Ashleigh accesses Gaming Therapy from Christmas Island

By Therapy Focus

Whether you’re ‘near, far or wherever you are’ our Gaming Therapy can access you anywhere. Just ask 12-year-old Ashleigh who has been joining Gaming Therapy online, from the comfort of her Christmas Island home!

Ashleigh Collis has lived on Christmas Island, with her mum Jacki, for a few years. As much as the pair love the Island life, accessing regular therapy can be quite the challenge with limited Island-based facilities.

Ashleigh had been seeking support for her autism spectrum disorder that couldn’t be provided locally. That’s when she was linked with Therapy Focus Advanced Speech Pathologist Holly Pearse who does regular trips to Christmas Island to provide much-needed services.

Holly, and her teammates from Therapy Focus, make regular trips to the Island, however, things like weather or pandemic restrictions or a lack of availability for appointments due to high demand means Ashleigh can’t see Holly as regularly as she would like. This is when Holly suggested Ashleigh try out Gaming Therapy online.

Customer Ashleigh accesses Gaming Therapy on her laptop.

Pictured: Customer Ashleigh Collis

Therapy Focus uses the popular online game Minecraft to deliver the therapy. It supports children and young people with disability to connect with others while working together to achieve therapy goals. It’s delivered in both a face-to-face and online format, which works perfectly for remote customers.

Ashleigh has taken to the online sessions like a duck to water. She has participated in 2 blocks of Gaming Therapy run by Holly and Therapy Focus Advanced Speech Pathologist and Gaming Therapy Facilitator, Callum Senyard, over the past 6 months.

“I have been playing Minecraft for over six years and I love it. When Holly suggested I try it for therapy I was very excited” Ashleigh shared.

“I find [Gaming Therapy] really fun. I get to meet new people who are like me and play with others who know how to play the game. I can’t play with many people on Christmas Island”.

Jacki said Gaming Therapy is helping Ashleigh achieve her goals much quicker and the biggest benefit she is noticing is that Ashleigh is doing therapy in a fun way that doesn’t “feel like” she is doing therapy.

“Ashleigh is really loving Gaming Therapy. She is improving in her communication, she is engaged in the group and it’s teaching her to understand social situations from other people’s point of view, which helps her communicate”.

“Every Wednesday she gets so excited about the session. She is constantly asking me when she can log on. She loves seeing Callum (Therapy Focus Advanced Speech Pathologist and Gaming Therapy Facilitator) and connects with him so well. She also sees Holly online during some sessions and loves it” Jacki said.

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