HERE TO HELP: The Tamborine Mountain State School have started up a unique program for kids.
HERE TO HELP: The Tamborine Mountain State School have started up a unique program for kids. Ashleigh Howarth

Safe space to provide children with the therapy they need

KNOWING some kids need to have a chill out space where they can talk to a friendly face is what prompted Fiona Fragakis to start up a Kids' Therapy Club in the Scenic Rim.

She got together with some industry professionals to create the club, which is located at Tamborine Mountain State School.

The new facility will provide a wide range of affordable services which will allow children with special needs, various mental health disorders, and those who just need to talk about their problems, have access to different therapy options.

The facility features three different rooms, all of which have specific purposes.

As you enter the first room in the building, the first thing to catch your eye is the giant built-in swing. As your eyes continue to wander around the room you will see baskets and baskets of toys and books.

”The first room is an occupational therapy room and this will be where the kids go through a lot of therapy practice for sensory issues, for their gross and fine motor planning skills, for self regulation and more,” Ms Fragakis said.

The second room has more of a office like feel, but is warm and inviting with two big couches.

”This is our psychologist, speech and family room,” Ms Fragakis explained.

”This is where the children come and do their child psychology and work on their speech.

"It is also a space where we will run small groups for social play, which is very important for children who suffer with their social skills.

"Some might not be good at taking turns with other children, or responding to others around them, so here is where we will help them with those skills.”

The third and final room is the cosiest of all. It features big comfy pillows, lamps with fish floating in them and a built-in bookcase which features a wide array of story books.

"This is the sensory room, which is a space for the children to come in and relax and do some mindfulness time,” Ms Fragakis said.

"The space has been designed to be visually captivating. It's a sensory wonderland, and that's what these kids respond to.

"Our psychologist said the kids really respond amazingly well in the sensory room because they really do relax in here and they get over their anxiety.

"The kids just love it.”

The great thing about the Kids' Therapy Club is that it is open to every child in the Scenic Rim.

"The club is not just for the kids of the school. It's a separate enterprise which works with the school. It's for the children throughout the entire Scenic Rim,” Ms Fragakis said.

"Kids are welcome from everywhere because there are no programs like what we have here around the place.

"We have turned every stone and made this as affordable as possible for families.

"A lot of our programs are also available through Medicare and bulk billing.

"We also have a lot of funding for people who have concession cards and healthcare cards, so we really are doing the best we can to ensure every child has access to the therapy they need.”

While the Kids' Therapy Club has only been operating for a few short weeks, Ms Fragakis already has some bigger plans for the facility.

"My ultimate goal would be to have respite here for families who need it,” she said.

"I want the space to be available for mums and dads to have a space where they too can come and relax.

"We are also building a network of special trained baby sitters who can look after kids with special needs.

"We just want to change lives. That is what we are equipped to do.”

For more information about the Kids' Therapy Club and the services they provide, log onto www.ktclub.com.au or send an email to fiona@ktclub.com.au.



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