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CEO Act for Kids
" Brodie was just four years old when he came to Act for Kids. He had lived through four long years of being chronically neglected by his parents. "
When a child is severely abused or neglected early on in life it can lead to a reactive attachment disorder. Children with this disorder are so disrupted they have extreme difficulty establishing normal relationships and attaining normal developmental milestones.
Brodie was just four years old when he came to Act for Kids. He had lived through four long years of being chronically neglected by his parents. His mum suffered from severe post-natal depression and the first six months of Brodie’s life were spent lying in bed next to his mother. There were no games or learning experiences in Brodie’s home. Dad was violent and had a drug problem, and mum’s poor mental health meant Brodie and his five siblings were left to their own devices. In a house full of people, Brodie was completely alone. He disconnected from his parents and his siblings essentially lost in his little mind. It was almost as if he was missing, even though he was standing right in front of you…
" Brodie had been diagnosed with autism before we met him and had severe developmental delays. "
He was placed into our Early Education Program, a special kindy for children affected by abuse and neglect to help him one day transition to regular school. To this day, he was one of the most delayed children we’ve ever seen. In class, he would rock back and forth, and the only words he could say were ‘tree’ and ‘bike’.
He wouldn’t look at his teachers or therapists or interact with other kids. He sought out no connection or interactions at all. He could barely understand the instructions given to him by his teachers and couldn’t express his emotions or needs through words. In addition to attending our EEP kindy, Brodie worked with our psychologist, speech pathologist and occupation therapist extensively for over two years.
Cautious and confused
Due to his severe speech and developmental delays, his therapists used lots of play therapy to build his communication and social skills and help him with this emotional regulation. His speech pathologist taught him gestures and used lots of visual aids to help him keep up at kindy and in therapy. Little bit little, we began to find Brodie.
" Brodie's first breakthrough happened his first Christmas in foster care. "
This particular year, Santa was visiting Act for Kids and giving the children gifts. At this stage, Brodie was halfway through his intensive therapy and was still very shy around strangers. However, upon seeing Santa, he just about knocked his therapists over to run over to Santa, jump in his lap and look straight up into his eyes. It was a big emotional breakthrough for a little person who had been through as much as Brodie had!
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child protection Australia 2016-7
" Of the more than 40,000 kids who experience substantiated abuse and neglect in Australia, the majority (48%) experience emotional abuse, followed by neglect (24%). "
Abuse and neglect can impact a childs brain development, how they feel and think about themselves, how successful they are at school, even their physical development and skills. In the long term this can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, difficulty developing and maintaining good relationships, unemployment and all sorts of social disadvantage.
Brodie continued to make fantastic progress over the next year and his shining moment was indeed his kindy graduation. He went from a lost little boy who could only say two words, to emceeing the graduation, complete with a microphone and all! He introduced all the songs and bossed the parents and carers around telling them exactly where to sit!
Soon after he transitioned to a school nearby and continued to be supported by Act for Kids to help him settle into a big school and help his teacher adjust to his developmental delays. By this time he was no longer diagnosed with autism and was simply a chatty, excitable six-year-old. Thanks to the support of Act for Kids’ generous donors, Brodie now gets a second chance at childhood… so thank you!
We can’t do this important work without your help. We rely heavily on donations to support our intensive therapy programs for abused and neglected kids, and early support for families at risk. Your donation will help us keep our doors open and expand our services.
Donations over $2 are tax deductible. Every donation, big or small, combines to make a real difference.CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW
Your generosity means we can continue providing our integrated therapy programs for abused and neglected kids, and support services for families.
Becoming a Kids’ Crusader and donating monthly is the best way to help us help kids and families – it means we can direct funds where they’re needed most and make the biggest impact over time.
As an employee, workplace giving enables you to make a regular donation to Act for Kids through your payroll, directly from your pre-tax pay. This means that you receive an immediate tax saving as it reduces your taxable income.
By leaving a bequest to Act for Kids, you can make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people who have experienced abuse and neglect. By including Act for Kids in your will, you offer a gift of hope to future generations and you will help us give abused and neglected children the chance to lead safe, happy and fulfilling lives.
Dr Neil Carrington
Act for Kids
17 year old Lisa grew up experiencing severe physical and emotional abuse. She was hit, slapped and forced to perform physical labour…
When authorities removed four-year-old Ava and three-year-old Zach from their parents, the siblings left with nothing but the dirty clothes on their backs.
Neglected and scared, four-and-a-half year old Lacey-Jane began running away from prep school.
At three years old Thomas could barely walk or speak, and his body was covered in scratches.