The Curtin Interprofessional Clinic – Term 4 newsletter
During term 4, the Occupational Therapy Students (OTS) from the Curtin Clinic ran the story time group each Thursday morning. Here sensory based activities helped the children to focus on fine motor control. The OTS incorporated routines to help transition the children from the mat to the table-top activites (cutting, pasting, painting, colouring, playdough, searching and finding objects and name writing). The parents engaged their child using storyboards for each book being read to help their child focus on the story.
We also joined the pre-kindy classes to support all of the students in their mat time and desk activities. The OTS’s identified that it was difficult for the young students to sit still and listen to the teacher for a long period of time during mat sessions. So, they trialled the use of deep pressure and proprioceptive activities at the beginning of each mat session to help all students get to the ‘just right’ level to ensure their attention and learning. These activities included animal walks and dancing to songs that involved movement such as stomping, jumping and clapping.
Curtin Provisional Psychologists and the Occupational Therapy students also co-facilitated resilience group sessions with students in different years to help them to understand what is resilience and build up strategies to handle life situation.
Lastly, the Curtin Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology students co-facilitated a parent education session on ‘Starting Solids and Mealtime Management’ with the Child Health Nurse during Term 4. A group of mothers with young children aged 0 to 6 months attended the session. The Occupational Therapy student provided education on developmental reasons for starting solids at 6 months of age, positioning of the child and parent, proper seating for the child, environmental considerations during mealtimes and significance of messy sensory play in food exploration and developing independence in mealtime for children. The Speech Therapy student provided education on mealtime safety including the difference between choking and gagging, and impact of dummies on the child’s palate and communication.
The Curtin Professional Master of Psychology students worked in both group and individual settings with the students at Challis, covering a range of things including zones of regulation, coping with emotions and resilience. The highlights of their time at the clinic included the drama school holiday group program that involved building confidence, concentration and communication skills and being involved with the Girls Academy years 3 to 6 and a weekly ‘Healthy mind healthy body’ group. During these groups the GA girls explored and developed different coping strategies which included mindfulness, self-care, self-compassion and building confidence. This, combined with ways to support and balance physical and mental health was the main focus of the sessions.
Across term 4, the team of physiotherapy students have been at work with individuals from pre-primary to year 6 with a wide variety of concerns. They had a lot of fun with the children in running Grasshoppers for pre-primary and Strive students. These group sessions primarily worked on building gross motor skills. The activities are designed to be fun and get the students running, jumping, hopping, throwing, catching, kicking and sweating. It has been wonderfully rewarding to watch children improve over the weeks and gain new confidence in themselves!
This term the physiotherapy students also began the implementation of a Curtin designed movement program called animal fun with Pre-K. This program is designed to use the whole body and incorporate lots of movements that build muscle, coordination and balance. It’s also lots of fun - the crowd favourite always seems to be the dog!
During Term 4, the final year student Speech Pathologists were given the wonderful opportunity to plan and run the ‘Butterflies’ groups in the pre-primary classes. The ‘Butterflies’ group ran in each class for 30 minutes, twice a week where the pre-primary children participated and completed a range of language and speech activities in small group rotations through playing various games such as sound bingo, memory cards and Pop-Up Pirate. Planning and implementing these group activities into the pre-primary classes was a very rewarding experience as we were able to witness the children’s development over the 6 weeks it ran as well as, build upon our own collaboration and problem-solving abilities each week.
We all really enjoyed working with all the children in the pre-primary classes and wish them all the best in the future!
Have a Merry Christmas & best wishes for 2020!
From Julie, Clinic coordinator & the clinical supervisors Amanda, Vanessa and Rob and all the Curtin students.