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CEO 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 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.
Lisa* is 17 years old and she grew up experiencing severe physical and emotional abuse. She was hit, slapped and forced to perform physical labour. When she came to Act for Kids, Lisa was initially seeing our psychologist where it was identified that her poor communication skills were impacting her social relationships and she was referred to our speech pathologist as well. As a result of her abuse, Lisa is very shy and withdrawn and she suffers poor self-esteem because of her struggles to communicate.
" Sadly, Lisa was severely delayed across all areas and her lack of communications skills were heavily impacting her emotional wellbeing. "
Our Speech Pathologist worked with Lisa and conducted assessments to determine the developmental level of Lisa’s communication skills. Sadly, she was severely delayed across all areas. Together, Lisa and her therapist decided that improving Lisa’s conversational and social skills would have the most impact on her wellbeing and they set out some therapy goals to track Lisa’s progress. In sessions they focused on skills such as eye contact, turn taking, asking questions, making comments and extending and ending conversations appropriately.
The breakthrough moment
Throughout Lisa’s therapy journey, she recorded some of her sessions and would listen to them back with her therapist and discuss her progress. At the end of one of these sessions, Lisa exclaimed “I can talk!”.
Now remember, Lisa is 17 years old and until only recently, had felt like she wasn’t able to talk properly. Many other teenagers her age were working part time jobs, finishing up high school and heading off to university but this poor girl, never got the nurturing, or the support or the encouragement that other kids receive. Instead she somehow made it to 17 without learning how to properly interact or communicate with those around her…
" "I can talk?!" "
Now, Lisa is getting ready to transition out of Act for Kids’ services as she will soon be turning 18. We are working to connect her with other services so she can continue her communication development. Lisa’s aspiration is to attend TAFE where she can utilise her improved communications skills to have conversations with her teachers and other students and make friends. Something she never could have done without your support….
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child protection Australia 2016-7
" Of the more than 50,000 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.
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
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.
Five-year-old Maddie was physically, emotionally and verbally abused by her parents from birth, witnessing severe domestic violence and substance abuse, including Ice.
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.