Hope’s Story: ECEI

Meet Hope:

Hope is five years old. She lives with her parents, Anne, and Lloyd and her older brother Noah.  Hope now attends kindergarten 3 days a week. Anne and Lloyd have been concerned about Hope’s development as she was selectively mute, unable to climb or run safely, and had very high separation anxiety from mum.

In addition, Anne and Lloyd also became concerned about the NDIS reporting requirements and managing multiple services on their own. Anne (mum) was very overwhelmed by all the appointments and found it difficult to implement strategies effectively at home.

Hope, Anne and Lloyd began working with Access Your Supports’ Early Childhood Member Jackie in the local park as it was a familiar and comfortable place for Hope. This allowed Jackie to really understand Hope’s needs, her goals and help develop various skills at a quicker pace using evidence-based practices.

Jackie became an ECEI key worker for Hope to help relieve the pressure from mum’s workload and put strategies in place to support Hope.

As Hope’s confidence grew and separation anxiety reduced, Jackie began transitioning sessions to kinder and home-based sessions. Hope was unable to be supported by others, including kinder and other family members due to her separation anxiety from her mum.

“Under the Key Worker Model, the relationship between Hope and I has grown substantially over time, and it is for this reason that we can challenge Hope, support her out of her comfort zone and scaffold her development in ways that wouldn’t be possible using a standard therapy model.” – Jackie AYS staff member

The Early Childhood staff member (Jackie) reviewed Hope’s developmental needs and considered various supports in the community to support the family. Anne, Lloyd, and Jackie discussed desired goals for Hope’s development. Anne said they would like to improve Hope’s confidence, anxiety, and communication skills so people could understand her better. She also indicated they would like Hope to be able to play and interact with other children, and to develop her fine-motor skills

AYS Staff member Jackie taught the family strategies to help build Hope’s communication skills and additionally, to help achieve her goals. In addition, Jackie (ECEI Key Worker), coordinated support and communication with various therapists and supports on behalf of the family.

Jackie continues to monitor Hope’s progress for the past two years and continued to offer support to the family. Kindergarten staff were pleased to report Hope’s interactions with other children had improved and she was participating more positively in the community.

“Working with Jackie and Access Your Supports has allowed Hope to thrive in heartening and unexpected ways. The consistent and holistic approach used in the ECEI Key Worker Model has helped Hope and our family to not only feel known and understood but also supported in a way we hadn’t felt before.” – Anne (Hope’s mother)

Hope is now attending kinder without mum having to be there. She engages more frequently with interactions with less familiar adults and can safely negotiate most physical activities. Hope was even attending a junior sports program once a week earlier this year prior to Covid restrictions. Hope’s family felt more confident in supporting her developmental outcomes. As a result of this intervention, Hope is likely to successfully transition to school next year.

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