Cuddly kids enjoy picnic

Speech pathologist Amber Wakeham, Kate Parry, Emma Barnard and Andy Parry were all on the hunt for teddies.
Speech pathologist Amber Wakeham, Kate Parry, Emma Barnard and Andy Parry were all on the hunt for teddies.

ANDY Parry was on the hunt for the cute and cuddly hiding out at the teddy bears’ picnic.

The picnic was held in the Lions Park last week for families with a child suffering from spina bifida, with an occupational therapist, speech pathologist and physiotherapist from the Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus association in attendance.

The group of specialists made the annual visit to the Central Highlands to meet with families and interact with the children in their own environment.

Occupational therapist Therese Dwyer said the group was visiting Emerald, Barcaldine, Blackwater and Middlemount during its one-week stay.

“We get to see them in their own home environment and in the community,” she said.

“We also met with people who support them.”

While here, they will also meet with local therapists and education staff who normally look after the children to give specialised support, information or answer questions.

The association has been of particular help to Emerald’s Parry family whose 13-month-old son Andy has spina bifida.

Mum Kate said she and her husband Jason discovered Andy had the condition when she was 20-weeks pregnant with him.

Three days before she gave birth she rang Spina Bifida Hydrocephylus Queensland to find out a bit more about the condition.

“We didn’t know what to expect so I decided to ring up,” Kate said. “The next day they were up at the hospital with information. They were support for what to expect.”

Andy’s condition has stabilised and now he only has to visit the doctor and a number of specialists every six months.

“They are reassurance that you are doing the right thing or give advice on how to do things differently if needed,” Kate said.

“He is doing really well, we treat him like our other kids - he gets just as much attention and is just as special.

“He is cheeky, cuddly and gets into everything.”

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