At just 13 years of Age, Koby stands at an impressive height of just under six feet tall, yet it’s clear he still has a lot of growing to do.
I met Koby just minutes after he arrived home from Hunter River Community School where he participates in a special supported education class. With mum Kylie and older sister Shayla watching on, he was keen to get out to the back yard where his new trampoline has been installed thanks to LiveBetter’s charity “Fair Go for Kids”.
The trampoline looks bright and sturdy next to its predecessor, a much older, over-loved and broken-down model which has seen better days.
“He absolutely loves it” said Kylie as we watched on. Koby was quick to scramble up onto the tramp and knew the routine to zip closed the safety netting. Before long he was bouncing around happily.
Koby is diagnosed with Autism, Global Development Delay, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Processing Issues. He experiences heightened sensations with vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Being non-verbal, Koby uses a limited range hand gestures and noises to express himself during our meeting.
The trampoline was recommended by Koby’s Occupational Therapist as a way for him to soothe himself by the repetitive motion of bouncing and let go of excess energy. It also helps to keep him physically active in a safe, contained environment.
At one point he was lying on the tramp, enjoying the sensation of the cool rubber mat and soft mesh of the walls. “Knuckles?” I asked. I pressed my knuckles into the mesh and he met them with his own. We played knuckles for a while before moving on to a game of ‘high fiving’. He enjoyed the interaction, smiling and giggling as I walked around the tramp asking for more knuckles. We practiced some signs that Kylie taught me, one which meant “keep going”. Koby repeated the sign back to me, but wildly exaggerated, as if he knew I was just a learner.
It was a pleasure to meet Koby, mum Kylie and sister Shayla. It’s clear he is a well loved and supported young man. Fair Go for Kids donated the trampoline after Koby’s Support Coordinator Alison Ramoundos made an application on his behalf with support from his Occupational Therapist.
Find out more about Fair Go for Kids
Written on behalf of Fair Go for Kids.