13-year-old Dee Key lives with cerebral palsy and has been accessing a wide variety of therapy and support services from Novita and Novitatech during the past 12 years, which have resulted in her achieving many exciting goals and leading a more independent life.
Dee was one of the first kids to benefit from the NDIS when it was rolled out in South Australia in 2013, allowing her to access daily support for her physical and intellectual needs including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy, social work, orthotics, wheelchair and seating services, and Novita’s group therapies.
For the last three years, Novita physiotherapist Katherine Padget has worked with Dee on a weekly basis, either in the pool for hydrotherapy, at school, or visiting her at home, which has helped Dee to achieve her mobility and independence goals.
“Dee has been able to achieve some exciting goals that she had been working towards in our sessions,” says Katherine.
“During the July school holidays Dee took part in the Holiday Hustle program, where she was able to make huge progress at things like walking with her new walker, turning around in tight corners by herself, and getting in and out of her wheelchair independently.”
During much of her life Dee has continued to access Novita’s services and her mother Melissa Key credits Dee’s incredible progress to the knowledge and passion of Novita’s therapists.
“From the beginning, all of the therapists have been wonderful to Dee and myself, they connected me with other mums in the community so I didn’t feel alone, and every time we transitioned to a new therapist, it’s been really smooth,” says Melissa.
“Even though I was sad when a therapist moved on, new therapists were always just as amazing – I don’t know where Novita finds all these incredible therapists, but they are just fabulous and they care so much.”
Dee has now progressed even further than her therapists anticipated, including walking up steps in the pool and in the gym unaided, putting on and taking off her jumper five times in succession, cutting up food with a knife and fork, and achieving a personal best distance using her independent walking.
“One day during the Holiday Hustle program, I came to collect Dee in the afternoon and the staff showed me this video that they’d taken of Dee walking up some steps in the gym on her own,” explains Melissa.
“I was completely shocked when I saw that footage, I just couldn’t believe she was able to do it herself.”
Melissa says Dee’s exceptional development and success in achieving her goals is due to the extra support, time and effort that Novita and Novitatech therapists give to their clients.
“It’s really great that all of Dee’s therapists make the sessions fun, even when they’re not fun at all because they’ve got to work so hard – we’ve really appreciated that,” says Melissa.
“We’re now working with a variety of Novita therapists who are supporting us to find Dee an appropriate high school, for which we feel very fortunate.”