Supporting parents of children with sensory and nutrition issues

Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha Canterbury

Supporting parents of children with sensory and nutrition issues

Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha Canterbury is an innovative organisation always looking for new ways to help people be healthy and stay out of hospital. Taking this challenge full on for the younger generations, they set up a project to create three interactive resources parents can use to learn and support children struggling with nutrition and sensory issues.

The three resources – Nutrition Matters, Creating Positive Mealtimes, and Let’s talk about Sensory Processing – are free for anyone to use, and will help some people avoid needing a nutritionist or specialist in the first place.

Interactivity to engage and inspire

The key to addressing these topics was to include plenty of interactivity to tell the messages simply, but in an engaging and visual way. In this case, Articulate Storyline was the best authoring tool that gave us the freedom to design entirely for the content and not be constrained by the limitations some of the lesser tools have. It was fun for the learner to be able to go ‘grocery shopping’ and show that they could pick out the correct items, ones that are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients for children.

Interactivity keeps people interested in a resource, helps them remember what the key points are, and means they are more likely to recommend and share the modules with others.

Memory aids to take the learning into the home

Working through the module is one thing, and it’s designed to be easy to remember,  but you still need to jog your memory occasionally when you are on the go and you need to put the learning into practice. There’s nothing more simple than having a quick reminder or summary sheet pinned to the fridge, just in time when it matters! In one of the activities in Nutrition Matters, parents can choose foods their children will eat, might eat and are still learning about. Then, based on their own personal responses, they can generate a printable checklist to work on with their children.

Maintaining the attention

Sensory processing was a big subject to tackle, not least because the module covers all the sensory systems. Applying good instructional design techniques delivered the content in a variety of different ways, keeping people interested and making it easy to stay on track with the learning. We were able to take the learners through each sensory system, delivering a new and memorable learning experience for each one.

Bringing in the experts when it matters!

To respect our biculturalism, is important to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi. Using a Māori advisor from Te Whatu Ora – Te Waipounamu, we were able to introduce te reo Māori throughout the modules, making them more accessible to Māori speakers, and exposing a wider audience to te reo.

Putting experiments into practice

This project was the perfect opportunity for us to stretch Articulate Storyline to its limits. We were able to challenge our developers who responded admirably. They were able to create an interactive that took learner responses from the course into a printable document (a PDF). We were pleased to find a willing client in Te Whatu Ora who were happy to showcase this little used, but high value feature. Storyline never ceases to amaze us with it’s tips, tricks and hints!

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