(Image credit: twinkl.com)
Welcome to Spring!
Welcome to the My Therapy House® Spring newsletter. There is blossom on the trees, and the sun is starting to peek through the rainclouds. If you’re lucky you might see Mother Duck out for a walk with her little ducks!
In this newsletter:
- Director’s Reflections
- Around the House
- Staff Changes
- Spring Activity
- Our E-Books
- My Therapy House – The Play House
- NDIS News
- Medicare Safety Net
- My Therapy House® Website
While mandatory isolation restrictions around COVID-19 have been removed around Australia, and SA Health Guidelines allow for close contacts and people who have had COVID to return to community settings after 7 days of isolation, at My Therapy House® we still have a duty of care to provide as safe an environment as possible to all families, children, and staff.
As a private practice, we will be continuing with the following restrictions for the remainder of 2022 and will reassess the situation in February 2023. Thank you for continuing to respect our requirements.
COVID-19 and Close Contacts
If you or your child is a:
- Classroom Contact (Child): Do not attend My Therapy House® for 7 days from the last contact;
- Close Contact: Do not attend My Therapy House® for 7 days from the last contact;
If there are any positive cases of COVID-19 in your household do not attend My Therapy House® for 14 days from the date that the most recent person tests positive.
If you or your child have ANY of the following symptoms you must not attend sessions in person at My Therapy House®. Contact us to arrange an alternative service delivery method if your child is well enough.
- Sore throat;
- Runny nose;
- Fever or chill;
- Body ache.
We continue to require that everyone over the age of 5 has full COVID-19 vaccination. Please book your child’s vaccination as soon as possible after they turn 5.
Everyone over the age of 12 is required to wear a disposable face mask at all times while inside My Therapy House buildings. This includes staff, older clients (except in specific circumstances) and all parents and caregivers.
What a winter it has been for everyone at My Therapy House®!
We have had illnesses, roof leaks, Jacinta left to go home to Malaysia, and we have welcomed two new speech pathologists, Nikita and Maria, as well as a new admin support, Brooke. I am still recovering from my shoulder surgery. This is now the 6th week. Unfortunately, recovery from shoulder surgery is long and arduous journey and it may still take a little bit longer. Despite all of this, we have managed to provide ongoing services to clients during this time. Thank you to our wonderful team for pitching in when needed and thank you to all our families for your patience and understanding.
This is why it is so important for all of us at My Therapy House® to work as a team, and to understand the profiles of all the children and how to best support them. Welcome to all our new clients and I hope that during the next few months the weather will be better, staff will be healthier, and we can all go back to a more normal routine.
Thanks to all the families and staff for your ongoing support, loyalty and commitment. – Dana
Around the House
Please continue providing us with feedback. We appreciate it all, positive and negative, as it helps us to continuously improve our practice. We try to change things where we can while bearing in mind that as a health/disability practice we have high standards and regulations that we need to meet and uphold. If you want to remain anonymous you can complete our feedback form instead.
Therapy During Isolation
If you need to cancel one or more sessions at My Therapy House®instead of charging a cancellation fee we can:
- Arrange telehealth sessions during your child’s regular session time if they are well enough;
- Prepare resources for you such as visuals for routines or social stories to help your child understand what’s happening or for upcoming events;
- Record videos for you and your child to watch and play along with;
- Arrange a video or phone meeting with your child’s therapist to discuss strategies or concerns.
Please let an admin or your therapist know if you would like to take advantage of any of these alternatives, which are all billed at the same hourly rate as your child’s sessions.
We still ask everyone to phone reception on 8277 7002 before entering the premises. Because we have more staff and clients on-site during busy times, this is essential to minimise contact between families and possible cross-contamination. We have also replaced our phone system to better manage multiple calls. Thank you to all the families who have been phoning when they arrive!
We bid farewell to Jacinta as she returns to Malaysia to spend much-needed time with her family, and we all wish her well in the next stage of her journey.
We would like everyone to welcome two Speech Pathologists, Maria and Nikita, to the My Therapy House® team!
Many of you have already met either Maria or Nikita over the past 2 weeks, and we have tried to match your child to the therapist we feel suits them best. Please be patient as your child gets to know their new Speech Pathologist.
Maria has 7 years of experience as a Speech Pathologist using the DIR® Floortime approach. She enjoys working with children and their families, and always finds cause to celebrate the little milestones as well as the big stuff. Maria is fluent in English and Greek.
As a Speech Pathologist, Nikita is passionate about using play in therapy by creating activities that are enjoyable for children, and where they can develop new skills at their own pace. Nikita speaks four languages – English, Hindi, Kannada, Konkan.
