OUR LITTLE FOREST
Little Forest Centre aims to facilitate communication and learning for children with a variety of severe communication and developmental difficulties. Specialised teachers and an individualised curriculum allows for children to learn and grow within their capabilities.
At Little Forest Centre, each child is treated holistically and according to their individual needs in order to reach their full potential.
It has been a long-term dream of mine to open a centre like Little Forest. After practising speech therapy for over 18 years, I have realised that there are very few facilities that offer services which can educate and stimulate children with special educational needs. Many schools offer remedial and bridging services which follow mainstream curriculum but at an adapted pace, or
are stimulation centres. I wanted the in between. A loving and caring facility that parents can confidently leave their children to be facilitated in reaching their potential, whatever that may be.
“No matter how bent a tree may be, it still continues to grow, and if supported properly, can grow strong and steady.”
Classes and teachers
This class is aimed at Early Intervention and focuses more on structured play to allow our young one’s to reach their goals rather than Academic work. The teacher is an Occupational Therapist and therefore incorporates elements of fine motor, gross motor and cognitive stimulation into the everyday classroom routine. This classroom incorporates experiences such as sensory play, water play and explorative play to allow the children to freely engage and learn from their surroundings.
BSc in Occupational THERAPY
My passion has always been children and I have developed a specific interest in Autism. I have done multiple courses including DIR floor-time level one, Sensory Integration level one and a hands-on Autism Course. I love my job because I get to help develop the young minds of our children and watch as they grow from strength to strength. It’s a privilege to be able to help the children grow to the absolute best potential that they possibly can achieve.
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”
8 years of experience working with children with special needs. Throughout the years I have grown my skills to include peg feeding which I do everyday for students in my class. I have worked with them one-on-one and can assist in small group lessons. I love what l do because it has taught me to be more patient. I have developed a love for these children and can see myself doing work like this for the rest of my life.
“You don’t have to be crazy to work with kids but they will teach you to be”
The Otter Class is our new Communication Skills class. This class is guided by a speech therapist and an assistant with eight years of experience in Makaton sign language. This class incorporates all methods of communication so that learners can express their needs and wants in which ever method they choose. We aim to to develop children’s speech, language and communication skills, focusing on each child’s individual strengths.
HONOURS IN SPEECH AND LANGUAGE
Speech therapy is a work of heart. The small successes and progress make what I do so special. It’s when the individual with a brain injury says “I love you” to his family members again or when a child swallows his first solid at the age of 6. That’s what makes me love what I do. That’s what makes it all worthwhile!
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
8 years experience of working with children with special needs
I am qualified in peg feeding, the use of Makaton sign language and implementing mobility exercises to immobile kids. I love what to do because I always learn new things everyday. Every day is completely different from the other.
“If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn”
In our Vocational Skills Class we expose and train our children to specific vocational skills and skills related to our Activities of Daily living (ADL) as well as Instrumental Activities of Daily living (IADL). This is to facilitate independence and nurture skills that can be potential work opportunities for our children. I facilitate learning of concepts (such as numbers, letters, and words) by utilising a multisensory approach, understanding the developmental nature of learning and grading the activity to each child’s level. Routine, visual cues, as well as implementing sensory regulatory measures aid the classroom environment in being supportive and inclusive to facilitate learning in children with special needs.
3 years work experience teaching kids with special needs.
l love my job, especially taking care of children, teaching them how to read and to write. Working with these children allows me to love them and help them with everyday tasks.
” When it comes to children with special needs there is no ‘one size fits all’ “
In the Academic Foundation class we transition to paper based activities and begin learning in a group setting. Activities are transitioned to a structured table top setting allowing for our children to learn in a more conventional setting in preparation for a higher learning environment. Our lesson plan incorporates letters, numbers, colours, shapes and the world around us.
BA Honours in Psychology
I have a passion for facilitating the development of people. Instilling a sense of meaning,
discipline and responsibility to help people reach their potential. I have an interest in Autism, parent support and aspire to become a clinical psychologist.
“We are all made of star stuff”
8 months experience with children with special needs.
I really love my job because I each day I learn many things about special needs kids and I know that they can also learn something from me.
“Success Isn’t About How Much Money You Make, It’s About The Difference You Make In People’s Lives.”
In the Rabbit class we focus on Pre-primary Functional Academics. Our Literacy work is at a Pre-Primary/Grade R level, and includes language and functional reading as well as handwriting and all fine motor and gross motor skills incorporated. In Mathematics we learn functional mathematics that will incorporate life skills – money, telling time, measurements, comparisons and shapes. We have our fun during life skills, which includes circle group time where we join along and sing songs to the week’s theme as well as learning about our calendar and weather. We learn a lot about social skills and group work during our activities and teach our kids the importance of love, friendships and respect in the classroom. We set out time during the day to engage in structured playtime as this is just as important as learning for the children.
BA Psychology and Linguistics
PGCE in Training
Teaching children has always been second nature to me. It is where my passion lies. I may not
change the world but I am definitely shaping the lives of all my children which will make such a
difference in this world. I love all my children dearly and cannot wait for our class to grow.
“Always have courage and be kind”
7 years of experience working with children with special needs. I love teaching kids and helping them discover their passions. A highlight of my job is celebrating every milestone our children reach.
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique,just like everyone else.”
Our Greater Forest
ONSITE SPEECH THERAPIST
BA Honours Speech and Language Pathology
I started working at Little Forest Centre in April 2021 and these lil ones have changed my life in so many ways! Every day is an adventure.
Being a speech therapist means advocating for our kids and making sure they have a way to communicate their needs & wants, something that is specific to each child.
“Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don’t fit into boxes.”
Administration and Marketing
BA Honours MPM
My background is in storytelling and media creation. Throughout my life I have always felt a pull toward children with special needs and have been driven by the gross absence and mis-representation of people with special needs in our popular culture. I have worked with children with Autism and CP before and have experienced the pure magic they hold first hand. I am incredibly honoured to be doing my part in capturing our Little Forest and getting to know our special children better each day.
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”
1 and a half years working with Children with Special Needs. I have gained more knowledge from these children than they have probably gained from me. Over this time working together, we have grown to love one another. I really do love spending my time playing and caring for these children, making their learning space beautiful everyday.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
I have been driving children around for just over 10 years. Everyday is a new adventure with them. Probably my most favourite thing is joking around with the children on the way to school, it allows me to brighten up their day just that extra little bit.
“Children don’t need more things. The best toys a child can have is a parent who gets down on the floor and plays with them.”
LITTLE CRITTERS OF LITTLE FOREST
Alfie has been with us since he was a puppy. At Little Forest centre we believe in the importance of Animal assisted therapy. Therapy dogs are used to support children with social and emotional learning needs. Animal assisted therapy can teach empathy and appropriate interpersonal skills
which can help individuals develop social skills. Animal assisted therapy can be soothing and improve an individual’s skills to pick up social cues imperative to human relationships. Therapy dogs and the presence of animals at Little Forest is an important part of our therapeutic learning environment.