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Rehabilitation - Page Two
Throughout our journey, I have always considered it very important that Jackson participate in age appropriate activities and that he be with other children living in mainstream situations. It has been important that Jackson have the opportunity to holiday with family and friends, go camping, experience crowds, go shopping and do all other activities families engage in on an on-going basis.
Our home, Kurrumin, is an Aboriginal word for 'reflections'. It provides a sensory garden, heated hydrotherapy pool, inground pool and wide passages and doorways. There is colour and contrast for people with visual impairment and many other sensory stimuli to assist Jackson. The design excellence is attributed to Lend Lease, a multinational company who showed a great level of understanding of what was needed. The house was designed to ensure that Jackson and other children with varying levels of ability who share our home have optimum opportunity to move around in an unrestricted environment.
The focus is on 'I Can Do' ......
We watch what he "can do" and develop these skills. Jackson's hearing is now acute and, like most young boys, he is much more interested in peripheral sounds rather than what is being spoken. His sense of smell is also very well developed.
Jackson's home-based rehabilitation involves daily hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech pathology. These team members take great care to co-ordinate Jackson's home-based program. They provide assistance with Jackson's day to day living and opportunities for him to become more independent. Jackson has tasks to complete just like other children, including learning to wipe up, wipe down his tray, washing himself, cleaning his teeth and putting things away after him.
Jackson has just learned to feed himself, albeit with much assistance to get the food on the spoon. It was only in June 1999 that Jackson held a half piece of banana and managed to eat it. Jackson's drinks are made to a 'nectar' consistency which assists him to swallow more easily, preventing choking.
Speech and Vision......
When a person has poor vision, learning to reach and grasp for 'cause and effect' is in itself a long process. Jackson is learning at his pace. He loves speed, and inspite of his quadriplega, he pursues sit skiing, swimming, sailing, scouts and surfing. He likes musical instruments and various tactile objects. However because he doesn't always see what he is doing with them, we have to ensure that he doesn't feel insecure, threatened or concerned when confronted with unfamiliar opportunities.
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