Environmental Choices

Where you live can have a significant impact on what you do with your time? Yet for some families they spend considerable amount to time within their homes and may not be able to use their back or front yards. The physical layout of a home can help promote certain types of activities over others. The size of the internal rooms of the home and the size of the individuals bedroom can have an impact. If you are a collector do you have enough place to keep your personal belongings? If you are someone who needs to move do you have furniture that is safe to be around when you are moving at speed or attempting to hang upside down on things? That furniture might be safe and have a good layout when you’re a preschooler but as a teenager or young adult who still needs that level of movement does that work? So is this Leisure or is this healthcare?

What leisure options are we able to provide to kids who abscond? When they need strong high fences with good gates at home? What happens when they eat non food items so that they can’t play outside because of the risk of hospitalisation? How does that impact on their leisure options? On the options for supervision by their parents? On the time demands of their parents?

What are safe places for individuals with high intensity needs? How do you manage a group of friends with a mix of differing needs who like going to the same venues but struggle with being on the same equipment at the same time? How many adults do you then need to supervise everyone? Or do you make a choice not to go? Being able to express yourself visually to others so that your communication during each task may not be present. Some individuals can easily hide how they are feeling to ensure that they participate in the group experience. Detailed analysis is necessary to know what is being experienced based on the goal of each individual in that circumstance and for the group as a whole. Discrepancies can occur with some students searching for environmental choices. However, for those who have a high interest in exploring options around them they may already have very specific knowledge about what they enjoy and don’t enjoy and what they already know is safe or not safe for them to participate in. Learning how to identify risks is an important skill for individuals when being out in public with NDIS support workers. Emphasis on choice an control forces individuals to consider how they want to use their NDIS funding. Their ability to work through each of the factors that influence a successful outing versus an unsuccessful one are skills that need to be developed and supported in detail by working with the Occupational Therapist and their family. For example:

Taronga Zoo – map

Sydney Aquarium – map

Darling Harbour – Children’s Playground

Raging Waters Sydney – map

Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre

Time of the day and time of the year are very important for some families with how long they have and how much traffic is around both physically from people and in how long it takes to get to the place you are spending the day at.

Demands to stay longer at a place may not be about transition difficulties but may be about how frequently you get to actually visit a place in the first place and how long it will be before you can return.