Meet Joshua: a gorgeous 2 year-old who loves to play with toys and dig in sandpits.
Joshua was born without functioning thumbs, and a hole in his heart. He has endured multiple surgeries on his hands which have involved wearing full-arm casts for months. Recently, Joshua underwent open-heart surgery.
Joshua attends the VMCH Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) in Kew. The centre supports around 150 children, birth to eight, who have mild to severe disabilities.
Simple childhood joys such as playing with friends or playing sport can be challenging for children with disabilities.
Due to intellectual, physical, or speech limitations, they can find it hard to interact with other people and their surroundings. They often feel anxious and alone.
“The surgeries and anaesthetics have resulted in Joshie having Global Development Delay,” says Catherine, his mum.
“Understandably, these experiences have also affected him emotionally. What has saved us is finding an amazing place like Early Childhood Intervention Services.”
Therapy using play, toys, sensory and digital resources can greatly assist these young children to learn, feel connected and have fun.
“Specialised equipment and resources are vital in current therapeutic practices and supported by recent research,” says David Williamson, General Manager of Specialist Education and Evolving Disability Services at VMCH.
“They can make a huge difference to young ones with disabilities and additional needs and really enhance their development and wellbeing. Birth to eight is such a critical period of learning and communication, and we want to ensure we give them every opportunity to thrive.”
However, most of the play equipment and resources at ECIS are outdated or worn.
Through our ‘Teach & Tumble’ appeal, we want to raise $100,000 to transform the Kew centre.
We want to provide ECIS with outdoor and sensory gym equipment which aid gross motor skills – such as ball pits and trampolines – digital communication devices that assist with language skills, and special moulded bean-bags designed to regulate emotions.
All of these items are expensive and none of them are government funded.
You can make a huge difference to the lives of young children like Joshua by supporting our ‘Teach & Tumble’ appeal.
Make a donation or contact Narrelle Paige on (03) 9926 2412