Kawana Therapy Centre is now open
Vital service expands reach
NICKI Butler has come a long way in the two years she’s been receiving therapy.
Now, accessing the essential service that helps her grow with her motor planning disorder has just got a whole lot easier for the four-year-old from Currimundi and her family, with the opening of a new Children’s Therapy Centre at Kawana.
“We’ve been going to the Therapy Centre in Nambour for about two-and-a-bit years,” her mum Heidi said.
“It’s been a really amazing support for all of us,” she said.
“Kawana is so much more accessible for us and there would be a lot of people who would really benefit from having a centre here.”
The new centre opened its doors on Monday.
Another change has been made that will make accessing services like speech and occupational therapy, physiotherapy and psychologists for children easier.
Children’s Therapy Centre chief executive officer Debbie Blumel said the Department of Disability Services was now encouraging the centre to “reverse refer” children who were seeking assessments and therapy, which would cut the time families spent waiting for treatment.
“There’s no time delay, there’s no wait list for Children’s Therapy Centre
All the research evidence points to the positive outcomes of early intervention.
because my board has forward-funded a number of therapy positions so that we have the capacity to see those children immediately,” Ms Blumel said.
“So we have many appointments available immediately to offer professional therapy services and group programs to these children that have been on waiting lists.”
She said cutting waiting times would make a “dramatic difference” for families.
“If children can begin therapy between birth and age six, while their brain is still developing, while they are experiencing dramatic growth and trying to achieve new milestones, the earlier they can get therapy the greater the impact,” she said.
“All the research evidence points to the positive outcomes of early intervention.
“Every time a child waits on a waiting list for a year it’s negatively impacting the potential of that child to have the best outcomes.”
And if reverse referrals made it easier to access therapy, Ms Butler said so much the better.
“We went though years of testing and hospital trips and specialist appointments and there’s so much you’re so worried about as a parent,” she said.
“At that stage that it’s all too much, everything is too hard.
“If they can simplify the process that’s great.”
TRANSFORMING LIVES: Nicki Butler, 4, and Samara Boisen from the Children’s Therapy Centre.