Services

Connections 4 Kids Services

Home Visits to Carers

The Early Childhood Intervention Team offer visits to children in their daycare environment. Support is provided to educators and carers who have children with additional needs in their care.

Support is provided for educators and carers in a variety of ways:

  • Technology support, for example, communication boards, taking photos, ipad support, etc;
  • Assisting the educators and carers to connect families to other relevant professionals, for example, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Paediatricians, Physiotherapists, Naturopaths, Health Nurse, Optometrists, Audiologist, etc.
  • Support and training, including Marte Meo techniques. This allows the carer or educator to provide additional support for children in the following areas :speech and language, social skills, emotional skills, social conventions such as waiting, taking turns, active listening and confidence skills

Home Visits to Families

The Early Childhood Intervention Team offer visits to children in their home environment. Support is provided to clients, parents, siblings and extended family in many ways. Some of these include:

  • Someone who will listen to you and not judge you or the situation;
  • Technology support, for example, communication boards, taking photos, ipad support, etc;
    Connections to other relevant professionals, for example, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Paediatricians, Physiotherapists, Naturopaths, Health Nurse, Optometrists, Audiologist, etc.
  • Marte Meo therapy sessions which include speech and language, social skills, emotional skills, social conventions such as waiting, taking turns, active listening, confidence skills;
  • Support is provided to become involved in other community activities, for example, community playgroups, sporting activities, music, etc.

Individual Family Sessions

Individual sessions are provided for families to help them make positive connections with their children. Marte Meo therapy is used to enhance the learning of each child and assist in creating a positive home environment for all families. Such therapy helps families to assist their children to make positive transitions to other educational environments.

Individual sessions are undertaken in a welcoming, calm and supportive environment. The children learn through stories, songs, action rhymes and play. The skills developed include greeting others, social conventions such as waiting, taking turns, active listening, sharing responses. Language and social development play a major part of our individual sessions.

Parents are offered support in accessing other relevant services. Individual Family Service Plan meetings are organised to allow families the opportunity to meet with other service providers that are involved with their child. The team discusses long term and short term goals for the child. From these goals, an individual educational plan is created to achieve such goals.

Linking Families to Other Services

Connections 4 Kids work closely with families to ensure that their needs are met and regularly link families in with other Services. Some of these Services include:

  • Department of Education and Communities
  • ADHC
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Community Health
  • Psychologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Naturopaths
  • Optometrists
  • Audiologists
  • Paediatricians

Connections 4 Kids organise and facilitate multidisciplinary meetings for and on behalf of families. These include Individual Family Service Plan Meetings, Transition to school and preschool meetings.

Marte Meo

Marte Meo is a strength based program using interactional analysis to provide practical every day strategies on how to stimulate social and emotional development and foster resilience.

Marte Meo was devised by Maria Aarts who is a specialist educator. This program now runs in 33 different countries and is used as therapy for supporting developmental disabilities, autism, language delays, mental health, repairing relationships, foster care and aged care. It has become the primary form of intervention in Northern Europe and has been introduced to Australia in the last three years. In Australia, Marte Meo is being implemented across a wide range of agencies, for example, Kindergarten Union, Benevolent Society, The Department of Age and Disability and Home Care, preschools, Early Childhood Intervention Services, Aboriginal Services, other Service Providers as well as integrated by families.

Marte Meo is a strengths based program that looks at what a child can do and where they might need extra support. Its goal is to give parents, teachers and professionals a different perspective to help understand the meaning behind children’s behaviour. Marte Meo training would assist families and professionals in applying strategies that cater for each individual’s needs. Marte Meo provides information that is understandable and useable in each family’s individual circumstances. It is a strategy that we could use to assist our clients to develop a better quality of life. It helps our clients and families to develop a better quality of life and giving them a brighter future.

Sometimes there have been missed learning opportunities for children, toddlers, adolescents and even adults, Marte Meo provides information and practical steps to support development, reactivation rather than compensation. It involves reading the developmental message behind the problem and looks at areas they ‘did not develop yet’. Once these processes are reactivated it makes communication and learning much more enjoyable and achievable.

The teachers at Gunnedah Early Childhood Intervention are internationally recognised Marte Meo practictioners and use Marte Meo techniques to conduct both individual sessions and group sessions. If you are concerned about your child and would like to find out more about Marte Meo therapy sessions or using these strategies with you child, please contact the office.

