This week, I had the great privilege of visiting a different kind of programme – the RIDBC Matilda Rose centre, based in Waverley Memorial Hospital, Sydney. The programme offers AVT and has become known as being experts in working with families of children who have significant additional needs. As such, they have joint sessions with physiotherapists and occupational therapists based on site, allowing families to see how they can integrate the different interventions they are doing at home. It also provides the professionals with lots of opportunities to learn from one another in order to best meet the individual child’s needs.

It was amazing to be able to sit in on some sessions and see how they adapt AVT to allow each child to develop his or her listening potential, regardless of whether they may need spoken language to be adapted through another intervention approach. They are able to equip children who may not be able to speak with great listening skills and technology so that they’re able to express themselves.   The rigorous audiological management alongside the AVT means that, over time, they are able to show some really amazing outcomes for children they work with.

Matilda Rose therapyThe centre itself was named after Matilda Rose, a child whose parents refused to believe that she couldn’t achieve her full potential, who now attends mainstream school and has even volunteered at the centre. The staff are highly skilled in attachment theory and ensuring that children develop strong bonds with their family, from which communication then sprouts. It was really exciting to be able to learn how this looks in practice and to hear about the weekly group where children from the centre can put their new found skills into practice in making friends with one another too. All in all, it was a hugely inspiring day and one that will stay with me for years to come.

This post was written by our Clinical Lead Rosie as part of her research trip to Australia and New Zealand, thanks to the Winston Churchill Memorial Fund. Read more:

First stop: Brisbane – Hear and Say

Travels of an AV therapist

Follow Rosie on Twitter @RosieQuayle for all the latest updates.