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Outstanding support

Thursday, 12th March, 2015

Mariette Curcuruto with her son Geoffrey Dunlevy. PICTURE: Emily Roberts Mariette Curcuruto with her son Geoffrey Dunlevy. PICTURE: Emily Roberts

The City’s Early Intervention services have launched interactive programs to help children integrate into mainstream education.

Silverlea Early Childhood Services (SECS) has launched three new interactive programs designed to assist children with developmental delays and disabilities to integrate into mainstream preschools, schools and the community.

The Kindy Ready program prepares children for school and develops skills needed to attend, listen and learn.

“I Can Do It! Developing Independence” is designed to develop feeding, dressing, toileting and communication skills and enable greater participation in the community.

“Exploring Our Senses” gives children the opportunity to explore their environment through sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste and movement.

Each program will be conducted at SECS in Broken Hill by qualified therapists and educators over eight weeks on consecutive Thursdays.

The programs are available to children up to eight years of age and parents are required to attend with their children.

Acting CEO Tenille Hawes said they were proud to be supporting children and their families in the local community.

“These new programs for 2015 will expand our services to benefit even more families in the local area,” Ms Hawes said.

SECS also announced the launch of their Drop-In Days where parents can meet educators, seek information from industry professionals and develop a community support network as a valuable family resource.

“Our Drop In day will be on a Tuesday, it started on March 10 and ran from 1pm to 3pm,” Ms Hawes said.

“Then it will be the first Tuesday of every month.”

One local family has benefited from the SECS program.

Mariette Curcuruto’s son Geoffrey was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder in 2011 at age two.

At that stage he was non-verbal, withdrawn and lacked the skills necessary to begin pre-school activities.

“We were advised by our paediatrician that Geoffrey would benefit from an early intervention program of support and the best possible place to receive this was right here in Broken Hill at SECS,” Mariette said.

“Their reputation for helping children and families was impressive.”

Geoffrey initially attended SECS for two days a week where he completed a personal development program designed by educators, therapists and other staff specific to his needs.

This reduced to one day a week as he progressed through the program and his learning ability and skills improved.

“The staff at Silverlea have been absolutely brilliant from every possible angle,” Mariette said.

“Their personal attention meant Geoffrey received outstanding support and the improvement in his ability and confidence has been incredible. His development is ongoing but the progress so far has been stunning. I can’t thank them enough for their help.”

Now almost six years old, Geoffrey has completed preschool and began at Sacred Heart Primary School in Broken Hill.

Educators and staff at SECS work in partnership with a number of organisations including Novita Children’s Services, Far West Local Health District, North and Railwaytown Early Intervention and Early Childhood Education and Care Services to offer a multi-disciplinary service tailored to the needs of the child and family unit.

People concerned about their child’s development or seeking assistance with developmental delays can contact SECS on 08 8087 3971 for full details of programs and services.

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