Support worker an angel as family manages isolation and home learning
From cooking and exercise to remote learning support, Hoppers Crossing siblings Michael, Taylor and Louise regard their Gateways Support Services support worker as an angel.
The trio’s mother, Bev, says her children, who all have autism and learning delays have been thriving thanks to the nurturing, home–based activities provided by support worker Bianca.
‘Bianca really brightens their days,’ Bev says.
‘She aids them and supervises them doing cooking, they go for walks for a little bit of respite and a bit of exercise, which is great. They’re actually so happy. Bianca is like our angel.’
With changes brought on by COVID-19, flexibility and adaptation has been necessary, including adding remote learning to Bianca’s usual activity plan.
In a collaborative effort, Bev and Bianca provide support and then breaks for each of the children. During the breaks they are still building skills; walking to the local store to buy ingredients for cooking, counting out the money and handling the change.
Bev says her children have developed new skills and have become quite the little whizzes in the kitchen, with Taylor, 14, now cooking the family lunch most days.
Bianca says the pandemic restrictions have given her more time to work with the siblings including life skills with Taylor, learning through play with Michael, 10, and reading and writing with Louise, 20, who is working towards gaining a forklift license.
‘Michael and Taylor are really struggling not being at school at this time and you can see their stress and anxiety,’ Bianca says.
‘But it has been a lot of fun working with the three and even I have learned some new skills.’
Bev says that with the added pressures of learning at home it is especially important during lockdown for her children continue to receive these services and for families to have access to respite.
‘It has allowed me to just take some time to chill out and do some things that I need to do, like make beds or even nick up to the supermarket while they’re still learning and knowing that they’re safe,’ she says.
To find out more about individual support, contact your support coordinator or your closest Gateways Support Services office.
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