Dog-Assisted Therapy: A day in the life of Bazza

By Marnie Adams, Contributor @ Kids In Perth 21 Apr 2023

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Photo/Video Credit: EverAbility Group, VisAbility, Kite's Children's Therapy, Guide Dogs WA | YouTube

If you’ve ever had a pet dog, you’ll know all about the joy they can bring into your life. It’s no wonder that Dog-Assisted Therapy is becoming increasingly recognised as a great way to support autistic children.

 

Kites Children’s Dog-Assisted Therapy, based in Victoria Park, uses highly trained dogs to deliver creative ways for children to reach their own goals.

 

Make no bones about it (no pun intended), the star of the program is Bazza, a six-year-old black Labrador!

 

Bazza has received training to a high standard because of Kites’ partnership with Guide Dogs WA. Each Dog-Assisted Therapy session lasts one hour and involves a child, an occupational therapist, a therapy dog and a parent or carer.

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Photo/Video Credit: EverAbility Group, VisAbility, Kite's Children's Therapy, Guide Dogs WA | YouTube

What does a working day look like for Bazza?

Charlotte is the first client to arrive.

The five-year-old struggles with emotional regulation.

Bazza’s gentle nature encourages Charlotte to nurture and stroke him, eventually brushing his fur.

Charlotte’s mum comments on how the sessions improve her daughter’s confidence, supporting her to remain calm in social situations while developing her fine motor skills.

Next in is Alfie. His dad says he has difficulty expressing himself and with communication. Alfie builds a natural bond with Bazza.

He enjoys watching him flick pages of a book with his nose. Aflie dresses Bazza up in costumes encouraging him to talk.

The last client of the day is Oliver. Non-verbal, he has a great fear of dogs.

Occupational therapist, Kate, brings along a variety of toys that Bazza can activate using his nose.

Kate shares interesting facts about dogs, such as the webbing between Bazza’s toes which sparks Oliver’s interest. By the end of his last session, Oliver lies next to Bazza, cuddling, stroking and petting him.

 

Interested in learning more about dog-assisted therapy for your child?

Simply email hello@kitestherapy.org.au or visit www.kitestherapy.org.au

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Photo/Video Credit: EverAbility Group, VisAbility, Kite's Children's Therapy, Guide Dogs WA | YouTube

Learn More | NDIS Tips

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) experts at EverAbility Group have provided some great tips below.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian government-funded program providing support for individuals with disabilities to live independent and fulfilling lives.

 

Tip #1: Research your Service Provider

Choose a reputable, NDIS-approved service provider who provides the services your child needs. You may be able to speak with a therapist to help you plan for the appropriate hours, sessions, and level of support that your child needs.

 

Tip #2: Make sure the service provider is NDIS-approved

Not all service providers are approved by the NDIS, so make sure that your service provider is NDIS-approved to avoid out-of-pocket costs. You will often work with a Key Worker at your service provider. Use the knowledge of your Key Worker to help you understand the different types of funding available and how your child can benefit from them.

 

Tip #3: Be aware of the service provider's qualifications:

Parents should ensure that the service provider has the necessary qualifications and experience to provide the support their child needs.

 

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Photo/Video Credit: EverAbility Group, VisAbility, Kite's Children's Therapy, Guide Dogs WA | YouTube

 

Tip #4: Approval for NDIS funding may take some time, and a lot of providers have waitlists.

You may be able to join the waiting list while you wait for funding approval.

 

Tip #5: Make use of the regular Plan Review process.

Each year the NDIS reviews the child's support needs. If you would like to apply for more or reduce your therapy or services – now is the time to do it. Speak with your therapist and complete the appropriate paperwork with your Key Worker.

 

If you want some support to talk things through, reach out to EverAbility Group.

The WA-based group is home to Kites Children’s Therapy - including Dog Assisted Therapy and Autism Assistance Dogs, VisAbility low vision specialist child and youth services and Guide Dogs WA.

