Koorana connects with many families, all with different experiences and all offering a unique story to tell. Omar and his family have many friends at Koorana. Here is a little bit about their journey so far ...
‘When Omar was a newborn, my local baby clinic referred us to Koorana for support and assistance with services for children with additional needs. Our first sessions with a Koorana keyworker were for my husband and I. Koorana helped us understand Omar’s diagnosis and provided emotional support as we transitioned through those first few months with him.
When Omar was a baby our keyworker sang songs, held him and became someone I could talk to. As he got older, we focused on feeding and walking. I now watch him playing with his keyworker on the floor and he is counting and chatting and doing the things all little boys like to do. It fills me with so much hope when I think about how much he has achieved in only 4 years. I am now confident he will be given every opportunity to discover the wonderful things life has to offer.’
Laila – Omar’s mum.
Playtime with Omar …
‘When I am spending time with Omar, I am focusing on a variety of goals we have set for him and his family. Play is modeled in a way that encourages communication and cooperation. Omar is at the exciting stage now of getting ready for School. This means, the practice of communicating the message of wanting to play, in a suitable manner, has become a high priority. And, Omar is doing great! He is beginning to understand the right way to get his peers attention and encouraging others to want to play with him.
Attending Omar’s childcare centre has also helped us demonstrate the most effective form of communication for Omar and we have been able to support his social skills. By providing support, information and guidance to Omar’s educator’s, we have been able to make his time at childcare a more enjoyable one, all round. Omar absolutely loves going to childcare and interacting with his friends. This setting is just another way to get Omar used to the routine of attending school, which he will do confidently in the future.’
Caitlin High – Omar’s Keyworker
Omar loves songs!
‘As Omar’s Speech Pathologist, my focus is to not only help Omar communicate his wants and needs, but to also help him understand language. This can be done in variety of ways, for example teaching key word signs. However, the practice Omar likes best, is singing and dancing.
Songs are a fun way to help children learn new words and practice sounds. And, like many 4-year-olds, Omar loves to dance and sing along to his favourite songs. He especially loves to imitate the actions for Itsy Bitsy Spider and Open, Shut Them. He is even beginning to imitate some sounds when singing old MacDonald had a Farm. He is a little boy who is full of energy and eager to play.
When I visit Omar at home or at his Childcare Centre, my role extends beyond him. As his Speech Pathologist, I am there to support Omar’s parents and teachers by providing techniques and education on how to communicate in the best way for his development. I enjoy working collaboratively with all of the important people in Omar’s life, as I know it increases his opportunity to learn at the greatest capacity.
During my visits to his home and Childcare Centre, I can see how immensely his communication skills have improved. He is learning and growing every single day - he is a little boy with a lot to say.’
Hayley Kranjc – Koorana Speech Pathologist