Angus was two when he started in Murray House. He had had a tracheostomy tube since birth to relieve breathing difficulties due to chronic lung problems, which was removed after he had been with us for about two months. At first Angus received most of his nutrition via a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube, which is a plastic tube that is put directly into the stomach through the skin through which a liquid formula is administered.
The Infants’ Home’s Health and Early Childhood Consultant Meryl Burn works collaboratively with Angus’s health care professionals, his parents and educators to ensure that his additional needs are met, and to support his participation in all aspects of the daily education and care program.
Angus’s PEG meal times at childcare were scheduled for the same time as the other children’s meal times so that he could be a part of this important social experience, and the other children would sit with him to chat and read books while he received his formula.
An important goal for Angus is to eventually be able to receive all of his nutrition orally, and he is well on his way to achieving this important milestone. While he continues to have PEG feeds overnight, Angus now eats regular meals during the day, and just 50 per cent of his nutrition is received via the gastrostomy tube.
Angus moved to Robinson House’s preschool program in January this year, and despite being a little overwhelmed at first by the size of the centre’s outdoor space, it didn’t take him long to adjust. He is now a keen participant in all that happens in the busy learning environment, whether it is riding bikes, playing soccer or making pretend cakes in the sandpit. Centre director Louise Doolin says that the children in the centre are genuinely inclusive of Angus. “They don’t see any delay or difference in him – to them he’s really just one of the crowd”.
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