Our Blogs

Standardised Psychology Assessments

Our psychology team at Connect2Care are qualified to provide both treatment and assessments, depending on your needs. We have access to several assessment tools. Here are some of the tests we have available: Cognitive assessments include  Wechsler Assessments (WPPSI-IV, WISC-V, WAIS-IV, WMS-IV). Behavioural assessments include Conners 3. Capacity assessments include  Social Responsiveness Scale, Childhood Autism Rating Scale-2, Vineland-3.

Multidisciplinary Teams

Here at Connect2Care, we are made up of a strong unit of allied health professionals. We currently offer five disciplines – Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Psychology, Physiotherapy and Dietetics, & the benefit this brings to our clients & their support networks is invaluable. The five disciplines allow for complementary skill sets, experience, and knowledge. There is also a consistent approach to therapy & flexibility within the company to review therapies required, & more specifically client’s needs, as this may change or develop over time. 

With consent, our therapists work together on shared outcomes. Goals are considered as a complete & comprehensive service ultimately providing therapy that addresses all aspects of one’s life. Our multidisciplinary approach extends beyond the Conenct2Care walls & our therapists have built strong relationships with support people & external providers to ensure the client’s needs are met from a community & holistic approach. We strongly believe that it is only when all services work together, a client can achieve their full potential.

The Mental Heath Benefits of Houseplants

A University of Technology, Sydney study provided measurable evidence on the effects of indoor plants on occupants’ mood states and feelings of wellbeing. They found plants brought a 37 per cent reduction in tension and anxiety, a 58 per cent reduction in depression and a 44 per cent reduction in anger and hostility. Other studies also suggest that five or more plants in a room leads to people feeling healthier and happier. It is believed that even looking out a window at a green space can have benefits for your mental health. 3 simple ways to make the most of the plants around you: 

 1. Mindfully watering, pruning and tending to our plants can be a welcome distraction from the stress and anxiety of work, constant use of technology and general worries. While you’re focused on looking after your plants, you’re in the present moment and giving your mind a well-earned break from overthinking 

 2. Watering your plants, dusting off their leaves and shifting them to different locations to catch some sun can help you get a little exercise and movement into your day. Incorporating a few stretches, plant lifts, and even turning on some music as you do it, can turn your plant care session into productive and mood-boosting exercise. 

 3. Looking after our plants can provide us with a routine, and provide us with reasons to get up, out and moving as we nurture them. Seeing our plants thriving can also give us a sense of achievement and self-esteem boost. It can also help to connect us with others as we learn more, show off our plants and share ideas (and cuttings!) So don’t feel too guilty when you’re tempted to slide yet another succulent into your basket while shopping for other things 🙂 try some of the tips above!

Final Report to Horticulture Australia Ltd Completed 15 February 2010 “Greening the Great Indoors for Human Health and Wellbeing’, Margaret Burchett et al. University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) – Khan, M. A., Amin, N., Khan, A., Imtiaz, M., Khan, F., Ahmad, I., … & Islam, B. (2016). Plant therapy: a nonpharmacological and noninvasive treatment approach medically beneficial to the wellbeing of hospital patients. Gesunde Pflanzen, 68(4), 191-200. – https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/news/why-houseplants-are-great-for-mental-health – https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/more-than-just-decoration-the-many-health-benefits-of-house-plants-20200708-p55a97.html

Leah Talks Tooth Brushing!

As a mother of young children, I find that getting my son to brush his teeth can be a great struggle. This issue has also come up with a lot of my paediatric clients. I thought I would share some very simple tips that can work wonders to get your child more excited and agreeable to brush their teeth. 

 1. Buy a children’s electric toothbrush – this makes your child feel grown up and excited to brush their teeth just like mum and dad! You can probably even get them one with their favourite cartoon character.  

2. Use a fun timer so that they brush their teeth for long enough. There are some great phone apps that demonstrate which part of the teeth to brush and for how long. My son’s favourite one is called ‘Toothbrush Time – By Japps’.  Alternatively, your child could listen to their favourite 2-minute song while they brush their teeth. 

