Miss Mary Mouth, our Speech Pathologist character at “Once Upon a Time Therapy” being part of our Phonic All Star series, is tired of the lip service from years of limited financial support when it comes to helping children who struggle with impairments affecting their speech, listening, language and literacy skills.
She understands the great benefit that speech therapy offers in helping these children to learn to develop and even correct their challenges. Written and spoken communication are so vital for a child to make their way not only through their education at school but also in finding their way to employment when they finish school. Unemployment, poor self esteem and reduced life choices are frequent end products of this limited support.
It is also known that 70 % of people who are in jail are illiterate which highlights the impact that this can have on the community.
What are the goals of Zip It UP for Kids?
1. Community awareness for communication impairment
Zip It Up for kids has a goal to educate the public of the extensive role of Speech Pathologist working in a range of areas that involve communication. We don’t only work with people who lisps or stutter as many may think. Nor are we limited to teaching “How Now Brown Cow” as elocutionist. Speech Pathologists hold a 4 year university degree or Masters equivalent qualifications in the fields that extend from training in anatomy, physiology, psychology, linguistic, audiology and neuroscience. This means they have the capability for diagnosing and developing correction programs for a range of communication impairments that are impacting on an individuals ability to speak (the pronunciation of speech sounds in words) , comprehend and process speech (auditory processing), construct language to express ideas and to read and write.
2. Sponsorship support for corrective therapy
“As an experienced Speech Pathologist providing 20 years support to the Gold Coast region I have watched these individuals continue to be the ones who miss out on funding support when they have correctable conditions that impact on their academic and personal lives significantly. In short, they are often the easiest to correct in therapy. This support goes a long way for these children as they reach their academic milestones and the long run of this can be a direct impact on their employment choices. This must be considered given the amount of support that is provided for people at the other end of society based on being unemployed due to communication and learning impairment. It has been frustrating to what these children miss out on this due to families being spread so thin financially to be required to fund this support. It is not a quick fix-but does require step by step layers of therapy over months and sometimes years…but kids that get the support make remarkable improvements and this is life changing for them.”
(Katrine Elliott-Speech Pathologist-“Once Upon a Time Therapy)
There are many conditions being funded that currently have no CURE… that by all means needs the support, however, what the public should know is that speech and language impairments have a cure. Speech therapy! So this is the driving force under Zip It Up for Kids.
Medicare will not achieve the goals
Presently, children with complex speech and language impairments are supported by medicare with a partial payment of $52 for 5 speech therapy sessions per calendar year to support the correction of conditions that require multiple sessions weekly over months to many years.
Miss Mary Mouth is interested in supporting children with speech impairments and wants to put the money where the mouth is and give little stars the chance to shine.
She is prepared to go through the ZIP IT UP challenge if it means raising funds to help kids achieve their communication goals.
How do I get involved in the Zip It Up challenge?
If you want to be involved in the ZIP IT UP for kids challenge it just takes wearing a ZIP and choosing whether you are going to “Zip It Up” for the day and to not speak or to “Have a Chat” and to be able to speak.
You decide on the time for your silence-whether this is an hour, a morning or a day. However, do remember that at the end of the Zip It UP experience- you get to choose to speak again normally. Children with speech impairments affecting their intelligibility to make their message understood … don’t. We should all be grateful for our ability to communicate and support those that do not have this natural capability.
The Zip It UP process
If you or your workplace want to be involved in this worthy and necessary program to raise funds and awareness for communication impairment then enter your details in the email collection porthole to the left. You will then receive information of how you can be involved which will involve us sending you your own ZIP IT UP or HAVE A CHAT package to get started. It’s simple…enter your details….receive your ZIP and get spreading the message the way that works-the ZIP IT UP way !!!!! Taking the experience is everything. Children’s packs are being developed and will be soon available for sponsorship for individuals and classrooms. Watch this space as we set our ZIP ARMY out to work and see how far these little blokes can take this.
The transparent distributions of the Zip It UP funds
Optimal Communications has chosen to take this mission on independently as a method of raising funds and delivering them directly to the community members who need these services. This is not a non-profit organisation but is an organisation that really cares about making differences and reaching the children and adults that require the support. The funds raised are to be managed in a transparent and disciplined way in a manner that minimises spending other than for it’s specific purpose being to support individuals with communication impairment. To enable this process to occur, Optimal Communications has volunteers to have transparent banking statements and distribution of support packages as evidence of goodwill and honest intentions of the value community funding received. Our goal is to get the funds directly to the children and families so they can get on with the job. If there is an implication that we have a conflict of interest…yes-you are right- we are conflicted that you are not interested in helping this very necessary support program that aims to support.
How to apply to be a benefactor of the Zip It Up support
Any individual can apply for support, however, they will require an assessment and recommendation from a Speech Pathologist who is a member of Speech Pathology Australia. Funds can be applied to a designated speech therapy treatment program, attendance at speech therapy groups or for the purchase of specialised resources and equipment recommended by a Speech Pathology directly in support of your therapy program. Specific discretion will be applied to funding individuals and circumstances that are not supported by other organisations (For example: Funding may not be available for a communication devices that could be funded by MASS funding/ Early years for Autism that is supported through FacHsia funding).
Here are some important people who really understand the fundamental importance of communication who have taken the time to tell you their story if you can give some time to listen.