Arul Hamill and Lucy CharlesOccupational Therapists | Paediatric OT, Auckland, New Zealand

    Lucy Charles and Arul Hamill are both Occupational Therapists with over 25 years-experience working with children in a number of different health, educational and private settings in New Zealand. They run a private practice in Auckland (Paediatric OT) with a small team of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. They also do work in the Pacific Islands and run multidisciplinary assessments nationally. They support families who come from the Pacific for medical services to New Zealand.

    Arul and Lucy are passionate about hearing the child and family’s voice, journeying alongside families and focussing on occupation centred outcomes that build on individual’s strengths and enable participation in their lived environment. A key component is meeting and matching families where they are at and respecting their values, culture and life capacity at any given time. . They work with many families from all walks of life with a range of developmental needs including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Neurological conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Chromosomal anomalies and much more. They have been integrating the Hauora into their practice which is a Māori view of health unique to New Zealand, and covers the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs that everyone has. Māori believe that each of these 4 concepts supports the others. This aligns with the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and the F-words, developed by Dr. Peter Rosenbaum and Dr Jan Willem Gorter at CanChild Canada.

    Lucy and Arul built on this work and their knowledge of coaching tools and techniques and developed the “F-Words Life Wheel” in collaboration with Kelly Reynolds Physiotherapist from Kidsplus Australia and CanChild Canada over the past 2 years. The F-Words Life Wheel is an approach and a way of thinking that facilitates conversations, interactions, engagement and goal setting for children and their families to enable them to have a voice. They have taught the “F-Words Life Wheel”, Knowledge Translation and Clinical Reasoning workshops for Paediatric Therapists in New Zealand. They have also been teaching Occupational Performance Coaching courses (developed by Dr. Fi Graham) in NZ and internationally.

    Presentation | The F-Words Life Wheel: Bringing a Bio=Psychosocial Approach and Coaching Together to Engage Families of Children with Developmental Needs

    Lucy and Arul will share some of the frameworks and approaches that underpin their practice and way of thinking.

    Reflecting on the worldwide influences such as the Sustainable Development goals (United Nations), World Health Organisation, International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), CanChild F-Words for Childhood (Dr. Peter Rosenbaum and Dr Jan Willem Gorter) and Coaching approaches and how these influence our way of thinking?

    The F-Words from CanChild provide a meaningful language to facilitate conversations and interactions with children and families, which shifts the focus from a medical model to a biomedical model of care, focussing on occupation and participation. The F-words Life Wheel uses the F-Words and coaching models to form a connection with families, develop productive and trusting partnerships that empower families and build capacity. It helps to establish what is happening for the child and family right now, what is important and helps envisage goals for the future that are important to children and their families. They will explain how it can provide a voice for both children and their families. This is particularly pertinent during this changing climate, given that children and families’ perspectives and capacities are changing daily. The medical profession have textbooks and families have stories. How do we listen to the child and family’s story? and how do we empower families on their own journey without throwing out the textbooks or our clinical reasoning?