What’s On At All Together Therapy

COVID-19 Update

Our clinic has put a number of measures in place to ensure that health and well-being of our clients, their families and our staff. Whilst these changes will be challenging and the duration of these changes is unknown, we would like to thank everyone for supporting our decisions and hope that it will lead to a strong and consistent service for all now and into the future.

Changes that have been implemented in our clinic this week:

  • Clinic Visits will continue until the end of the week for essential appointments (at the discretion of the therapists)
  • Home visit and school visits cancelled until further notice, unless required for urgent essential services impacting clients wellbeing
  • All current clients will be offered telehealth or alternative services including phone consults or home programs
  • Increased infection control measures
  • Gordon St office rearranged to comply with social distancing recommendations and all staff set up to work from home as required.

Below is a copy of the information sheet for families attending our clinic. Please respect these procedures to ensure the well being of the wider community. If we work together, we will get through this difficult time.

Black and Yellow Emergency Response Poster

If you have any questions about our changes or how COVID-19 will impact the services you receive please do not hesitate to contact our clinic on 0265834063.

Groups Cancelled

After advice from local government and our professional associations we have cancelled all of our groups for the upcoming school holidays and Term 2. In Term 2 we will review the mid year holiday groups based on public health recommendations. We apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused, however the health and well-being of our staff and clients is a priority. Thank-you all for your understanding

Sense Rugby 2020

We are currently taking expressions of interest for our 2020 Sense Rugby groups. We will be running our group for 6 weeks in Term 2 and Term 4. We will also be running an intensive holiday program in the mid year holidays. If you are interested please email referrals@alltogethertherapy.com.au or phone 0265834063.

New clinic on the horizon

All Together Therapy is pleased to announce that work is underway for our new clinic located on Siren Rd, Port Macquarie. We are working hard to create a beautiful environment that kids love and want to come to. With on site car parking, natural lighting (yes we are excited about the windows) and disabled access we hope that it is just as exciting for clients as it is for us. We will keep you updated regarding a moving date as that time nears.

Changes to how we provide services…

2020 is an exciting year for All Together Therapy and with it some big changes. One of the main change is how we provide services to the local area. After a lot of research, a trial period and numerous discussions our team is no longer providing therapy in a traditional fortnightly or monthly model. Our Service will now only provide intensive and block therapy. This is a huge change, but we believe it will support our mission of Reaching Goals Together, by allowing us to spend more time individualising and supporting children as they progress. Thank

All Together Therapy. Pic: Lindsay Moller Productions

you to all of our families that have already participated in a block of intensive therapy or have liaised with their therapist regarding these changes.

Hard to Swallow campaign

This year the NDIS ceased funding swallowing assessments and development of mealtime management plans for individuals with a disability, saying this is the responsibility of the health system. This change has been extremely devastating for so many people with a disability and their families in the mid North Coast region as it has restricted their access to vital therapy. All Together Therapy has worked with the Council for Intellectual Disabilities on their campaign, Hard to Swallow. Since advocating for two of our clients, Ellen and Tanisha, the government has  decided that NDIS will temporarily continue funding swallowing assessments and mealtime management plans. We will be continuing to advocate for our clients during these changes. 

Ellen and her family have kindly shared her journey and the difficulty accessing services for essential therapy support for mealtimes and swallowing. Please watch Ellen’s video and sign the petition to show your support.
We have been proving essential swallowing support to Ellen for a number of years, however this year therapy hours for swallowing and mealtime support were removed from her NDIS package. The NDIS are claiming that this should be covered by health. These services have always been covered by disability services and is a highly specialised area that is provided by disability therapists that have had post graduate education and have ongoing support and development relating to disability and complex needs. This NDIS needs to cover services like mealtime/swallowing to ensure that these people are safe, and supported to promote wellbeing and quality of life.
We support the NDIS but are frustrated by these inconsistencies, blame shifting and cost cutting efforts that put clients at risk. This risk is potentially fatal when we are discussing swallowing!
Please share far and wide. This is an issue that needs to be bought to the attention of government and addressed immediately.
Thankyou to the centre for intellectual disability for telling Ellen’s story.
Thankyou to our therapists who have worked tirelessly to support Ellen to be safe and continue to eat (rather than be purely tube feed).
#hardtoswallow #ndisfixeat

Tanisha has a very rare genetic disorder which has left her with intellectual and physical disability. As part of her disability she has swallowing problems. The NDIS stopped funding Tanisha’s swallowing therapies. There was no consultation nor prior notification. Without these vital therapies Tanisha’s swallowing muscles are weakening and she is at a significantly greater risk of choking.
Since this campaign Tanisha’s therapies have been reinstated and she has been able to continue seeing Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology with All Together Therapy.

