Love Real Food

Does your child:

  • Refuse to try any new foods?

  • Have a very particular repertoire of foods he/she will touch?

  • Have difficulty making it through mealtime?


Love Real Food is a group program to help children and their families who find meal-times a challenge because of fussy eating habits and a dislike of trying new foods. We run classes each school team for eight (8) weeks with an Occupational Therapist and a Nutritionist. 

Families can choose to begin with an education based approach which supports learning about food and playfully engages children in food exploration without many of the associated behaviours they have created in the home environment. The groups run out of Caringbah Girl Guide hall, 5 Jacaranda Rd, Caringbah, on Monday and Friday afternoons.

Following your first term at Love Real Food, there are two groups to choose from should you have additional goals to achieve. 

  • Food School

  • Cooking School


How We Can Support Your Child

The myth about eating is that it only requires trying foods, chewing, and then swallowing. In reality, eating requires a whole set of skills that include our senses and preference, the ability to sit and attend, as well as fine and oral motor skills. Our therapists will be able to help you discover what challenges your child is facing when it comes to trying new foods and give you  the right strategies on how to approach these behaviours with playful engagement. Our Love Real Food group pays close attention to these developing skills whilst providing exposure to all food groups to improve your child’s behaviours around food.

Click here for more information

Soft Tissue Treatment

Using a combination of trigger point release, myofascial treatment, stretching and strengthening, plus education about the impact positional and repetitive movements, soft tissue OT can have a positive effect on overall performance. Chronic pain, tension and balancing muscle patterns following acute injury/incident, are all aspects of typical movement and occupation that can be supported through the use of soft tissue OT.

Studied as a postgraduate course, soft tissue OT is a specific area of practice which is provided by therapists at Early Links. This practice does not include manipulation of joints and/or pressure directly on underlying organs/nerves. Soft Tissue OT does use techniques aimed at reducing "knots" in muscles and returning optimal muscle movement/function, including balance between opposing muscle groups. Early Links OTs will often combine soft tissue practice with functional neurology techniques to optimise the neuromuscular results - aka "relaxation and connection to body movement"

Depending on your condition, your Occupational Therapist may suggest including soft tissue treatments in your next session. Most commonly used within the stage 2 of an Achievement Plan and/or with athletes in the maintenance phase of their Performance Plan.

Self Regulation

Self regulation

Self regulation refers to the “ability to attain, maintain, and change arousal (state of the nervous system relating to level of ‘alertness’) appropriately for a task or situation.

Difficulties with self-regulation results primarily presents in two forms:

  1. High alertness - individual may be seen as ‘hyper’, finds it difficult to settle in class etc.

  2. Low alertness - individual may be seen as ‘lazy’, appears lethargic and has difficulty engaging with school work

Unsurprisingly, this can have significant impacts upon a child’s ability to complete and enjoy everyday living tasks such as going to school and play. Therapists at EarlyLinks utilise the principles of the ALERT program as part of their intervention for children with self-regulation challenges. Recent research by Gill, Thompson & Rasumussen in 2018, note strong evidence for use of this program in helping children address self-regulation difficulties.


Further information: http://www.alertprogram.com/

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References

Williams, M. S., & Shellenberger, S. (1996). An introduction to "how does your engine run?": The alert program for self-regulation (Rev. ed.). Albuquerque, NM: TherapyWorks, Inc.

Gill, K., Thompson-Hodgetts, S., & Rasmussen, C. (2018). A critical review of research on the alert program. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 11(2), 212-228. doi:10.1080/19411243.2018.1432445


Handwriting Intervention

HANDWRITING

Does your child:

  • Find ways to avoid sitting down when it’s time to do homework?

  • Have difficulty producing legible handwriting?

  • Seem to take longer than usual in completing home and class assignments?

 

How We Can Support Your Child

Doing homework can be tricky when your child is reluctant to pick up the pencil. Early Links Occupational Therapists will help breakdown the processes needed for handwriting. Our therapists will assess the skills your child needs to sit at the table, hold the pencil and maintain attention.

