What is ODEEP?
Orange and District Early Education Programme (ODEEP) is a community based and family - centred early childhood intervention service for young children with disabilities or delays in their development, their families and their community. ODEEP provides a range of services and programs, working with families of infants, preschoolers and primary school aged children who are having difficulty developing the skills they need to play, move, talk, eat, learn and socialise. Our therapy areas include Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Dietitian, qualified Special Educators and family support and counselling.
Early Childhood Intervention aims to help families:
Understand their child's strengths, interests and needs
Recognise the skills they have, and gain new skills to help their child
Gain the confidence to work with professionals on equal terms
Gain the knowledge to make the best decisions for their child
Meet with other families of children with disabilities and or developmental delays
A Team Approach
ODEEP is fortunate to have a team of Allied Health, consisting of Speech Pathologists, a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapists, a Dietitian, Family Support Worker and Special Educators who have many years of experience working with young children and their families. Rather than working with children in isolation, staff members work in collaboration with each other, families and other professionals to enhance optimum learning opportunities for the whole child.
ODEEP’s team of educators and allied health staff work using a transdisciplinary model. This means that each family relates to one of the ODEEP staff as their key worker who is responsible for collaborating with the family and the rest of the team to provide services. Staff members make a commitment to teach, learn and work together across disciplinary boundaries to implement coordinated services. For example, a family may be seeing a Speech Pathologist who is also including the intervention strategies suggested by the Occupational Therapist for developing fine motor skills and the problem solving strategies suggested by a Teacher during her speech and language sessions. The following are brief descriptions of each discipline's particular expertise as a guide to help in understanding the role staff may play in the child's development and in overall service provision.
A Speech Pathologist works with children and their families to identify and enhance their communication skills. Your child might see a speech pathologist if they are having difficulty:
understanding what people say
saying what they want to say
being understood by others
speaking like other children their age
using social communication skills e.g. eye contact, gestures
with feeding and swallowing.
Special Educators have post graduate qualifications in special education and have a detailed knowledge of child development and learning. Since learning begins at birth in all these areas, Special Educators are able to be involved in developing sequential programs through play to enhance a child's natural learning progression from birth. This involves assessing a child's needs across all areas of learning, identifying how this child learns best, then developing individual programs based on play.
In early intervention Special Educators may work with small groups of children, with individual children or at other early childhood services such as preschool to implement these programs.
An Occupational Therapist aims to restore, enhance or adapt the child's abilities and functioning within the family, at school, with everyday activities and play.
They possess detailed knowledge of child development and are able to carry out assessments in the areas of cognitive development, self care skills, play, movement, sensory-processing and hand skills.
You may speak to the Occupational Therapist if your child is having difficulties with self care activities such as dressing, bathing, toileting, eating, sensory - motor skills and play skills such as drawing, cutting, catching balls and doing puzzles.
A Physiotherapist possesses detailed knowledge of child development and are skilled in assessing and treating movement and posture problems.
You may see a Physiotherapist because:
your child is slow to achieve major movement milestones such as rolling, sitting, crawling and walking
your child feels too 'stiff' or too 'floppy' or dislikes being moved or your child strongly favours one side of the body
your child appears clumsy, or has trouble with ball skills, coordination and balance
your child shows poor posture when sitting or standing.
A Physiotherapist can carry out movement and posture assessments, and subsequently devise a program for a child's individual needs including purposeful play with toys, balls, climbing and balance activities. We can teach parents/carers how to encourage normal movement in everyday situations, as well as being able to advise them on suitable equipment, footwear and toys for their child.
A Dietitian works to improve overall health and well being by translating the science of nutrition and feeding into practical everyday advice about eating.
A Dietitian can help your child with the following:
growth concerns (i.e. under or overweight)
allergies and sensitivities
fussy eating and feeding difficulties
gastrointestinal disorders such as coeliac disease, IBS, IBD or other digestive problems.
Early Childhood Intervention Assistant
The early childhood intervention assistant works closely with all staff and families. The position aims to support the teachers and therapists in the implementation of family-centred early childhood intervention. The early childhood intervention assitant is trained in and experienced with early childhood education which includes understanding child development.
The Office Manager in an Early Childhood Intervention centre mainly has the responsibility of financial duties including payroll, accounts, depositing monies received from various sources such as donations.
The administration assistant may perform any other duties as required. This may include assisting in the compilation and distribution of the newsletter and any other important correspondence for families.