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Portage - views how it helped please...:o)

(12 Posts)
Barmymummy Fri 11-Sep-09 21:36:27

I came across a leaflet today at my DS's playschool saying about portage available.

There was a number on it asking for volunteers to do home visits, really struck a chord with me that I might really like to do that. I have read so many comments on here saying how wonderful portage has been but to be honest I don't really know what it involves.

Could you tell me what they did and why it was so helpful to you? Thanks!

mysonben Fri 11-Sep-09 22:48:56

bump

tapdancer Sat 12-Sep-09 09:39:17

I don't know if this helps but my son had portage when he was diagnosed with MLD. He attended the local nursery for an hour a week and met with the portage teacher. She would do some work with him and then give us homework for the week. She was such a lovely person and helped us to help our son. For us it was good to go out to the nursery, especially as he went there before being diagnosed with ASD and transferring to an MLD school. Where I live it is now called Children Achieving.

I think you would get great satisfaction from seeing the changes in these children, and seeing the joy in the parents' faces in the small things they achieve.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 12-Sep-09 09:43:13

I think it very much depends on who the portage worker is - I had a lovely one, who really built my and my son's confidence with fun games. But a pal of mine had a useless one, who tried to pretend she was doing more than just teach him to play - I think she felt she was actually the borough's main autism professional, which just wasn't the case. I think you should do it - for some mums, it's the only lifeline they are offered in those awful, lonely early months straight after diagnosis.

Marne Sat 12-Sep-09 13:54:46

I love our portage worker, she has been great at helping dd2 settle into nursery, and from next week she is going in to see dd2 at nursery once a week as dd's key worker is on holiday. She gives us advice on local groups, plays with dd2 when she comes to the house (dd loves her bag of goodies), she is helping me to decide what school to send dd2 to next september and i find it nice to have someone who understands (someone to talk to).

I would love to be a portage worker.

2shoes Sat 12-Sep-09 14:08:57

didn't help us at all, we got an under qualified, volunteer basically who came and set impossible tasks for dd to do, I ended up feeling like shit and was glad when we gave up on it.

meltedmarsbars Sat 12-Sep-09 16:47:21

we had several portage workers, all the lessons were based on small steps and targets, and all were set at achievable levels, its a targetted way of helping your dc to learn at their own rate. Its good for kids who don't learn easily. A portage leader met with me and dd2 and any appropriate professionals and set lessons, only a couple at a time. Lessons were weekly, half an hour or so, with homework (repeats of the lesson).

donkeyderby Sat 12-Sep-09 17:04:08

I found some of the targets difficult - mainly because I think I was depressed and had been set so many targets by other professionals that I was sinking under the pressure, especially as my son was very disabled and didn't do much. I used to pretend I had done some of the stuff I'm embarrassed to say.

What I found really helpful was that my Portage worker (a paid worker, not a volunteer) listened to me carp on about my woes and was very knowledgeable about numerous services locally. She was a great source of information and a very skilled listener. I have great respect for the way she worked with me.

2shoes Sat 12-Sep-09 17:35:58

might have been paid, I just assumed she was a volonteer

jasdox Sat 12-Sep-09 21:36:05

My experience of portage was absolutely great, but I guess like most things it is down to the individual. We had it once every two weeks for 1h, from jan-aug. First time she brought a few things to see what level ds was, then planned sessions round that. She had a visual board on velro so he knew what was coming and she always organised 6 activities for up to 50mins, last 10mins writing up sessions. For example one game, a large wooden chair, she gave ds a dog and said 'under chair', initially he did not understand, but she took his hand and placed it under the chair, then over again with other items, over, in front etc for a few items, following week it was a house, and ds put object under the house - it was wonderful to see. She did colours (to begin with matching colour object to correct coloured card), numbers, jigsaws, threading, role playing - set up a park scene with duplo, see if he could put a girl on the swing etc, by the end of time with her, memory games, taking turn games, rolling balls to each other.

He loved the sessions and would run to the door when he heard it knock shouting her name and drag her to the table we set up for them to work at. So by the time she left, he was a much more confident boy, learnt to concentrate, answer 'what' questions. She had amazing patience and when he had a tanturm and throw things around, she manage without really doing anything to calm him down and he picked up the objects he threw and they carried on. The tantrums decreased. He was not really talking when she started and I'm certain she help bring that on.

She also always spoke to me and we discuss things that might work or not - and would find info out, and came up with suggestions which was lovely. Also gave us pecs card for daily activities eg. toilet, teeth cleaning etc, but we could give them back when she left as he fine with that now.

sorry bit lengthly, but to me it was fab, and we both really miss it now. Now he knows his colours, numbers, taking turns, sharing and answering qus - well sometimes. The main thing they tailor it to the child not to the condition.

Barmymummy Sat 12-Sep-09 22:09:14

Hmmm....seems that they were all proper paid up trained professionals so I am wondering what the volunteers do hmm Will ring them Monday and find out.

Thanks ever so much for your feedback, would love to support the mums if nothing else smile

donkeyderby Sun 13-Sep-09 10:06:53

Our Portage service had two or three paid workers and the rest were volunteers. We just happened to get a paid worker

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