The unique Key Worker model at Noah’s Ark has worked wonders for Xavier, five-and-a-half, and his family.
Xavier was referred to Noah’s Ark Everyday Therapy program with speech and language difficulties and someplay-based delays.
Unlike the traditional approach of therapy provided in a clinical setting, Noah’s Ark assigns one staff member – a specialist in either speech pathology, occupational therapy, education, physiotherapy, psychology or social work – to work closely with the child and family intheir natural environment and within their daily activities.
Xavier’s mum said their Key Worker, Anneke, visited Xavier both at kinder and at home.
“We did fortnightly visits at home and did a lot of play based learning during the sessions and taught me skills then tohelp Xavier during the week,” she said.
“Xavier really enjoyed and it helped being at home because he felt comfortable – especially when he was younger, he wouldn’thave talked for the whole session if he was somewhere else, so it was good having it at home as he felt comfortable in his own surroundings and it was based around playing with his own things.”
“It was good to have appointments at home, easier having little kids and it worked in well with our lifestyle. Our Key Workerorganised a consult with a speech pathologist because he needed more specific support around communication so it was nice to know that you were able to get more specialised help as required, even though Key Worker had a good knowledge base already. It workedwell because it meant I wasn’t having to go to two separate appointments for different things.”
Xavier’s Key Worker, Anneke, said she developed strategies based on what works for the family and what is manageable for them.
“We talked about what are they already doing in their everyday lives, and what activities the child enjoys doing,” she said.
“From this we are able to adapt and create strategies to support the child in their everyday activities. For example Xavier really enjoyed playing with Lego and kinetic sand, so we practiced therapy for stuttering while playing with Lego, and we hid target words in the sand and practiced burying them and finding them, while practicing the target words and sounds to work on hisspeech.”
Xavier’s mum said Xavier had grown in leaps and bounds.
“Our Key Worker was very reassuring and I found it useful when his behaviour was an issue. It helped me to help him.
“We felt really lucky that we have had Noah’s Ark come out and feel lucky for the support.”