A guide to skill-building activities for children of all abilities

A guide to skill-building activities for children of all abilities


TTS Demo

When you’re taking care of a child of all abilities, teaching them important life skills can be challenging as they see the world differently and understand things in their own way.

Children with conditions such as dyslexia, autism, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (This link will take you to a page on the healthdirect website about ADHD) may often have difficulty picking up certain social cues and developing important skills as compared to their peers.

This often leads to these children having low self-esteem and feeling like they don’t belong. With the proper approach, however, you can teach children of all abilities these essential skills and social cues.

Many children of all abilities learn by doing, so skill-building activities for children of all abilities are an effective way to teach children under your care important skills that they’ll need in life. 

Here is a guide to skill-building activities for children of all abilities to help them develop their skills and boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Drama

Acting is a good way for children of all abilities to learn new behaviours in a fun and exciting way. 

Through acting, the children under your care can improve their social skills by learning how to perform with their peers. Also, reading scripts can help them strengthen their vocabulary and overcome reading impairments. 

Other aspects of drama, like scriptwriting, can help the children under your care flex their creative muscles and communicate their feelings and ideas in a new and exciting way. 

Additionally, children of all abilities will feel a strong sense of belonging when given the chance to perform with their peers and will be able to build more confidence.

The “Name game”

This is a fun communication activity for children of all abilities, especially for those who will be starting school soon. It’s a simple game where children are asked to say their names and then point at another child and try to remember what their name is.

The name game is an easy way for children of all abilities to learn how to socialise with their peers and feel more confident when introducing themselves to new people. It’s also a good icebreaker for students of all abilities (This link will take you to a blog post on the Shine SC website about making schools more accessible for students of all abilities) when they join a new class.

Emotion cards

Many children of all abilities may not perceive emotions the way others do. In some cases, they may not be familiar with facial expressions that are associated with certain emotions, like anger, sadness, and embarrassment.

Draw faces showing different emotions on flashcards and create a small deck. Then ask the children under your care to draw a card from the deck and teach them what the expression shown on the card means.

Later show the cards one at a time to the children under your care to see how many emotions they can identify correctly. It may take a few tries, but this is all a part of the learning process.

Sorting

Sorting activities can teach children of all abilities to identify groups of objects by shape, colour, and purpose. Start with three coloured boxes and ask the children under your care to put small objects of the corresponding colour into them. 

Then make it a bit more challenging by asking them to place objects in the boxes based on their purpose. For instance, placing toys in one box and books in another. 

Sorting can also help children of all abilities to learn how to become organised by encouraging them to put away their things once they’re done playing or studying.

 

Cooking 

Let the children under your care explore their creativity through cooking. Teach them how to prepare simple menus using a few ingredients.

Following recipes can help children of all abilities learn sequences and they can also develop their social skills by working together with their peers to craft a recipe. As their skills grow, you can encourage them to try more complex recipes.

 

Adaptive sports

For children with physical impairments, adaptive sports are a good way to teach them how to work in a team, help them learn proper hand-eye coordination, and show them how to stay physically active.

These sports are specially designed for children with specific physical impairments, such as paraplegia, and they include:

  • Adaptive track and field
  • Adaptive basketball
  • Adaptive swimming
  • Adaptive tennis

Before letting the children under your care take part in these sports, make sure to speak with their physician to find out what kind of sport is suitable for them.

 

Art and crafts

Through arts and crafts, children of all abilities can hone their fine motor skills and exercise their creative muscles. Children with conditions like autism may even utilise arts and crafts as a way to communicate their feelings in ways they can’t verbally. 

Also, working with clay can teach them to identify shapes and proportions.

 

The “What would you do?” game

Some children of all abilities with intellectual impairments may have trouble understanding various social situations and not know how to respond to them.

Write down a few simple scenarios on flashcards and teach the children under your care what they should do when faced with them. Then shuffle the cards and randomly pick one scenario and ask them what they would do.

For example, a scenario could be “A friend is feeling sad”. The answer should be something like “Ask them if they would like to play”.

Learn more about activities for children of all abilities

Developing essential skills at a young age will greatly benefit children of all abilities during their academic careers and their adult years. Finding new ways to help children of all abilities develop new skills, however, can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you’re not sure where to start. 

