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Speech Pathologist sits at her desk, smiling at the camera

WITH Telehealth consultations moving into the spotlight due to COVID-19, health and wellbeing organisation IWC is utilising the option across a wide range of services during the pandemic.

“Psychology, Dietetics, Speech Pathology, Exercise Physiology and Physio are all offering Telehealth sessions during this COVID-19 situation, as well as our GPs and Specialists,” said IWC General Manager Wayne Mulvany.

“In this way, we support continuum of care during this crisis period for all people. Some patients and clients may find it useful – in conjunction with face-to-face consultations – after the pandemic crisis is over.”

Speech Pathologist Anna Bennett, who recently joined the Pivot21 operations at the IWC Health & Wellbeing Complex in Bundaberg, says Telehealth can be a positive option for younger clients with ASD or ADHD.

“When working with children with ASD and ADHD, research shows that treatment by Telehealth can be effective in the delivery of Speech Pathology therapy,” said Ms Bennett, who is registered with national peak body Speech Pathology Australia (SPA).

“Many of the activities are designed to be delivered by a parent or carer in their own home with the client, and Telehealth means they can learn in an environment that they are comfortable and relaxed in. This may lessen anxiety and have a positive effect on the child’s learning.”

Ms Bennett said that pre-preparation was a key component.

“Before the Telehealth consultation, I send through all the activities so they can be printed out and read through BEFORE the session. This gives us a head start. The client and their parent or carer come to the session prepared,” she said.

“Telehealth can deliver a good outcome in the way the client and the parent or carer absorbs information, and it also empowers them around taking control of their own therapy activities.

“Overall, children may be more settled in their environment, rather than trying to explore the room and seek other distractions, as they will in a new place. And let’s not forget – children love technology! So even post-pandemic, it may be an option ASD / ADHD clients wish to incorporate into their home treatment program.”

The Pivot21 Speech Pathology service is available to adults, teens, children and babies.

“I see my role as helping individuals communicate about their needs and rights, and that is empowering for my clients,” said Ms Bennett.

The IWC Health & Wellbeing Complex has continued to keep its doors open, and onsite appointments also are available for medical and health services, including IWC Dental Practice.

“Additional screening, cleaning and certain restrictions are in place, but IWC is here for our community during this difficult time,” said Mr Mulvany. “Our staff are doing an outstanding job, and as an organisation we are putting the safety and health of our people and our community at the centre of all operations.”

IWC is non-government, Aboriginal community-controlled and a registered charity, offering a holistic whole-of-person model of care for all people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The IWC Health & Wellbeing Complex is at 184 Barolin St, Bundaberg. Call 1300 492 492.