays and reports.
STUTTERING – disrupted speech consisting of repetitions, prolongations and blocks.
VOICE – ‘rough’, harsh voice quality.
AUDITORY PROCESSING – difficulties with the brain ‘doing the right thing’ with what it hears.
SOCIAL SKILLS – difficulties understanding and using body language, conversation and assertiveness.
Family Health Support Workers can provide the crucial liaison between the therapy team and the family by offering comprehensive, skill-based support.
Family Health Support Workers will offer information and health based programs to develop the skills and understandings needed for healthy strong families.
Family Health Support Workers can provide -
- Parent Skills programs
- Family based programs
- Information group programs for both children and parents
- Social Skills programs for children
Family Health Support Workers have knowledge and experience in family health issues.
Useful links/Information for families
For information on other services available in your area see the Links to other health/crisis services page.