Evan's Story

Evan's Story  
Evan is an engaging 14 1/2 year old who loves scoring goals for his school basketball team. He is also a wonderful example of the positive outcomes achieved where a collaborative relationship exists between the Heartwell team and their corporate sponsor group.

Evan's participation in the Heartwell Program would be beyond our means without the financial support of key corporate sponsors. We are so grateful that compassion and consideration for those less fortunate is part of Melbourne's corporate culture. Having spoken with a number of different sponsor companies, the engagement with these special children is clearly very rewarding. Without this corporate sponsorship Evan would not have made the gains we see now, culminating in his ability to participate in a basketball match and feel part of a team of peers. It is a win-win relationship.

Evan's development since birth has been and continues to be severely compromised by uncontrolled epilepsy, intellectual disability and physical dyspraxia. Whilst all of these conditions have hindered Evan's general development, the dyspraxia (i.e. his inability to learn by observation and his poor fine and gross motor skills) has had a significant impact on his ability to participate in physical activities and to feel confident in socialising with his peers. As a family we are eternally grateful to Evan's Occupational Therapist for his referral to the Heartwell Program. The opportunity to participate in the Heartwell Program has been a life changing experience for all of us. Evan has built a strong relationship of trust with Scott and enjoys his twice weekly sessions enormously. The big smile at the end of each session is so rewarding.

Scott has been working with Evan to build physical strength and flexibility in addition to focusing on particular gross motor skills. He began with the skills required to climb a ladder so Evan would be safe in a children's playground. Each skill to be taught is broken down into tiny steps and each of these steps practiced repeatedly until the particular step is intuitive. The step is then used as a building block to the next skill. Evan is now able to safely access playground equipment and he is using the learned skills in his social engagement with peers at school and in participating in his weekly basketball game.

Whilst Evan has been working with Scott on a one-to-one basis, he has also had opportunities to engage with other children in the program, and has clearly benefited from this social interaction.

The benefits of the Heartwell Program are many and varied and continue to evolve and manifest themselves in different ways. The program's benefits extend far beyond the confines of the sessions themselves and well beyond their focus on physical skills. More power to the program and long may it run!

Christina (Evan's Mum)

 

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