By working with an all abilities support provider in your area, you can discover new ways to teach and enrich the lives of the children under your care. Speak to your nearest all abilities support provider today!

Why choose supported accommodation for people of all abilities?

Why choose supported accommodation for people of all abilities?


https://www.ispeech.org

When taking care of a person with a medical condition such as a visual or mobility impairment, your home needs to be perfectly equipped to meet the needs of the person under your care.

Depending on the severity of their condition, the person under your care might need help getting around their home and accomplishing their daily tasks. To make this easier for them, your home may need devices like hoists and stair assistance devices.

In many cases, homes aren’t always built with the needs of a person of all abilities in mind. Unfortunately, this means that the homes don’t have the kind of architecture that’s suitable for installing these supports.

Also, installing these devices can be very expensive, and they might be   to include in your home. This is why supported accommodation may be a good choice for the person under your care.

Supported accommodation refers to a rented living space where the person under your care can settle in and get the care and support they need.

Naturally, you may feel a little hesitant about allowing the person under your care to go on to live in such accommodation on their own. However, these accommodations may offer certain benefits that can help them live their best life.

Let’s take a more detailed look at why you should consider choosing supported living accommodations.

The types of accommodations

To access these accommodations, the person under your care must become a National Disability Insurance Scheme  (NDIS) participant. Here are the different accommodations available:

Group homes

These accommodations are designed to house up to eight people, it's one home where all the residents will live together. There will also be care workers working around the clock to give them live-in support.

Shared Living Accommodations

This option is most suitable for people of all abilities who want to live independently but with a little bit of support for tasks like cooking or cleaning. This accommodation will give the person under your care their own living space, with the choice of a shared communal area.

The options for this type of accommodation will vary based on the service provider you choose.

Aged care homes

As the name applies, these accommodations cater to the elderly. This is usually suitable for elderly individuals who have age-related medical conditions that limit how effectively they can work on their own.

Here’s why these accommodations may be the right choice for the person under your care.

Safety and independence

At home, you might want to do everything you can to help the person under your care get through their day, sometimes even when they don’t ask for it. While this is a kind gesture from you, you might be inadvertently depriving them of their independence.

By living in a supported living accommodation, the person under your care will have the proper supports to help them become as independent as possible. This will give them more confidence in their abilities and allow them to develop independent living skills .

Many tasks that the person under your care could not accomplish on their own due to their impairment will now be easier thanks to the support the accommodation has in place for them.

Safety is another benefit of living in these accommodations. The person under your care will get the privacy they want, but they’ll never be alone. In addition, the accommodation is a safe environment and will have trained staff ready at all times in case of an accident or a medical emergency.

The accommodations are also well guarded to ensure that the person under your care will never have to deal with crimes such as robberies.

Socialising

Back at home, the person under your care may have not had many people around to connect with, save for their close family. This is especially the case for individuals with physical impairments that make it difficult for them to leave their homes very often.

When living in an accommodation, the person under your care will be living in a small community alongside other people with similar needs. They’ll be able to interact with their peers every day and form strong friendships and even learn new life skills from them.

Alternatively, the person under your care can even use knowledge from their experiences to help others at the accommodation find new ways to accomplish daily tasks.

Additional support

Many all abilities support providers will give the person under your care the ability to choose additional supports to make their stay more comfortable. For instance, they can choose to have the staff prepare meals for them and keep track of their daily medication schedule.

As an added benefit, the person under your care may also get to choose which staff members they will get assistance from.

Benefits to caregivers

When the person under your care starts living in a supported living accommodation, you’ll know they’ll be safe, and they’ll receive the privacy and independence they desire. The accommodation will offer the support that may have been difficult for you to provide by yourself.

Also, you’ll have more time for yourself, and you can focus on other responsibilities, like your career, family and social needs.

Find the right supported accommodation provider 

Different support providers may offer different kinds of accommodations and support. When picking one for the person under your care, find a provider that will meet all their requirements. 

Remember, it should be the person under your care’s decision whether they want to live in an accommodation or not. Make sure to discuss this with them before looking for a good accommodation provider.

Once you find the perfect accommodation for the person under your care, they’ll be able to experience the joys of having their own space and living life on their terms.

