Newcastle/Lake Macquarie group activities to reach your goals

Back to blog3 months ago by Renee
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Three photos make up the larger photo. On the left is a photo of a laughing boy sitting in his wheelchair, on the top right is a photo of four teens with a disability at a table doing an activity with a teacher and the bottom right is a picture of a boy with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair playing a game where he has to pick up coloured ice block sticks off a table.
 
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Group learning is a great way for learning life skills, developing independence and confidence while spending time with your peer group. The team in Newcastle have developed a great program for people with a range of interests and goals ranging from cooking classes, understanding social media, gymnastics, communication device chat groups and much more.

Based on meeting the goals developed by you and your child and set out in the  NDIS plan, the team are working collaboratively with parents, young adults and adults to work out exactly what to offer and when.

Coordinator Diane Oates has been talking with as many participants as possible about what to offer but also to get feedback on groups that have been run previously.

“We listen to our families and are continually seeking their input so we can create additional services they can now access under the NDIS to help achieve their goals,” she said.  

Creating sessions that are meaningful to our community has meant identifying where there are gaps and working together with clients, families and therapists to meet these needs.

“One of the sessions we have introduced is Switch Buddies, which offers children with complex needs the opportunity to develop and practice the skills that will enable them to engage in a range of leisure and learning activities.

“In another group, one Mum told us it was nice that her daughter, who has complex needs, had a school holiday activity that was focussed on her interests and individual goals, rather than just staying on the sidelines at her siblings activities.”

But this is just one example of the range of group therapy sessions available for all ages and   interests. Building life skills or independence is another key focus when it comes to planning the group program. The groups are tailored to meet the needs of the participants so they can build their confidence and achieve their goals.

“The therapist leading the session will speak with every participant’s therapist to ensure that the activities are tailored to support their individual interests and to support the achievement of their goals,” Diane said.

“And the aim is to make it so much fun that they don’t even realise it’s a therapy session because they are too busy talking, laughing, challenging themselves and spending time with their peers.”

The group therapy sessions also provide parents and carers with the opportunity to take some time out, meet with other parents and share experiences and information.

“Some parents at these sessions have developed ongoing support networks, which is for us a great outcome because part of our goal is to create connections, especially of support, in our community. It’s a great way for sharing of information, insights and talking to others with similar experiences to you,” Diane said.

The group therapy sessions are funded through your child’s NDIS plan. Di speaks individually to each participant and their family to support you through understanding the costs and the billing process, whether you are agency-managed, self-managed or a mix of both.

To find the right group session for you or your child, check out the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie schedule