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Big Steps for Little Monique
Physiotherapist Sam Jones with Monique Whelan

Physiotherapist Sam Jones with Monique Whelan

Monique is a shy and loveable four and a half year old with Trisomy 20 Mosaicism, a chromosome abnormality that means she has learning delays, decreased muscle tone, Clubfeet and Scoliosis but the team at Kids Are Kids! has helped Monique reach big milestones. Monique is now walking and climbing, has increased confidence in interaction and exploring and is beginning to communicate through PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System).

 

Life for Monique and her family has been a roller coaster ride but one that her Mum Carla says has made them stronger people, “When you fall pregnant you never think about an impending life with a child with special needs. And when it does happen the world comes crashing down and you need to look at life in a whole different light; then you look at your baby and know that you will be there for every challenge and every milestone. You make a commitment to that child and you never let it go”, said Carla.

 

Monique was born with hip dysplagia (malalignment of the hip joint), talipes (clubfeet), a duplex kidney and hemivertebrae (a segment of a vertebrae is missing). Kids Are Kids! Physiotherapist, Sam is very optimistic of Monique’s progress, “Monique started walking when she was two and a half and was very cautious with her movements – she would get anxious or refuse to try new things which she thought were too hard or scary. She can now climb, pedal her tricycle with help, sit on a swing and loves playing on the trampoline”. Sam said the new Fraggles Physiotherapy Room at Kids Are Kids! provides an opportunity in the centre for Monique to work on strength building, balance and coordination.

 

Monique Whelan, 4.5 yrs

Monique Whelan, 4.5 yrs

Over the years Monique has benefited from group programs, like Messy Play and Little Movers and Groovers as well as individually tailored programs at Kids Are Kids! Next year school visits to her classroom will ensure Monique has the right communication and mobility support at Kindy to aid in her transition and development. The dynamic programs help to give Monique skills across socialisation, gross and fine motor skills – the new Hydrotherapy group in January will assist Monique and other children with early swimming skills, water safety and group participation.

 

The accomplishments of Monique’s are testament to early intervention and a team effort from family and Therapists, all helping to reach developmental milestones through outcomes-based therapy. Occupational Therapist, Angie said “Even though the family are extremely busy they find creative ways to incorporate therapy strategies into their routines and daily life and that’s the therapy that really counts”.

 

“We feel a real sense of support from Kids Are Kids!, we feel well-equipped and confident that Monique will have a bright future”, said Carla.

Amy

 

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