‘Allied Health’ is a term that refers to the variety of professionals in the health and wellbeing field who work together with the teachers to help students achieve their potential. At EGSS, our Allied Health team consists of two Speech Pathologists (Deb Roberts and Kirbie Ritchie), an Occupational Therapist (soon to be appointed) and Psychologist (Lauren Short).
The Allied Health team at EGSS work within the classroom. They collaborate as a team to identify each student’s physical, cognitive, psychological, sensory and linguistic needs then develop strategies, alongside the teachers, to fully develop their academic, learning and social skills within the classroom.
The team supports teachers to modify their daily programs so they can support their students to develop in all areas while participating in general classroom activities. They work with small groups within a classroom, tailoring a program that is administered by the teacher or by the Educational Assistants within the classroom that best suits the students. Allied Health also assists with developing an Individualised Education Program (IEP) that is tailored to the specific needs of the students.
Allied Health run or support a variety of programs to help students develop specific skills independently including:
- Daily Living skills: helping students to learn to wash their hands, take a shower, dress or undress, brush their teeth, or toilet independently.
- Social/play/communication skills: improve the way a student is able to talk and communicate, make sentences, tell a story or understand instructions, help a student to understand themselves and the way they react to others.
- Physio: assisting students to manoeuvre their body, assisting to sit, walk, run, climb stairs and provide hydrotherapy etc.
EGSS Allied Health staff also coordinates with outside agencies that may be involved with students, to ensure that relevant agencies are involved with specific students and to help EGSS staff understand the information that these agencies may provide. Agencies that the school regularly collates with include Vision Australia, VPRS (Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service), ECIS (Early Childhood Intervention Support), GCYMHS (Gippsland Child and Youth Mental Health Service), Specialist Children’s Services, GLCH (Gippsland Lakes Community Health), LCH (Latrobe Community Health), local doctors and paediatricians, audiologists, community Allied Health therapists who support the families and other service providers who may be involved with the students or their families.