What sessions are available?

•Individual Marte Meo Sessions are provided for families.
•Group Marte Meo Sessions
•Sessions for school groups
•Sessions for Early Childhood Groups
•Training Sessions for parents and professionals

My Time

My Time groups provide local support for parents and other family members of children (0-16 years of age) with a disability, developmental delay or chronic medical condition. During My Time sessions parents and carers meet other people in similar circumstances. They come together to socialise, learn from each other, access and discuss up-to-date research based information in caring for a child with a disability or chronic medical condition and find local support services. It is a time to bring families together and encourage members to support each other. My Time is an opportunity to put yourself first.

What will we cover?

nformation and ideas on a range of topics are discuss and shared amongst the group. Topics may include things like; looking after myself: relaxation and recreation, working with professionals: information and useful tips, parenting: behaviour, development and play. Parents and carers can socialise and share ideas with others who understand the rewards and intensity of the caring role. You will find out what support your local community can offer and be connected with relevant services in your area. It is an enjoyable time where they can have fun as well as learn from each others experiences. Remember My Time is Your Time!

How do groups work?

My Time groups are extremely flexible and cater for the needs of the individuals within the group. The meetings involve settling in time, socialising, an activity or discussion, planning time for future meetings. There are 262 My Time groups across Australia.

Who is My Time for?

Anyone who has a child (0-16 years of age) with a disability, developmental delay or chronic medical condition and is eligible to receive the Carer’s Allowance (Child) can join My Time.

Extra Support?

Go to our online forum to meet other My Time members , or get more information on parenting issues at the Raising Children Network.

For Further Enquiries

My time is a program facilitated by Connections 4 Kids. We would love you to come along and enjoy this rewarding experience. For more information please contact the Service: (02) 6740 2290 or email.

Playgroup

If you are concerned about your child’s development or if you have a child with a speech delay, developmental delay or disability, we would encourage you to attend our fortnightly playgroup sessions.

Come and meet other families who have similar concerns in an informal setting where your child/children can enjoy a range of activities. A similar routine is followed for each session. Teachers use Marte Meo techniques to model language and social structures for the children to learn. In a welcoming, calm and supportive atmosphere, the children learn through stories, songs and action rhymes. The skills developed include greeting others, social conventions such as waiting, taking turns, active listening, asking and answering questions, sharing responses, making positive comments, and using other interaction skills such as making eye contact, having good body language and using appropriate voice levels. We meet fortnightly on Tuesdays during the school Term from 9.30am to 11.30am.

The playgroup is a service offered to children 0-8 years of age. We aim to meet each child’s individual needs and provide support for families, as well as link them with other services within the local community. The children have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities that directly relate to their individual needs.

Professional & Family Information Sessions

From time to time Connections 4 Kids provide professional development and learning opportunities for Professionals and Families.

Some of the learning opportunities that have been organised by this Service include:

November 2012
Maria Aarts – International specialist educator from the Netherlands, Founder of Marte Meo.

April 2013
Marte Meo information session provided by Katrina McCumstie and Tania Perrett

May 2013
Nicola Chirlian – Speech Pathologist
Marte Meo information session provided by Katrina McCumstie and Tania Perrett

Upcoming Events
12 October 2013
Key Word Sign – Connections 4 Kids are organising Key Word Sign Professional Development (in conjunction with Northcott) for Professionals and Families.

February 2014
Marte Meo – Maria Aarts and Josje Aarts

Service Visits

The transition of clients to other early childhood services is supportive and inclusive of the family. Meetings are organised with the teachers of other services and families to ensure the service fully understand the family’s needs and concerns for their child.

Close contact is maintained with relevant services to help ensure a coordinated approach for families. Educators from Connections 4 Kids often visit preschools and daycare services to observe and work with clients within the preschool/ daycare centres. Regular support is available for the teachers and staff of other services to assist in extending their skills and knowledge.

On occasional, professional development opportunities are offered to the staff of other services and the parent community.

Connections 4 Kids

Address: Gunnedah Early Childhood Intervention - Cnr Hunter and Marquis Sts (PO Box 106) Gunnedah NSW 2380
Phone: 02 6740 2290 | Fax: 02 6740 2299
Hours: Mon-Thurs 8am-5pm, Friday 9am-3pm


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