Help provide essential therapy for children like Zara

Zara came to us dealing with severe trauma, but under our care she's made a complete transformation.

Formerly House with No Steps and The Tipping Foundation

We’re creating 10 sensory rooms to provide vital comfort for children with a disability. Please help us.

Many of us remember childhood as the happiest time of life; a time of feeling secure, loved and cared for. Sadly, for many children, their reality is very different.

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, there are children who can’t stay in their family homes. We meet some of them here at Aruma. Children like 9-year-old Zara*.

Our Children’s Support Services provided a welcoming home for Zara when her family were no longer able to care for her. We were privileged to be there for her at this foundational time of her life. But seeing her struggle initially was heart-breaking, too.

Often, children who come to us have suffered deep trauma, and face the additional challenges of their disability. Our services provide them with a safe environment, and the tools to manage their strong and complex emotions. We also encourage lots of sensory play.

Girl smiling

Why sensory play?

Sensory play gives children with a disability immediate joy – and so much more. It’s vital to help facilitate their development, learning, and physical and emotional growth. For Zara, a safe place to call home and access to a sensory room has made a world of difference.

Zara has been coping with trauma and many other challenges, physically and emotionally, but in her 18 months with us, our staff have seen dramatic changes in her.

“We’re seeing her engaging and playing with other children like she couldn’t have done before. She’s feeling safe. She’s smiling, she’s laughing” – Birgitte Carmody, Children’s Services General Manager, Aruma

Sensory tools can distract, or soothe and calm children like Zara, providing a deep feeling of comfort and helping them regulate their emotions. Triggering the senses can also stimulate and energise, activating new pathways in the brain to encourage cognitive development.

Sticky, wet, dry, rough, furry, fuzzy, heavy, sparkly, bright – the opportunity to experience these sensations is vital therapy for young ones. And a sensory room contains them all!

Our goal is to install 10 sensory rooms in Aruma locations across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, and the ACT. It’s a big job, and it will be expensive as the equipment required is extremely specialised. But it’s much needed. Children like Zara really need your support now. Please donate now to help children like Zara.

*Her name has been changed to protect her identity. Image: Shutterstock