BUSHkids Annual Report 2019-20

ANNUAL REPORT 2019–2020 SECTION TOPIC 54 MAROOCHYDORE LOCATIONS Maroochydore / Gympie • ECEI This year got off to a rocky start, after the Sunshine Coast experienced significant bushfires in the build-up to summer 2019-20 that affected many families– including five staff members, three of whom had to be evacuated from their homes to emergency accommodation. Subsequently, our key focus of 2020 was to deepen connectioons with community organisations and relevant services to improve referral pathways and increase wider community awareness of BUSHkids’ services. Our Community Engagement Officer made positive connections with Local Level Alliance groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations– and created a good working relationship with the Gympie Early Years Hub . The Team Leader and Lead Physiotherapist worked on building a strong referral pathway with the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) paediatric team, offering a quick triage for vulnerable neonates and very young children. COVID-19 presented an unprecedented set of challenges and it was encouraging to see many of the regular community meetings turn into ‘rapid response’ groups, offering help to families who required it the most. Ranging from food drop-offs and free fun activity packs for children to online book reading and playgroups, the community responded quickly and creatively. Maroochydore • Case study 1: ECEI Helping Joe’s development Joe* was only a year old when he was referred by his family to our ECEI team with concerns that the development of his motor skills were delayed. This followed a diagnosis from a paediatrician that he had Global Development Delay. Our physiotherapist’s intake assessment identified Joe as ‘high risk’ for a movement disorder. The results were forwarded to Joe’s paediatrician for further consideration alongside medical investigations such as genetic screening and an MRI, which were being conducted to better understand Joe’s needs. We supported Joe’s family to make an application to the NDIS for ongoing therapy and equipment to support his development, and, while awaiting assessment of his application, we provided physiotherapy sessions to give immediate support. Joe responded really well to the physio sessions and his family learned play and positioning techniques to help him at home. During these sessions he began to engage with his parents by smiling and vocalising, developed his head control and tummy time skills, learned how to roll on to his side, and began to reach towards toys of interest. Once the approved NDIS plan was in place, Joe and his family were supported to transition to long-term therapy providers in the community for ongoing support. Maroochydore • Case study 2: ECEI Helping Melanie’s movement Melanie* is a five-year-old girl referred to BUSHkids’ Maroochydore ECEI team by the Sunshine Coast University Occupational Therapy Clinic for support of gross and fine motor skill delays associated with joint hypermobility and low muscle tone. Melanie’s assessment with the BUSHkids physiotherapist identified that her joint hypermobility may be associated with an underlying medical condition. Melanie completed a block of six physiotherapy sessions to build her core muscle strength and better support her hypermobile joints. During her therapy block, Melanie’s family worked with a paediatric rheumatologist for investigations to find out what was causing her hypermobility problems. Melanie received a diagnosis of Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome, an inherited connective tissue disorder, and following her diagnosis Melanie and her family were supported by BUSHkids to access NDIS funding for supports and ongoing therapy. Melanie and her family now have funding for orthotics and therapy to help mitigate her condition’s impacts. Maroochydore staff • Allycia Staples Allycia is our Resource Assistant supporting our Maroochydoore ECEI team. She was born with a rare genetic condition and underwent open-heart surgery at just nine months-old. As a result, Allycia has grown up having to cope with the challenges of congenital heart disease, epilepsy, intellectual disability and numerous other physical challenges – but her medical conditions have never held Allycia back! Now 25, Allycia is a bright, vibrant young woman possessing true joie de vivre. A passionate and talented dancer, Allycia’s success in the performing arts is testament to how inclusive, welcoming communities can enable people with disability to flourish and achieve their goals in life. Allycia began working with us in 2019, providing much-needed administrative assistance. She helps collate home learning resources for our children who access teleHealth and also helps with general duties, freeing up our clinicians to work with clients. Allycia brings a wonderful, fun presence to the busy Maroochydore office and is an inspiration to us all. Among her achievements are: Finalist, Queensland Young Achievers Award, 2016; Catalyst Dance Residency with Accessible Arts in Sydney, 2016; Best Supporting Actress, Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival, 2019; Presenter, World of Women (WOW), 2020; and Co Design Panel (Australia’s first National Youth Disability Forum), 2020. Maroochydore staff • Leah Fesuk Physiotherapy services are now available from BUSHkids’ office, since Leah joined our ECEI team. We are able to offer support to children with developmental delay or disability and their families by either F2F or teleHealth consultations. This is a specialist role in the early identification of infants who are at high risk of movement disorders, and ensuring they are linked with specialist medical and therapy supports as soon as possible. As well as working with infants, Leah is also able to support older children across a range of mobility issues. Leah’s skills mean we can now offer interim therapy support for children with complex disabilities while they are supported by the ECEI team to apply for access to the NDIS and have their first plan developed. https://bit.ly/2UNc0aO

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