We are also pleased to welcome Brooke to the Admin team. Brooke will be working on Mondays, and will also join Christie at reception on Tuesdays through Thursdays. She is excited to meet you all.
A new toy has landed at My Therapy House! This Claw Machine has been very popular among the children and therapists here. While the claw machine is fun to play with, it also has a range of developmental benefits such as developing the child’s planning, sequencing, and problem-solving skills. It has also been used in our peer sessions to support the development of communication skills and the skill of working together around a common goal.
Occupational Therapy within this activity
In this activity children are developing and practising their fine motor skills through the manipulation of the control handles that move the claw. This works on their grip, precision, and strength control. They are developing, practising and mastering these skills while gaining visual-spatial awareness/hand-eye coordination in relation to being able to line the claw up in order to get the desired toy.
The Claw Machine requires children to plan and process where to position the claw, and when to drop it. The timing element involved encourages decision-making skills. Using the Claw Machine also promotes problem solving skills and emotional resilience when the desired outcome doesn’t work out.
Another great thing about the Claw Machine is that different toys/ objects can be placed into the machine. During sessions children have been extending their play ideas and problem-solving skills by exploring different weights, sizes and shapes of toys to figure out how much the claw can hold. This can also turn into a game of listening and giving instructions. Children can cover their eyes and follow single-step instructions to control the claw or give out simple instructions to others, leading them to the toy.
Speech Pathology within this activity
The claw machine is a great opportunity to teach language using lots of different types of words. When we are being a good role model for language learners, we want to make sure we are modelling a variety of types of words. Some ideas of words to use when playing with the claw machine:
Naming words: Claw, handles, birds (or the toy that is in the machine)
Describing words: Soft, squishy, big, small, round, triangle, square, fast, slow
Doing words: Play, open, close, wait
Location words: Up, down, side, back, forward, middle
Feeling words: Whoops! Uh-oh! mad, happy, sad
Social words: Your turn, good idea!, try again!
Matching the language you are using, in the moment, to what the child is engaged and interested in is the best way to be a good language role model!
Claw Machine Alternatives:
Want to get creative at home? You can create an alternative claw machine with everyday objects you have around the house. Some examples include:
Separating pompoms with tweezers
Collecting items by weaving through tape/string
Using a scooper to pick up toy animals
The possibilities are endless!
My Therapy House® has published a series of 12 e-books about animals performing different actions to help children learn language concepts through music and play.
When you buy any of the eBooks you can then access the free video corresponding to the particular book which has animal puppets performing the actions with the music and song. These videos have been very popular for modelling the actions and songs for children who learn best through video footage and music.
You can purchase these books through the links here: https://mytherapyhouse.com.au/books/
My Therapy House – The Play House
Acclaimed Australian author, Phil Cummings, has written a special book for us, beautifully illustrated by Egle Gudonyte, that we hope will help families and children when they come to My Therapy House®. You can read the book on our website, https://mytherapyhouse.com.au/the-play-house/, and download a copy to print at home.
If you use a Plan Manager to look after NDIS invoice payments then you need to ensure that you stay on top of communication with them – when NDIS Plans reach their review date, some plans are extended, and others are rolled over onto a new plan with new dates. Your Plan Manager may not be able to process our invoices if you have not authorised them to do so after a plan change. You must also notify My Therapy House® of new NDIS Plan dates after any plan changes.
You can keep up with any changes to NDIS Plans by logging in to the My Place portal.
Medicare Safety Net
If you need to see a doctor or Medicare provider regularly the Medicare Safety Net could help you reduce out-of-pocket costs.
When you spend more than a certain amount, out-of-pocket (after any Medicare rebate has been reimbursed), on medical expenses in a calendar year you will get a higher rebate. You can also register as a family to combine your Safety Nets. Safety Nets are calculated from January 1st to December 31st each year.
Using the Express Plus Medicare app can make it easier to keep track of your Safety Net Threshold. It also allows you to store a digital copy of your Medicare Card, make claims if a provider’s EFTPOS machine is offline, and access immunisation history for yourself and your children under 14.
To use the app you will need your MyGov login details and your Medicare Card number and expiry date.
We now have a page on our website dedicated to family resources, where you can find videos and further reading about many aspects of the services we provide. If you have any ideas for different sorts of things we could include please let us know!
We post general NDIS information, news, and interesting articles on Facebook. This is a great way to get the bigger picture, and we’d love you to like our page to see what we share.
All the best from the My Therapy House® Team