Sessions for Handwriting will include:

  • Activities to improve postural control and major muscle groups needed to stay seated at the table

  • Strategies to improve focus and concentration by teaching your child how to recognise their alertness

  • Direct practice to improve handwriting speed and legibility

 

Speak with an Occupational Therapist about help with Handwriting - click here

Learn more about how the Early Links Team will assess and create a performance program

 

Presentation & Trainings

Early Links offered the following education packages and training opportunities - 

  • School Development Day

    • Self Regulation

    • Managing Challenging Behaviours Practically

    • Affective-Neuroscience for Learning

    • Social Skills in the Playground

  • Clinical Supervision and Mentoring

    • Working with families and children

    • Goal Setting

    • ReBOOT Framework for clinical practice in Occupational Therapy

    • Personal Mentoring for Professional Development

  • Consultation for Technical Improvements - Sport

    • Individual athlete skill development

    • Working with affective neuroscience to inform teams coaching

  • Consultation for Stress Management in the workplace

    • Neuro-Affective Development in stress management

    • Practical strategies to improve individual performances within the team

To find out more information, please contact Jacky Peile, for a Quick Chat

Or call Jacky directly on 0430 935 016

Group Holiday Programs

Holiday Programs

School holidays are a time for family, fun, and recovering from the fatigue that 10-weeks of learning will place on little brains and bodies. Holidays are also a great opportunity to refine the foundation abilities which help children to better adapt to the learning and memory demands of the next school term. The Occupational Therapists from Early Links have partnered with education specialists to provide group programs which encourage and support various skills and abilities to develop within activities typically explored during school holiday time. Check the What's New section for open Group registrations


Zoo Day

A fun-filled day for the who family to enjoy. With the support of volunteer University Students, we can provide families with additional support and in the moment strategies to manage challenging behaviours, feelings of overwhelm for both children and parents, plus offer siblings an opportunity to connect with other kids in similar situations.

Please let us know if you're interested as we will run these events one weekends or in school holidays when multiple families are available


YOGA

Breathing, posture and stability are all key abilities which are required to have the endurance to sit at a table for 5 hours per day, and to play competently with your friends for another 2 hours per day. Our YOGA program is taught by qualified yoga instructors and will also have an OT in the group to support various needs and to help children reference their change in attention, concentration, and posture in terms of helping with school-based learning.

Groups run for 45-mins & parents are encouraged to participate too

TBA when  this group is next running


COOKING

TBA when  this group is next running


GARDENING

TBA when  this group is next running


HANDWRITING

TBA when  this group is next running


School Readiness Groups

More information here

School Readiness

Click on the button below to download the checklist in a printable pdf. format.
(best for use on computers)

Click on the image of the checklist to access the picture version
(useful for mobile devices) 


School Readiness Checklist FLYERS.JPG

Explore our School Readiness Group Programs

 

Starting BIG School is a significant step in a child's life and can be a cause of much stress within the family too. Many parents focus on the readiness of their child's motor skills and knowledge before starting school, however, without solid foundations, none of these skills will be easily expressed by your child.

In the January school holidays, each year, The Occupational Therapists from Early Links team up with education specialists to create and run a school readiness program which supports children to develop their foundation abilities, including -

  • Self-care skills

  • Posture

  • Concentration

  • Endurance for table top activities

  • Emotional regulation

  • Self-regulation

  • Following routines

  • Listening and asking questions
    ...and more

These foundation abilities will be practiced within the activities most common at school, including - writing and drawing, playing ball games, making new friends, looking after your belongings, and problem-solving when learning become tricky

We have groups running each year, so click here to see if groups are open yet

 

Classroom Mastery

For kids who need a little help with fine motor skills and their endurance for concentrating...

School Success

For kids who need a little help with following routines and staying happy when routines change...

 

Both groups run in mid-January in our Caringbah Clinic

Check out the What's New page for upcoming group registrations