Posted on: 23/01/2020

Supporting young Ben to thrive

Four year old Ben* loves blocks, lego and things that move. He can spend hours watching machinery and playing with things that have wheels.

However, he struggles with routines, large groups and unfamiliar people.

As a toddler Ben’s behaviours raised alarm bells for his parents. They could see him struggling to communicate and cope with frequent and intense emotional meltdowns.

“We were told Ben was showing normal early childhood behaviours but we were struggling to meet his needs. We felt like we were going crazy as we really felt there was something wrong despite what people were telling us;” says dad Anton.

Finally Ben’s maternal health nurse organised for him to have an assessment which led to a referral to Windermere. They were told Ben needed to have supports to meet a range of developmental milestones.

Ben is very uneasy amongst new people, so building trust and familiarity with therapy was essential. Under Windermere’s service approach, Ben and his family were allocated the one dedicated person, called a key worker.

“Ben feels comfortable when he can deal with the same person. The worker would come out and have visits at home where Ben feels comfortable. This is much better than having to go somewhere else. She could also see him as he really is, in an environment he is happy in and being himself;” says Anton.

Windermere worked with Ben and his family to build strategies around emotional regulation and awareness. Ben’s key worker, a qualified therapist, also provided speech therapy. This meant Ben benefitted from receiving services from the one, familiar point of contact for Ben and his family. The speech therapy incorporated games in a relaxed environment in order to put Ben at ease.

“The speech therapy has made a huge difference. Ben is now on par of where he should be developmentally. When we do have a concern with his speech we can now generally get him back on track with it fairly quickly within a few sessions,” says Anton.

Ben also attended a range of Windermere group programs specifically designed to build social skills and confidence. “The groups have allowed him to explore and experience social settings in a structured, non-judgemental and supportive environment with other children in similar circumstances. They’ve shown him that he is not alone in facing certain challenges, and also taught him to accept others,” says Anton.

Anton is grateful to Windermere and the support they have given Ben.

He also encourages families to seek assistance if they believe something is wrong. “Parents are the best judge of their children. If they think there is need for support, then ask for it. After all, parents are the ones present in the home environment where their child is happy and acting like they really are,” says Anton. 

*details have been changed to protect privacy

Windermere is a registered service provider under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). To find out more talk to the team on 1300 946 337 email or visit here. To find out more about job opportunities at Windermere visit here.