BUSHkids Annual Report 2020-2021

FoBk Warwick (WCK) FoBk WCK was challenged again this year by COVID-19 restrictions, but regular meetings have been continuing throughout the year with a view to planning projects and events to support our local community. Sadly, due to member illness, our yearly raffle was halted, however plans are in place for our raffle to take place in early 2022. Major projects in the pipeline for FoBk WCK include plans to improve the outside playground area at the Warwick centre, including replacing the existing shade structure and laying artificial turf. A nature play area, to the north of the playground, is another exciting project in the planning stages. This area would allow BUSHkids children to be able to participate in nature play activities, which evidence indicates aids in children thriving. LEGO social skills program LEGO-based Therapy is an evidence-informed social skills program. Past research has shown that school-aged children and adolescents who attend LEGO-based Therapy made significant improvement in their social skills. (Owens et al., 2008) and anxiety (Nguyen 2016). The reason behind the success is that LEGO-based Therapy uses children’s own natural interests in LEGO to promote the development of social communication and play. Sessions are highly structured and rule governed with each participant having a specific role (builder, supplier, engineer) and conducted by a trained facilitator. LEGO-based Therapy can be applied to a variety of settings and benefits not only children on the autism spectrum but all who struggle with social skills, fine motor development, communication skills, and more. Our Bundaberg occupational therapist has been trialling LEGO groups in a variety of settings such as schools and in the Face Program. Teachers have expressed seeing a change in the students attending these groups, in particular, a group of boys who would normally avoid each other have been observed during the LEGO group, communicating, problem-solving and working together. These skills have then been transferred into the playground and the same boys have been observed playing together. Other groups that have participated in the LEGO program have also had great outcomes. It has been observed students are responding to other children positively when social interactions have been initiated and children are using strategies for compromise. The next step is to introduce speech pathology alongside occupational therapy input and assess the outcomes. C E O c o n t i n u e d Reds visit BDB Queensland Reds stars Tate McDermott and Filipo Daugunu supported the Bundaberg team to facilitate an event with BUSHkids clients held at the local PCYC gym. This event comprised ball skills and gross motor activities, which also allowed BUSHkids occupational therapist Ingrid Fourie to complete gross motor screening of the children while they awaited therapeutic services. The activities included Simon Says, an obstacle course, tug-of-war, wheelbarrow races and ball games, all run by the Reds players and supported by BUSHkids staff. The children had a great time and a number of their siblings also participated in the activities once they saw how much fun it was. ® A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 21

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