Sense Rugby is in Port Macquarie!

All Together Therapy has teamed up with Sense Rugby!

Does your child need help to successfully be part of a sports team or group activity?

We can help! Sense Rugby is a rugby based Occupational Therapy program founded by Australian Rugby 7s Olympian Jesse Parahi and Paediatric OT Carlien Parahi. 

We use modified rugby drills to help kids to:
– Process sensory information
– Manage their emotions
– Focus on activities
– Improve their coordination
– Build their confidence and self-esteem
– Learn to play sport
– Have fun with other kids!

All our therapists and trainers are experienced in working with kids who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Sensory processing difficulties, delays in gross motor skills, exposure to trauma, emotional regulation difficulties and many more.

NDIS, Better Start, HCWA, Medicare and Health Insurance rebates available.

Please Contact our clinic for details on our upcoming groups.



Liberty Swing Update

A huge thankyou goes out to the Port Macquarie Rotary Sunrise for their ongoing support of our wonderful Liberty Swing at the Town Beach Reserve, thanks to their hard work the liberty swing is now covered by a large shade sail allowing the swing to be used all year round.

Thankyou to everyone else that supported this project and to the Hastings Council for their ongoing support of this inclusive space as well as other spaces that have been opened over the past year including the magnificent Changing Place located on Short St.

For more information about local accessible facilities contact council directly.



Six to Twelve Months

In our last post we discussed child development from Birth to Six Months of age. This post will deal with developmental milestones occurring between Six and Twelve Months of age. This period is critical, as children are laying the foundations necessary for their first words and first steps.

6-9 Months of Age

Your child should be:

  • Using variegated babbling. This is a more complex type of babbling, where your child will use multiple consonant and vowel sounds within one babble, for example “ma-wee-ba-duh”.
  • Using different sounds for different emotions. Your child will begin to understand that there is a difference between happy, in pain, tired, and hungry, and they will begin to give you more clues that they are experiencing each emotion. You will start to see sighs, squeals of excitement, and grunts of frustration.
  • Responding to their name. As your baby becomes more aware, they will begin to associate their name with themselves. They should begin to seek the person saying their name, respond with smiles, and begin to understand when they are being caught out.
  • Understanding common words. As your baby grows, their receptive language skills will continue to develop. They will start to comprehend a few very familiar words, for example ‘car’, ‘bottle’, ‘dog’ and ‘rattle’.
  • Showing joint attention. Joint attention is the ability for two people to share focus on an activity or object. This skill is a vital prerequisite for having a conversation, or engaging others. As your baby develops this skill, they will look at the object, then to you to check you are looking, then back to the object.
  • Sitting independently. Your baby should be able to sit without the support of others and engage in play with a favourite object. One hand may be required to prop self at side.
  • Pivoting whilst on tummy and beginning to crawl or scoot backwards.
  • Holding toys and transferring it between hands. Your baby should be able to intentionally grasp and release objects.
  • 9-12 Months of Age

    Your child should be:

  • Understanding object permanence. Your child should begin to understand that an object still exists, even when it is not seen, and start to search for an item they have seen hidden (for example, under a blanket). This milestone is the precursor for symbolic development (words are considered to be symbols) and therefore is an essential stepping stone to talking about objects that are not in their immediate view.
  • Copying gestures. Your child should begin to copy your actions and movements such as clapping, high fives, and covering their face during a game of peek-a-boo.
  • Using communicative gestures. As your child becomes more confident copying gestures, they will begin to use these gestures to communicate. Your child may begin to wave, shake their head ‘no’, and put their arms up to ask to be picked up. If you are using Baby Sign with your child, you may notice them stating to sign back to you at this stage. Our OT, Pip, runs our Baby Massage courses, and always enjoys including a session about feeding and Baby Sign. Call (02) 6583 4063 to book your spot in the next Baby Massage Group.
  • Conversing back and forth. Your child should begin to have pretend conversations with you where they babble and wait for a response, or babble in response to you talking. This shows that they are beginning to understand the social rules and structure of a conversation, and that they want to converse with you.
  • Understanding familiar short phrases. Further to the above point where your child began to understand familiar words, your child should now be able to understand some familiar short phrases, for example “ta for mum”, “all gone”, “where’s daddy?”.
    Lifting self-up on all fours and beginning to crawl with their stomach off the ground.
  • Pulling self-up on furniture and cruising around furniture.
  • Walking whilst holding on to their parent’s hands. Some children are early walkers and will begin to walk around the 10-11 months.
  • Posting objects – pulling them out of a container and putting them back in.
  • Beginning to use a spoon to self-feed at meals (this will be messy but is a key skill in developing hand-eye coordination).
  • Please note that each child is different, and will achieve these milestones at different ages. The above information is based on the average age that typically developing children will achieve these milestones.

