Early Intervention is crucial for children who have a disability because it is the time when the brain is most able to learn new skills. Known as plasticity, our brains adapt and change all through life but from birth to 5 years is the time when a child’s brain is most receptive to adaptation making therapy extremely valuable. Our Early Intervention team is passionate about providing support and learning opportunities for all the children they work with from birth to school age.
The Tomato Chair
The highly anticipated Special Tomato Chair arrived in our Cabramatta Centre in March. Paid for through generous donations, the chair is already in full use. Yet it’s not red so why is it called a tomato chair?
The name arose when the designers of the chair explained to their daughter who had a disability that, like tomatoes hanging from a vine, people come in all shapes and sizes but everyone is just as wonderful as everyone else. The chair is soft too, a little like a ripe tomato! It’s made of special material that can mould comfortably to the child’s shape helping to provide great support.
“The Tomato Chair is great for positioning children with physical disability so they are comfortable for feeding or doing activities,” says Paula, one of our passionate team of therapists. “It gives them a comfortable and safe chair to be positioned in to participate in the fun of playgroup or at-home-time with the family.”
Getting ready for school
The Team is also focusing on the children getting ready to start school early next year with our Abbotsbury Group working with a new group of five children.
“Our group is like a condensed and intensive preschool program,” reports our skilled child educator. “Our activities cover all areas of development such as gross and fine motor, communication, cognitive and social skills. All children have individual education and therapy plans and their goals are incorporated into the group program each week so that we can assist and support the children with the activities.
In general, the focus of the group is school readiness so we work a lot on communication, on following routines and on social skills like turn taking, sharing and participation. Also independence is very important and we help the children learn to look after themselves and their belongings as much as we can.
As with everything, a little occasional practice does not help to master new skills so we always encourage parents and other people in their child's life to work together towards the goal of helping children to achieve their potential.”