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Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024

Blog - 25 March 2024

Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024

This week marks Neurodiversity Celebration Week, a time to recognise and embrace the diverse range of neurological differences among individuals.

Our award-winning CARE Program is tailored to support children with additional needs. Through CARE, we aim to foster neuro-inclusivity within our communities and ensure every child feels a sense of belonging in our services. A central part of our CARE Program is providing our educators with training and resources to better understand neurodivergent conditions such as Autism and ADHD guided by evidence-based approaches. We offer e-learning modules and support from our CARE Team and Inclusion Support Specialists. Our collaboration with experts from the National Outside School Hours Services Alliance and state-specific inclusion agencies guides our evidence-based approach.

Matt Worpel, our CARE Liaison Assistant, emphasises the importance of understanding neurodiverse children, “something that might not seem like a big deal to us can disrupt an entire routine for a neurodiverse child, and we need to be able to support them in those moments.” Our services support children by identifying and using strategies that ensure they feel safe and included. Inclusive activities include sensory play and toys, quiet zones and resources like weighted blankets and body socks.

Lisa Mollison, our CARE Program Manager, highlighted the broader impact of understanding neurodiversity, “when we as educators and role models understand how neurodiverse people see the world, we can adapt our behaviour and use strategies, to allow all children to participate, have a sense of belonging and thrive.”

Since the program began in 2019, our CARE Program has made significant progress in fostering neuro-inclusivity, with over 2,000 children benefiting from strategies put in place by our CARE Team and Inclusion Support Educators (ISE) and additional resources in services. Our commitment to inclusion-ready care is reflected by over 35,000 ISE shifts made available across our services since January 2020.

Alison, a CARE Program Assistant, reflects on the impacts of individualised approaches: " All children deserve to feel included during their time with us. Providing children access to support and resources can improve their confidence, skills, and the ways in which they enjoy their time within the care environment.”

As we continue to improve our OSHC services, we remain dedicated to delivering the inclusive care every child deserves. By promoting inclusivity and embracing neurodiversity, we can create environments where every child can thrive.

Camp Australia collaborates with several inclusion agencies across Australia. Find out which inclusion agencies we work with here:

KU Children’s Services

VIC KU Children’s Services, Community Child Care Association, Yooralla

SA Gowrie SA

WA Communicare

NT Early Childhood Australia

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