The range of services under one roof makes the Victoria Park team a smart choice for Perth parents because they are NDIS approved, have experienced and qualified professionals, and provide a personalised and inclusive approach to therapy.

Helping parents to ensure that their child's needs are met in a holistic manner and beneficial access to NDIS is maintained.

 

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Photo/Video Credit: EverAbility Group, VisAbility, Kite's Children's Therapy, Guide Dogs WA | YouTube

Children & Youth Services / Therapies

Early Intervention

Early childhood (0 – 6 years) is a period of rapid growth and learning.

Your child may be at developmental risk if they don’t have learning opportunities that cater to their vision impairment needs.

VisAbility's services can help young children living with low vision to:

  • Learn early movement skills such as sitting, crawling and walking
  • Learn independence skills such as dressing, toileting or brushing their teeth
  • Regulate their emotions and express themselves
  • Eat and drink safely, including finger feeding and how to use a cup and cutlery
  • Communicate their wants, needs and preferences
  • Transition to school

Group Programs | VisAbility

For younger children, these include:

  • VisAbility Playgroup – WA’s only playgroup, specifically for children who have vision impairment
  • It Takes Two To Talk – step-by-step learning to become your child’s most important communication teacher.

For school age children, these include:

  • Fitness, Food and Fun – physical activity and healthy living for kids of all ages
  • Look Good, Feel Good for Teens – learn how to put together a great outfit, apply make-up and more.

Therapies

VisAbility & Kite's Children's Therapy

  • Dietitian
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Speech Therapy/Pathology
  • Social Work

VisAbility

  • Assistive Technology
  • Orientation & Mobility
  • Orthoptics

Kite's Children's Therapy

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Online Therapy
  • Dog-Assisted Therapy

Locations | Kite's Children's Therapy

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Photo/Video Credit: EverAbility Group, VisAbility, Kite's Children's Therapy, Guide Dogs WA | YouTube

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About | EverAbility Group

Learn all about the EverAbility Group and its diverse therapy services.

EverAbility Group is a Western Australia-based organization that offers a range of services to support people with disabilities, including Kites Children's Therapy, VisAbility low vision specialist child and youth services, and Guide Dogs WA.

They are NDIS approved, have experienced and qualified professionals, and provide a personalized and inclusive approach to therapy.

EverAbility Group is committed to empowering people with disabilities to live fulfilling and independent lives, while also supporting their families and caregivers. Their services are designed to meet the individual needs of each client and help them achieve their goals.

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Home to the following organisations:

Kite's Children's Therapy is a WA-based therapy group that offers comprehensive and individualized therapy services to children with disabilities. With a team of experienced and qualified professionals, they provide dog-assisted therapy, autism assistance dogs, and a range of low-vision specialist child and youth services. They are NDIS approved and offer a personalized and inclusive approach to therapy.

VisAbility is a leading not-for-profit disability service provider in Western Australia. They offer a wide range of support services, therapies and programs for people of all ages with disabilities. Their vision is to provide a world where people with disabilities are included and valued, and they work hard to make this a reality.

Guide Dogs WA provides a range of services to enhance the independence and mobility of Western Australians with blindness or vision impairment. These services include guide dogs, mobility aids, orientation and mobility training, and occupational therapy.

Social Feed | EverAbility Group

Stay up to date by following the EverAbility Group

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Contact | Make Enquiry

Have questions about NDIS or looking for a supportive community?

Get in touch directly with the EverAbility Group or sign up for their newsletter by submitting a form below.

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Kite's Children's Therapy

(08) 9311 8222

16 Sunbury Rd, Victoria Park WA 6100

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday | 8:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday, Sunday | CLOSED

kitestherapy.org.au

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(08) 9311 8203

61 Kitchener Ave, Victoria Park WA 6100

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday | 8:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday, Sunday | CLOSED

everabilitygroup.org.au

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