Since 1874 Can:Do 4Kids, Townsend House has been there to support all children who are blind, low vision, deaf, hard of hearing or have other sensory needs such as autism. Can:Do 4Kids provides families with services such as speech therapy and occupational therapy supporting them to be the best they can be.
Restrictions due to COVID-19 have meant the vital therapy services that Can:Do 4Kids provide are being severely disrupted, leaving many families without the ability to access these essential services for their children.
Jena Mayne, Can:Do 4Kids General Manager, Clinical Services says they have transitioned to providing services online where possible.
“We are being as flexible as possible to suit the needs of families, being innovative and making certain we are doing our part to ensure the safety of the community and our staff.”
“So many vulnerable families in South Australia don’t have access to the internet or a device such as a laptop or a smartphone, but they still need to receive services”.
The long term impact of these children not receiving vital services can be exponential, they may have to repeat a year at school, or live with an uncorrected speech impediment, narrowing their future employment opportunities, and impacting their self-worth.
Telstra stores Elizabeth, Ingle Farm, Salisbury and Munno Para are locally owned and operated with a strong commitment to supporting the community. They have lent a helping hand, donating 22 tablets with data to Can:Do 4Kids during these unprecedented times.
Telstra licensee Stephen Keens who operates the stores has had a strong affiliation with not-for-profit Can:Do 4Kids through an ongoing partnership.
“It was critical that we could find a way to support as many of the affected families as we can during this challenging time”, said Stephen.
“We have the ability to provide remote technical assistance through tablets and data allowance, so we were delighted to support Can:Do 4Kids families, so that they can access their child’s therapy sessions remotely. It was the right thing to do to ensure continuity of support.”
Elena, mum of Can:Do 4Kids’ clients Anthony and Michael who have Autism have received one of the tablets from Telstra.
Elena says, “I have learnt so much in the 2.5 years since they were diagnosed, from ways to assist the boys with regulation to sensory input and output needs. We have learnt new ways to communicate with each other and most importantly how each of the boys are impacted differently even though they have the same diagnosis.”
“If their services were to stop this would cause a huge delay in their development which would impact their schooling for next year and cause long term effects socially and emotionally, their struggles would be amplified”.
Can:Do 4Kids will continue to support as many families as possible during these uncertain times.