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Sep 13, 2023

Supporting Austin to be his best self

News Occupational Therapy

Austin is six years old and lives in Forest Lake, Queensland. He loves spending time with his family and has an immaculate memory.

Austin was born with Opitz G/BBB syndrome which is a genetic chromosomal syndrome that caused a bilateral cleft pallet. He has had four surgeries over the last few years for facial reconstruction. As his family was focused on the impact of the surgeries his family did not notice his behavioural concerns until he was five years old.

Catherine, Austin’s mother says, “At the start, we were absorbed by the surgeries and did not pick up that his meltdowns were not just a child being upset they were something bigger. He would get overwhelmed and have a massive meltdown.”

Seeking support

Austin’s meltdowns meant he would refuse to hold pens and do crafts at school, which would often lead to him causing a commotion and destroying the space he was in.

“We could see that he was frustrated because he didn’t have the tools to communicate with us and say what he wanted”, says Catherine.

“When Austin first started coming to his session he hated them,” says Adeline, Occupational Therapist in Darra. “He used to cry and refuse to cooperate.”

Adeline took her time with Austin and designed an individual intervention plan for him. “I developed a rapport with him and his family so I could get him to trust me,” she says.

Slowly but surely Austin’s behaviours started to improve as he learned skills like writing, using scissors, drawing and listening.

Catherine, Austin’s Mum

Austin today

Austin has come a long way since the start of the year! “The change over the last few months has been amazing,” says Catherine. Austine recently got student of the week for his letter writing and good behaviour. “When I got the call from his school, I was so pleased. I am used to getting calls about Austin being disruptive in school so this call was a lovely surprise,” says Catherine.

What’s next for Austin?

Austin’s future goals are to keep working with Adeline to improve on his school skills and fine motor skills.

Well done Austin, We can’t wait to hear about what you achieve next!

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