What to consider when choosing independent living homes for seniors

What to consider when choosing independent living homes for seniors


TTS Demo

Many elderly people of all abilities want to live life as independently as possible, often with little help from their family members.

As a caregiver, you may feel a bit hesitant about having someone else support an elder under your care. However, you may have many other aspects of your life that you’ll want to focus on, such as your career, taking care of children or running a household.

Like many others, you may have a full plate, and this could make giving the person under your care their best life very challenging. 

The good news is that Australia has independent living homes for seniors. These are communities where elderly individuals can receive the care and support they need to live independently on their own terms.

There are many support services like this available in the country, but you’ll want to pick one that perfectly suits the needs of the elderly person under your care. Here are a few aspects of independent living homes for seniors you should consider during your search.

Location

You’ll want to have the person under your care as close to you as possible, even if they will be living separately at an independent living home. The closer the place is to where you live, the easier it will be for you to visit the person under your care.

Ideally, the independent living home should be 40 minutes or less from your home. Any further would mean that you’ll have to spend more time on the road, and this could use up time that could be used for other essential things, like running errands.

Distance aside, you’ll also want to know what kind of area your independent living home will be located in. Consider the following:

  • Is there a lot of traffic in the area?
  • Is it a safe location with little to no crime?
  • Are there any places of worship?
  • Is there a hospital nearby?

Also, try to visit the location and see if the area is accessible for people with all abilities. This is very important if the elderly person under your care uses a wheelchair or any other mobility device.

Depending on the independent living home provider, the type of accommodations available may vary between single homes for one occupant or an apartment for multiple residents. Choose an accommodation that the person under your care will be most comfortable in.

Amenities and services

Depending on the provider, many independent living homes may offer a range of different services and amenities. These can include dining areas, recreational centres and outdoor activity sites.

These kinds of amenities can enhance the person under your care’s experience and make their time at the facility more enjoyable. 

The ideal independent living home provider should have many different types of amenities. They should also give the person under your care the ability to choose which amenities to be included in their care plan.

Make sure to look at the costs involved, as more amenities would mean a higher cost.

Apart from amenities, you should also consider looking out for some vital services like transportation for doctor’s appointments, group peer support , qualified and experienced nurses, therapists and financial consultants who can help the person under your care manage their finances.

The culture

Individual living communities are a great place for the elderly person under your care to meet new people and build meaningful relationships. This is an important part of making their stay at the home more interesting.

The overall culture of the place must be suitable for the person under your care. For example, if the person under your care likes to go outgoing, a community that has their beneficiaries regularly taking part in social activities would be ideal for them.

The staff

When leaving the person under your care at an independent living home, you might worry about how they’ll get along with the staff. The person under your care will likely interact with the staff members every day, and you’ll want to know if they will be compatible with the person under your care. 

Poor relationships with the staff could make the person under your care’s stay less enjoyable, and this may cause them to feel stressed and lonely.

Pay the independent living home a visit and ask for a tour. During the tour, observe how the staff interacts with beneficiaries and decide if they may be suitable for the person under your care. Also, ask the staff about how much time they spend with the residents every day.

Flexible planning

Elderly individuals are very likely to change their requirements quickly; this may be common among seniors with conditions like dementia. 

The independent living home you’re looking for should have flexible planning mechanisms that can evolve according to the changing needs of its residents. This will help reduce stress and help the person under your care through the training process.

Reviews 

Before going ahead and visiting different independent living homes to see which one is right for the person under your care, you might want to go online and look at a few reviews.

Reviews on a provider’s website may not be very reliable as they only show positive reviews—try Google reviews instead. See what people have to say about them, both positives and negatives, to get an idea of what you could expect from the provider.

Choose the right independent living home for seniors

You want the best for elderly individuals under our care, whether your parents or grandparents. It can be difficult to give them the care and attention they need when you’ve got many other responsibilities.

By choosing the perfect independent living home for the elder under your care, you can ensure their twilight years will be full of joy and happiness.

How to improve access for students of all abilities in schools

How to improve access for students of all abilities in schools


iSpeech.org

About 10% of students in Australia are students of all abilities, and about 5.4% of them may have serious impairments, like paraplegia.

Many of these students have conditions that may limit or prevent them from studying in most traditional school settings, but the Disability Discrimination Act 1992  and Disability Standards For Education 2005  make it necessary for education institutes to make education accessible for all students.

