Welcome to Winter
(Image credit: Channel 5)
Welcome to the My Therapy House® Winter newsletter. All of a sudden it’s dark, cold, and so very wet. If you can get outside there are plenty of opportunities to pull on gumboots and raincoats, and jump in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig and her family!
In this newsletter:
- (Acting) Director’s Reflections
- Around the House
- Enjoying the Winter Days with Some House Music
- Flu Vaccinations
- Our E-Books
- NDIS News
- Medicare Safety Net
- My Therapy House® Website
- Facebook Page
COVID-19 Classroom Contacts and Close Contacts
While 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 have a duty of care to provide as safe an environment as possible to all families, children, and staff.
This means that 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;
- Any Positive Case 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®
- 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.
(Acting) Director’s Reflections – from Alyssa
Dana has been on a very well-deserved break, so I have been Acting Director while she’s away. Thank you to all families for their flexibility and adaptability over the past month as children have seen different staff members.
As winter begins Covid-19, flu, and other seasonal illnesses are spreading through the community and we continue to ask families to please not attend the clinic if they are unwell in any way, as we have both vulnerable staff and clients.
We are all looking forward to working with you and your children this winter with creative activities and ideas for the indoors. Judy and Jacinta have provided an example below of a great indoor activity for those wintery days you could try with your children.
Hope you are all able to stay warm and well!
Around the House
Helen is our new Admin Assistant. She works on Mondays and fills in for Christie when needed. Please make her feel welcome, and be patient as she learns everyone’s names and faces and how we work at My Therapy 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.
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.
Therapy During Isolation
If you need to stay away from My Therapy House® due to COVID-19 isolation, other illness, or for any reason we can:
- Arrange telehealth sessions during your child’s regular session time;
- Prepare resources for you such as visuals for routines or social stories to help your child understand what’s happening;
- 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.
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!
How to show your COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
Adding COVID-19 Vaccination certificates for you and your child/ren to your phone is the easiest way to access them when required. Services Australia has provided easy-read instructions on doing this.
You can add multiple COVID-19 Vaccination certificates that you have permission to access this way. Swipe left and right to view the different certificates.
Enjoying the Winter Days with Some House Music
This play learning experience involves children creating a unique and inexpensive shaker from a simple item (e.g. an unused water bottle or any suitable recycling material) that parents and children can easily find around the house. This is very engaging for children and is a creative play experience that turns crafting ideas into an amazing music project. They will be so proud and excited once they see the end result.
How to do this activity at home
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: As this activity uses small items, children should be supervised while making and using the shakers.
You will need:
- Beans/ grains/rice
- Recycled items (e.g. empty canned drinks, pringle cans, plastic water bottle, small ice cream container, takeaway food container)
- Colour pencils/ Crayons
- Double-sided tape or glue
(For our shaker, we are using a water bottle and rice)
Step 1: Clean and dry water bottle before crafting activity
Step 2: Take approximately a handful of rice/beans/grains and put it in the water bottle (use a funnel if needed). Ensure the lid is secured with tape to ensure no contents escape
Step 3: Start decorating the water bottle.
Step 4: Cut the paper so that it wraps around the bottle nicely (Remember not to stick it on the bottle YET!)
Step 5: Draw on the paper with crayons or colour pencils. Be as colourful and creative as you like!
Step 6: Wrap the water bottle with the paper and secure it with double-sided tape
Step 7: Now this wonderful and unique shaker is ready!
Occupational Therapy within this activity
During this crafting activity, the children can develop their motor planning skills and hand-eye coordination when placing rice/beans into the container. They are also practising and developing their fine motor skills when wrapping the paper around the bottle, and in particular, their pencil grasp while drawing/colouring. If seated while colouring, the children will also be working on their core strength and posture (remember to use a chair and desk of appropriate height!)
The children will work on listening, processing, and following 1-step instructions to complete this crafting activity. When playing music with the shakers, children will be able to develop their body awareness, for example, being able to recognise how hard/ soft and quick/slow they are shaking the shaker and adjust according to their preference.
This learning experience can also be extended by the children expressing their emotions or guessing emotions (e.g. emotions charade) through the shakers, to support them in learning about the different emotions they feel.
Speech Pathology within this activity
Music is a wonderful way for children to express themselves. This play experience allows the children to explore, connect and communicate through eccentric melodies, whimsical arrangements or the simplest rhythmic beat. During the activity, parents can consolidate and broaden their child’s understanding by practising verbal communication skills (listening and responding), building and extending their child’s vocabulary (“high sound and low sound”, “melody”) and practising non-verbal communication skills (body language, gestures, smiles, nodding and facial expressions, including emotions). As children experiment with the sounds and learn to create their own rhythms and melodies, they increase their attention span by staying on this activity longer too.
This is also an experience that provides opportunities for social skills to be practised such as sharing, cueing into others, turn-taking, negotiation skills and problem-solving. Children would be learning to ask for help if they need an adult to assist them in making the shaker. These skills may be developed and practised with another play partner (the parent, a sibling, a friend, another family member or a support worker).
Different words you can use are nouns (rhythm, paper, bean); verbs (stick, draw, shake); adjectives (slow, fast, loud, soft); and prepositions (on, in, under).
The South Australian Government recently announced that all South Australians can access the flu vaccine for FREE at GPs and Pharmacies until June 30, 2022. We strongly recommend that everyone who is eligible should obtain this vaccination as soon as possible.
“The 2022 flu season is expected to be more severe following two years of the COVID-19 pandemic response, with reduced natural immunity and low influenza vaccination rates. As of 24 May, South Australia reported 1,195 cases of influenza compared to 12 at the same time in 2021.”
If you or your child catches the flu, you must stay away from My Therapy House® until your symptoms have cleared completely.
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/
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