One of our Recreational Therapist, Karlie Scurr, and Group Day Program Manager, Matt Rawlings, are hard at work, constantly finding new ways to level up our Group Day Program streams.
“At Therapy Care, we lean on evidence-based practices and embrace innovation to improve the capacity of all of our participants.
Our risk-managed, forward-thinking Group Day Program is built to bring joy, challenge participants socially and increase their skillset,” says Karlie.
Our Saturday Social Skills Day Program group recently went on an expedition to Taronga Zoo.
“The objective of the excursion was to expose our participants to the benefits of animal-based therapies and interventions.
Animal-based therapy has so many benefits, including decreasing stress and lowering blood pressure. Animals can serve as a source of comfort and support, reduce loneliness, and increase feelings of social support,” says Karlie.
“The main benefit of animal-therapy we focused on during our trip to the zoo, was enhancing language development. We achieved this by promoting vocabulary and concepts by adding context.
“At each exhibit participants were asked thought provoking questions about each animal, for example, where they think they might live in the wild,” says Karlie.
Integrating animal-therapy into the day program roster of activities has benefits and challenges. To ensure it, and other activities in the program continue to be beneficial, we closely observe each participant during all group outing interactions.
Therapy Care 15-year-old participant, Jenzell, has a limited vocabulary and can have difficulties expressing his needs. Jenzell is living with autism and displays behavioural outbursts and withdrawal in group settings and.
“When introduced to the animals at the zoo, Jenzell initiated a lot of appropriate physical interaction, and connected with animals on a deep level. It was great to see Jenzell so energetic and stimulated by all of his surroundings. Jenzell worked well within the group, listening to all staff directions and was ecstatic to see his favourite animal, the elephant’ says Support Worker and Allied Health Assistant, Jai Satorre.