Making a school accessible to students of all abilities allows many of these students to study in the same environment as their peers and compete academically on the same level.

Improving access for students of all abilities doesn’t always mean that a school will require drastic architectural changes, small but effective modifications can make a world of difference for students of all abilities.

If you’re a school owner looking to improve access for students of all abilities, here are a few ways you can achieve this.

Access lifts

For multi-levelled school buildings, access lifts are a must. Some students of all abilities may need to use a wheelchair to get around, and these lifts make it much easier for them to scale multiple floors.

These lifts aren’t just beneficial to wheelchair users but also to students with physical impairments that do not require them to use a wheelchair but still make it hard to climb stairs.

Access lifts can even be installed outside the school building in places where there are steps to help wheelchair users get around the campus.

Ramps for wheelchairs

Ramps are a very effective and safe way to allow wheelchair users to get around the vicinity. These ramps can be installed either permanently or temporarily.

The ramps should have handrails installed to make traversing them easier and safer, and you should also make sure that the gradient isn’t too steep. Ideally, the ramps should be placed wherever there are small staircases.

Wheelchair ramps can give students of all abilities a boost in confidence since they will be able to navigate the school by themselves, without assistance from a carer. The more barriers you remove, the more confident students with physical impairments will be about attending classes.

Automatic doors

Automatic doors are a requirement for all schools as a part of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Some students of all abilities may find it difficult to open doors manually; this is especially the case for students with conditions such as muscular dystrophy.

The doors can be controlled by the school's staff, making them an additional safety feature for the school.

Support for visually impaired students

Students with visual impairments may need extra support to make the most out of their academic careers. Here are a few ways you can make schools more accessible for them:

  • Include braille in all signs placed on the school grounds. Also, offer braille versions of textbooks and worksheets.
  • Keep the school building well lit at all times. Not all visually impaired students are completely blind, some may have a limited amount of vision, and well-lit corridors will be easier for them to navigate.
  • Arrange furniture in classrooms to allow plenty of room to move around. This will eliminate any potential obstacles and hazards. 

Hoist system

Hoist systems are motorised assistive devices that move along a fixed track. They’re designed to help people with mobility problems move without requiring much assistance from a caregiver.

These systems can help students with mobility problems navigate changing rooms, the school pool and bathrooms. They’re also used to assist students on to wheelchairs.

Hoist systems are very flexible and can be designed to suit any kind of room and even corridors.

Storage

Many students of all abilities use assistive devices to help them with their mobility; these include wheelchairs and crutches. During class, these students will need a place to store their mobility devices safely.

Also, these devices may become potential trip hazards when left unattended in classrooms.

Storage spaces should be installed inside classrooms so that students can safely put away their mobility devices. Ideally, these storage spaces could have charging stations for electric wheelchairs built into them for convenience.

Hydrotherapy pools

These special pools have many therapeutic benefits for people of all abilities. They may help students of all abilities strengthen their immune system, improve muscle tone, and stimulate blood flow.

Stainless steel hydrotherapy pools are best for schools as they’re easier to install and maintain than tiled pools. Also, they’re less likely to harbour bacteria.

Accessible bathrooms

The school should have at least one accessible bathroom on every floor for students of all abilities. These bathrooms should have enough space to accommodate wheelchairs and have handholds for assistance.

A hoist system should also be included in these bathrooms to help students use them comfortably, and sinks should be lowered to make them easier to reach. Alternatively, a second, shorter sink can be installed next to a regular-sized one.

Support for students with learning problems

Students with learning impairments may also face many challenges in a traditional school environment. But there are a few ways to accommodate them.

  • Make “quiet spaces” for them. Some students with learning impairments may find it very hard to concentrate when there’s too much noise around them. These spaces have less background noise, allowing them to study peacefully.
  • Offer study material in different forms. For instance, some students may find it easier to understand a lesson if pictures are included or if they’re presented in audio instead of writing.
  • Have their seating arrangements closer to the board so that they can concentrate more easily.

Improve access for students of all abilities and make a difference

Accessible schools allow all students, regardless of their limitations, to have a successful academic experience. These schools let students of all abilities study together and achieve goals that may have seemed impossible once.