3. You might want to buy a stool so that they can reach the sink and see themselves in the mirror when brushing their teeth. 

4. Motivate your child by giving them a sticker on their toothbrushing chart each night. 

5. Brush your teeth at the same time that your child is brushing their teeth. 

Next time toothbrushing time is a struggle, give one of these ideas a try and let us know if you have any success!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/toothbrush-timer-by-japps/id1434173505.

Speech Pathology – Not Just Speech

At times we as speech pathologists wonder how we could include the many areas of support we provide into a succinct job description or title. Most families and members of the community take Speech Pathology to be development of speech sounds, pronunciation of words or help with lisps, stuttering or the voice. However, a lot of communication is non-verbal (not with our speech). This includes our body language, facial expression,  gestures and use of a range of different high and low tech systems (such as picture or iPad systems). 

In addition to speech sounds, speech pathologists assist with other areas of communication and swallowing. We work in the four areas of language: reading, writing, understanding language and expressing language. We work with social and emotional communication skills and listening. We can support people of all ages, and all disabilities affecting speech, language, swallowing or our overall ability to communicate in a range of settings. 

A Short Note On Diabetes

Diabetes continues to place a burden on many Australians. 280 Australians develop diabetes every day – that is one person every 5 minutes. Untreated diabetes may result in complications such as heart disease, blindness, amputations, and kidney disease. Research has found that intensive early intervention results in a reduction of these complications. A proactive approach using the combination of medication management, diet therapy, and physical activity is crucial in managing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Maintaining an Element of Fun in Therapy

There is no hiding that I absolutely love what I do! I have worked with infants, children, teenagers, their families and support networks for over 15 years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of the key aspects of success in paediatrics is ensuring that the approach to clinical care is fun and engaging, using play-based activities to achieve the outcomes that you are after. 

In addition to this, adopting a family centred approach to care, helps to build confidence in parents to assist their children in achieving their desired goals. The creativity and flexibility required of me for each and every young person that I support keeps me motivated and engaged to continue doing what I enjoy most.

It fills me with so much pride to see this approach being adopted and implemented across all of the clinicians and clients that are supported by Connect2Care.

Augmentative & Alternative Communication

If a person does not have any verbal speech, how will they let us know what they’re thinking? Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a very powerful system in communication, yet puzzled by many because of its complexity and how different it looks compared to the communication that we know of – verbal speech. ‘Augmentative’ communication suggests adding or using something to supplement someone’s current communication system. This includes ways such as using signs alongside with speech, using pictures or letter boards. ‘Alternative’ communication suggests using a different way to communicate (or to ‘speak’) if someone is non-verbal or if someone’s speech is not understood by other people.

These aids and devices can be used for people with a congenital neurological condition, such as those with autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Moreover, they can be used for people who have suffered an acquired brain injury where they have lost their language function or has deteriorated, such as in stroke patients, brain cancer patients and patients with traumatic brain injury. These devices can be a temporary therapeutic tool, but in most cases, speech pathologists have to train the user and their support network to use and familiarise with the system that they are using, as it becomes their ‘voice’. By using AAC aids and devices, it allows individuals to express their thoughts and ideas successfully and to be understood by others.

A Little Hard Work Can Go A Long Way

Recently we celebrated Occupational Therapy Week 2020. The highlight of my week was when I received the wonderful news that my client’s wheelchair was finally approved by NDIS, after a huge amount of work and perseverance.

It had been a long process of trialling to find the right wheelchair. With the help of a wonderful equipment company, we finally found the right wheelchair. I was astounded at how expensive these types of assistive technologies could be. I had spent many, many hours making my application extremely detailed just to justify why it was crucial for my client to have this assistive technology solution, and after all the hard work it was finally approved! Now my client will be able to get out of the house and into the community engaging in a wide range of meaningful activities.

For so many people these types of outcomes just wouldn’t be possible without the funding available to us from the NDIS! It makes what we do, so very rewarding.

 

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