    If you have any concerns about your baby achieving these milestones, please contact your GP or our friendly Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists on (02) 6583 4063.

    Child Development: Birth to Six Months

    This post describes some of the milestones that typically developing children achieve between birth and six months of age.

    The language and motor milestones a child should achieve in their first six months of life are subtle, and can be easily overlooked. The child is building the foundation they will need for communication and movement, and many of the milestones are social and functional, rather than being used in isolation.

    While most children will achieve these milestones effortlessly, without us realising it, it is important to be aware of them. Many children who are diagnosed with developmental delays or impairments later in life, did show delays in these very early skills. This post will discuss each of these steps, and what to expect within your child’s earliest months.

    0-3 Months of Age

    You child should be:

  • Responding to sounds. Hearing is essential to your child’s verbal communication development. Babies involuntarily know to listen for language, and will demonstrate that they recognise language over other background noises.
  • Giving eye contact. Babies will show interest in looking at faces, which will develop into them giving eye contact. As they grow, they will show signs of enjoyment when sharing eye contact such as cooing and smiling.
  • Smiling. When babies smile, it lets their family know that they are noticing the outside world and enjoying social interaction.
  • Cooing and gurgling. Babies should begin making some sounds around 8 weeks of age. These sounds are your baby’s first attempt at verbal communication by experimenting with their oral coordination and voice.
  • Head control. Babies should be able to move their head from side to side and should be able to extend their neck and push themselves up to look around when placed on their tummy.
  • Visual tracking. Babies will be able to follow movement of your face, hands and toys, at birth this is only at close range (less than 30 cm and for very short periods). This will increase in range and duration as the child grows and by 3 months of age, your baby will be able to watch you move around the room.
  • Early play. In the first 3 months, babies will demonstrate early actions of play including batting, swiping, grasping, kicking, and mouthing.
  • 4-6 Months of Age

    Your child should be:

  • Identifying basic emotions. Your baby will begin to identify and respond to other’s emotions. They will mimic and mirror your emotions.
  • Identifying people. Your baby will begin to recognise familiar faces, including those outside their immediate family. By 6 months, your baby will develop stranger anxiety – where they will be upset when they do not recognise who is holding them.
  • Following faces. Your baby will begin to look at their family’s faces. This is important, as communication involves non-verbal cues such as facial expression.
  • Babbling. Babbling is different from cooing, in that it contains consonant sounds and is purposeful, for example “ma-ma-ma”.
  • Oral motor exploration. Your baby will begin to play with their mouth – for example, clicking their tongue and blowing raspberries.
  • Memory and attachment. Babies start to develop attachment to objects, for example a favourite rattle, and can be upset when it is taken away. This also means that they are highly engaged by games such as peek a boo.
  • Deliberate movements. Babies begin to make deliberate actions such as kicking a mat that makes noise, or stretching arms out to be picked up by a parent.
  • Bilateral coordination. Babies are able to bring hands to their mouth and manipulate objects with both hands, grasping and releasing objects that they want to play with.
  • Rolling. Babies will begin to roll from tummy to back before they roll from back to tummy, as it is harder to position arms when rolling to tummy. Rolling consistently can take a while to perfect, but it is the basis for further movement milestones. Parents should encourage rolling to both sides.
  • Please note that each child is different, and will achieve these milestones at different ages. The above information is based on the average age that typically developing children will achieve these milestones.
  • If you have any concerns about your baby achieving these milestones, please contact your GP or our friendly Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists on (02) 6583 4063.

    Swallowing Awareness Day

    Wednesday 11 May, 2016 is Swallowing Awareness Day!

    Like breathing, swallowing is essential to everyday life.

    Humans swallow at least 900 times a day!

    Around one million Australians have a swallowing difficulty. Swallowing problems can occur at any stage of life, and are often a result of
    physical or neurological changes.

    If you have concerns about your ability to swallow food and/or fluids, contact your Speech Pathologist for a swallowing assessment.

    Ph. 6583 4063 to book a swallowing assessment or make an enquiry.


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