With inclusive classrooms and improved accessibility, a school can change the lives of students of all abilities.

Staycation tips for people of all abilities in Australia

Staycation tips for people of all abilities in Australia


https://www.ispeech.org

You don’t always have to travel across the sea to have the vacation you’ve been dreaming of; sometimes, the perfect vacation destination may be your own country. Australia is a vast country with much to do and explore, a cross country trip can become the staycation of a lifetime! 

Travelling requires a lot of preparation, even if you're going to be travelling within Australia. When you have a person of all abilities under your care, you’ll need to be more meticulous with your planning to make sure the trip is enjoyable for them.

A staycation will be an excellent experience for the person under your care. It will allow them to learn more about their country and experience new things. With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Here are some staycation tips for people of all abilities in Australia to help you make your trips enjoyable and memorable for you and the person under your care.

Visit your doctor

First and foremost, you must take the person under your care to their doctor for a check-up. Travelling can be taxing for some people of all abilities, so it’s important to get a doctor's insight before going on your trip.

During the check-up, make sure that you divulge all the information about the trip, such as which places you’ll be visiting, the mode of transportation you’ll be using and how long the trip will take.

Make sure to stock up on any medication that the doctor recommends for the person under your care and make notes of all health-related advice they give to the person under your care.

You’ll need to be in your best shape for the trip too to support the person under your care, so go for a doctor’s appointment of your own too.

If the doctor advises the person under your care not to travel, it’s best to cancel the trip. No vacation is worth risking the health of the person under your care.

Do a lot of research

As any traveller would, it’s important to do as much research as you can before you go on your trip. This is especially the case when you’re travelling with a person of all abilities.

It’s not just must-visit tourist destinations that you should research; you’ll also need to check if these places are accessible for people of all abilities and what healthcare services are available in the area.

Check and see which tourist attractions are wheelchair accessible; if the person under your care uses one, research a few hotels that are accessible for people of all abilities. The degree of accessibility may vary between these locations, so choose the ones you feel are the most suitable for the person under your care.

Always book hotels in advance as the number of accessible rooms they have may be limited.

Some historic locations may not be fully accessible for people of all abilities. These places may have uneven paths, steep steps, and dirt roads, making it difficult to maneuver a wheelchair, so it would be wise to avoid them.

As a precaution, get travel insurance for the person under your care, as the Australian government won’t cover medical bills if something goes wrong. Make sure to check what the insurance covers.

Once you and the person under your care have arrived at the destination, you’ll want to have your travels within your staycation spot planned out. 

As part of your research, find out in advance what kinds of accessible transport options are available in the area. Alternatively, you could look for tour groups that cater to people of all abilities and their caregivers.

Plan your domestic flight

If you’re planning on reaching your staycation destination by air, make sure to contact the airline of your choice. Even on domestic routes, airlines are required to accommodate the needs of the person under your care.

Check if the airline has any restrictions for wheelchairs. Some airlines may only allow two wheelchairs per domestic flight, so it’s important to book tickets for you and the person under your care as early as possible.

Also, remember to ask the airline if they will be embarking and disembarking passengers via an aerobridge. If they don’t, you may need to have a hydraulic lift arranged if the person under your care uses a wheelchair. This may cost an additional fee.

For convenience, try to book a flight that will take you directly to your destination to save you and the person under your care the hassle of hurrying between gates and boarding and disembarking flights multiple times.

Look into airport programmes

Airports, like many public places, are noisy and brimming with constant activity. Some people of all abilities may find this very uncomfortable, and it could cause them to feel anxious and stressed.

Fortunately, many airports in Australia now offer special programmes such as Hidden Disability to overcome this. These programmes can provide extra support for the person under your care during their time at the airport.

To help the person under your care feel more comfortable, consider getting them noise-cancelling headphones or a sensory fidget toy to help keep them calm during the trip.

Find travel support for people of all abilities in Australia

Planning a trip for the person under your care can be challenging if you haven’t done so before. This is where all abilities support programme providers can help.

Many all abilities support providers offer services that include holidays and camps .These services give all the support the person under your care needs to enjoy a trip with their peers.

Speak to your nearest all abilities support provider today.

