Harper unlocks her potential with Rocky Bay

Apr 24, 2023

Harper with her therapist in her home. She is wearing a colourful top and sitting at a table.

Seven year-old Harper Richards has been making amazing progress since she started receiving speech pathology and occupational therapy services from Rocky Bay two years ago.

Diagnosed with autism at age five, Harper is a playful child and an avid reading enthusiast. She lives at home with her parents in Success, accessing occupational therapy from home with Rocky Bay Clinical Advisor Occupational Therapist, Ashley Keasberry, and speech services each fortnight at school with our Speech Pathologist, Amy Henly.

According to her mum, Alli, Harper’s NDIS goals have been focused around improving her emotional regulation, as well as speech therapy.

“We’ve nailed the speech therapy – she only receives therapy once a fortnight now,” says Alli.

“Now the focus is more on autism awareness. The fact that Harper recognises she has autism has made it easier to talk with her (about it).

“She sees her occupational therapist Ashley once a fortnight now and (both her and Amy) have both been fantastic. They have been very accommodating and as a first-time mum bringing up a child with disability, their guidance has been invaluable.”

Harper’s emotional regulation and her behaviours have also seen great gains since accessing therapy.

“Harper used to have emotional outbursts which would last from 45 minutes to up to two hours…our Rocky Bay therapists have really helped with her emotional regulation. She still has her moments, but Harper now knows how to bring herself down and make herself calm thanks to strategies learnt in occupational therapy,” says Alli.

Harper has come a long way when it comes to the support she has received with speech therapy, and together they have been working on her autism awareness and self-advocay, with Amy explaining that “Harper has developed such a wonderful positive self-identity.”

Alli agrees that Harper’s progress has been very positive.

“At the start of her speech therapy, Harper used to speak at a million miles an hour and trip and stumble with her words and would have to start all over again,” explains Alli.

“Now she speaks fluently and loves reading more than anything else. She has a whole bookshelf full of books and she loves it! The improvement has been phenomenal…she is proof of the benefits of therapy.”

To find out more about speech or occupational therapy services at Rocky Bay, call our friendly Customer Engagement team on 6282 1900, or click here to visit us online and explore our range of therapy services.

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