This news would be overwhelming for any family, never mind a family who has been through the emotional ringer in the last few years.
“Through our visits at Royal Far West, Alison and I have tried hard to be positive and work together. It was tough to hear everything Ben was battling with. It was even tougher thinking how on earth we’d be able to get him to all the appointments he needed,” Nigel recalls.
After discussions with the team at Royal Far West, it was clear that Ben needed urgent support for his language development, mental health, and motor skills. His parents and school also needed to understand his regulation difficulties to help support his behaviour and engagement.
As Ben required a more holistic approach to care, Royal Far West’s social work team tried to help his family find additional local support. However, this was extremely difficult due to the remoteness of their location and the limited resources in the area.
This left the family in a position where they had no local services to access.
At Royal Far West, we believe not only in supporting the needs of our client families, but their changing needs too.
We have a duty of care to continue supporting country children including access to ongoing case management, therapy, and safety.Due to Ben’s complex needs, the team knew it was vital for him to continue accessing additional support through occupational therapy, speech pathology, and psychology services accessed through our Paediatric Developmental Program. This program not only asseses and diagnoses country children, but aims to provide a clearer path for therapy, services, and support to help them achieve their full potential.
Ben’s occupational therapy sessions focused on supporting him to feel safe and calm in the school playground and developing his handwriting skills.
His speech pathology sessions focused on developing his vocabulary, narrative skills, understanding and responding to questions, and generating complex written sentences.
Thanks to speech pathology, Ben is more confident in participating in learning tasks within the classroom, following the teacher’s directions, communicating his wants and needs, and even socialising in the playground.
Over the past four years, Ben accessed a broad range of services at Royal Far West, including occupational therapy, speech pathology and psychological interventions.
The additional support provided by Royal Far West has ensured Ben has received the therapy and support he needed but could not access simply due to his geographical location.
Without access to critical, long-term care, country children like Ben are at risk of poor academic achievement, low self-esteem, social and behavioural problems, reduced employment options, and higher incarceration rates.
Every child deserves access to timely, appropriate, and regular developmental, mental, and behavioural health services and support. Yet over 190,000 country children already requiring developmental and mental health services.
You can help close the gap and make sure country children have the best possible chance for a happier, healthier life.
* To ensure privacy and confidentiality for our client families, our stories are representative in nature and real names or images are not used.