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 Matthew. Matthew.
13 October 2021 Posted by 

Western Sydney service helping people with disability to live big

INSPIRATION | DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
ACHIEVING milestones looks different for each person.
For Matthew, a 33-year-old Western Sydney resident living with Down Syndrome, it was about making improvements to his muscle tone and being able to communicate his needs to the friends, family, and carers around him. 
 
“Two years ago, Matthew found it challenging to hold and grip things, making it difficult to pick items up and function to his full ability. In addition, he had limited speech, so I was looking for ways to support him in overcoming his communication barriers,” says Debbie Sturdy, Matthew’s mum.
 
“I came across and contacted an organisation called LiveBig that looked like they could help. They provide disability support services in Western Sydney.”
 
LiveBig is a specialist allied health and assessment services provider for people with disability, including those on an NDIS plan. Their goal is to simplify the process of accessing support services at home, via telehealth and in the community. 
 
After Debbie contacted LiveBig, Matthew was assigned an Occupational Therapist and Speech Pathologist from the LiveBig team.
 
Matthew’s Occupational Therapist Fiona was able to evaluate his needs and select the correct treatment and delivery method, which was centred around fine motor skills. 
 
Not long after the initial assessment, he made great progress in building hand strength and his ability to grip had improved phenomenally. 
 
Some of the activities Matthew can now complete confidently include making shapes and figures with play-doh, using tongs, tearing and gluing and more.
 
Needs and wants
 
Together with his speech therapist Cheryl, Matthew established goals within his NDIS therapy plan, which aimed to develop his functional language skills and continuously improve communication. 
 
Cheryl assisted Matthew through increasing coordination in his mouth to form words, while also showing alternative communication techniques such as sign language to express his needs and wants.
 
Collectively, the progress he has made in Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy has allowed Matthew to become more independent and better care for himself.
 
“We couldn’t be happier with the service and with our Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist. Fiona and Cheryl are great at working with Matthew, and even if he tries to be silly, they’re firm with him and support him in getting back on track. He loves his therapists, and LiveBig has been really great for him,” says Debbie.
 
LiveBig is an Arriba Group company that was recently named ‘Most Innovative Healthcare Company 2020’ by AFR BOSS. 
 
CEO of LiveBig, Marcela Romero, says she started the organisation because she saw a gap in the provision of quality and transparent allied health services for people with disability.
 
 
“It is fantastic that we can work with people like Matthew, and his family, in Western Sydney to improve his every day quality of life. It makes my heart sing!” finished Ms Romero.
 
Visit: www.livebig.com.au


editor

Publisher
Michael Walls
michael@accessnews.com.au
0407 783 413

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