Mackay parents welcome school holiday program

Multicap’s successful Avegates School Holiday Program expanded to north Queensland earlier this year to deliver specialised support for children with disability and peace of mind for parents.

Now offered in Mackay and Rockhampton, the program was developed with NDIS goals in mind and offers new daily activities and experiences to encourage all attendees to enjoy their school holidays.

Avegates Programming Manager Claire Merifield-Whan said the program was expanded to northern cities in June as a result of multiple requests from families in the northern QLD region to open the program in their area as they were desperate for options for their children during the school holidays.

“Our experienced Disability Support Workers and specially recruited Teachers Aides from local special schools, deliver the program and we’re pleased to have received positive and supportive feedback from parents,” Claire said.

Oliver, seven years old, attends the Mackay District Special School and has participated in the past two school holiday programs. His Mum, Annalyce is thrilled to have found something that works for their family.

“Oliver has severe autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) so can be a handful, but the Multicap team were so good with him every day,” Annalyce said. “They created a safe environment where he could be both comfortable and engaged.”

“I could tell that he enjoyed himself. Oliver has a bag of animals that he has for comfort and can be quite protective of them but throughout the program, he would regularly have them scattered over the floor allowing other children to play with them.

“We also really appreciated the communications from Multicap. They provided daily photos and feedback so that we could see how he participated in activities that we never would have imagined could be possible, such as helping to make cookies and eating them afterwards!

“I could see how the staff were playing with him and interacting with him. Originally, I was worried that they may not be able to understand Oliver, but they did and were able to manage situations to make him uncomfortable.

“If Multicap couldn’t handle him, he wouldn’t have anywhere to go. I’m happy to say that he will be joining the Avegates School Holiday Program until he graduates school,” Annalyce said.

The program is designed for children with disability aged 5-17 and aims to be fun and engaging, while also supporting social interaction, communications, life and independence skills – recognising that each child is at different stages in their life.

The program runs each school holidays operating out of schools in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Mackay and Rockhampton. For more information about the program, please visit our website.


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