A guide to  community-based support services for mental health

A guide to  community-based support services for mental health


https://www.ispeech.org

It’s estimated that 1in 5 people in Australia(This link will take you to a PDF about mental health statistics in Australia) may experience some form of mental health condition in their lives. The reasons for this may vary from emotional stress and traumatic experiences to various social factors.

Mental health problems can affect people of all abilities, and in some cases, these mental health conditions may be debilitating for some individuals. The number of individuals with mental health problems is growing every day, thus creating a high demand for mental health services.

Community-based support services for mental health have been gaining popularity as of late. What sets these types of services from traditional ones is that community-based services are performed in a community and not in an institutional setting.

These health services are carried out by non-government organisations and an is offered free to the public, and it’s also available for adults, the elderly, children, and also individuals with severe forms of mental illness,

Many of these services are provided in a clinic, but some may be offered at home. There are different types of community-based support services for mental health, and we’ll explore each of these.

Acute care

These are teams of trained professionals who are immediately available for individuals who face sudden mental health crises. The person under your care will be given short-term involuntary treatment during the acute phase of their crisis until they’re well enough to return to the community.

These teams' services may involve therapeutic interventions and assisting individuals in carrying out their daily living activities. 

The therapeutic programs these services providers can help the person under your care resolve their mental health crises, learn how to manage their condition effectively, and prevent future problems. 

The mental health support providers educate the person under your care and give them advice on handling and coping with their situations and becoming resilient in the long run. 

The staff will encourage healthy activities and lifestyle changes and help the person under your care access the necessary community resources that can help them.

Home care services

As the name suggests, this type of community-based support service for mental health is provided from the comfort of your home or Supported Independent Living (This link will take you to a blog post on the Shine SC website about Supported Independent Living) home.

Individuals suffering from mental health disorders such as anxiety, psychosis, and schizophrenia often have difficulty accomplishing regular household tasks. This service aims to help individuals with mental health issues get treatment and care while still being able to live independently.

The person under your care can receive specialised care based on their unique circumstances. The care providers will work together with you and the person under your care to determine the best ways to improve the latter’s quality of life.

Additionally, safety is assured when the person under your care receives home care services.

In most cases, you may not be able to supervise the person under your care at all times; you may have other important responsibilities, like going to work. Fortunately, home care workers will keep constant watch over the person under your care, ensuring their safety.

Also, home care services will help you and the person under your care find ways to make your surroundings safer for the person under your care. This may involve recommending various accessibility measures for your home and removing household hazards.

Early psychosis intervention

This is a type of mental health care service that can be helpful for young people. This mental health service involves identifying early symptoms of psychosis during a person’s formative years.

Psychosis is a form of mental illness that causes a person to lose touch with reality. Individuals with this condition may experience auditory and visual hallucinations and start to believe in things that are not true.

The early first symptoms of psychosis are detected, the more effectively they can be treated. Therefore, early psychosis intervention aims to:

  • First, provide necessary treatment as early as possible.
  • Reduce the adverse effects that psychosis could have on the person under your care and the rest of their family.
  • Reduce the chances of the person under your care requiring hospitalisation.
  • Give the person under your care support that is appropriate to their age. This is done to make sure that the support will not disrupt the lives of young people and allow them to focus on developing important skills.

With early psychosis intervention, you can be assured that any young person under your care will have a better quality of life.

Youth mental health services

Good mental health is an integral part of healthy adolescent development for young people. A young person can develop positive social, communication, and problem-solving skills with good mental health.

Research suggests that mental health issues from younger years may affect a person later on in adulthood; this is why these issues must be dealt with as early as possible.

Youth mental health services can give the following benefits:

Improves relationships with peers

Mental health issues can make it difficult for young people to communicate and socialise with their peers. Mental health services will help them overcome these difficulties and build meaningful relationships.

Helps avoid substance misuse

Sometimes young people with mental health issues may turn to certain substances for relief and may eventually become addicted to them. Youth mental health services provide quick intervention to prevent young people from going down this path.

Reduces chances of developing other health conditions

Mental health problems may lead to a person developing physical health problems, such as heart disease and ulcers. Timely intervention from youth mental health services can help keep these health issues at bay.

Choose community-based support services for mental health

Not everyone is open about their battle with mental health problems. If you suspect that the person under your care is suffering from any kind of mental illness, get in touch with a reputable disability and mental health provider in your area.

Resizable text