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Infant (0-5)

 photo of mum and 2 little girls

Having a child is an exciting and special time in your life. It can also be a rollercoaster of emotions and feelings when you learn or recognise that your child has additional support needs. You are probably wondering where to go from here?

If you have concerns about your child’s development, discuss your concerns with your GP and/or early childhood nurse. You will probably be referred to a Paediatrician who will discuss your concerns and may refer you to a service such as DSA Specialist Intervention Services to complete an assessment that will assist the Paediatrician to make a diagnosis.

It is now widely accepted that children with a diverse range of abilities and additional learning needs really benefit from early intervention, the sooner the better.

What is Early Intervention?

Early Intervention is about being able to access specialised supports and services for your baby or young child who has a diverse range of abilities and additional learning needs.

Getting the support you need to be involved in the activities and experiences that children and families can enjoy will help your child to connect with other children and to learn new skills. This will help them as they transition through the life stages.

How do I know what is right for my child?

An effective early intervention plan will be family focused, well structured and based on best practice.

Your child might be developing differently from other children, but will reach their own goals and milestones. Try and focus on the positives and progress you and your child are making. Celebrate their successes and milestones.

Getting to know other parents who are in similar situations could be a great help. There are many support services and groups for families and siblings who are having the same or similar experiences as you, such as playgroups, culturally specific support groups, associations specific to your child’s support needs, social, recreation and leisure groups as well as workshops. DSA can help you link with these services.

It’s important that you look after your health and well-being. Try to stay positive about the future. It is important that you build informal networks such as friends, extended family and make connections in your community as they will be able to help you and provide supports now and in the future.

Once you have established you are eligible for a funding package you could use your funding to purchase a range of therapy services such as Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy (OT) and support with problem behaviour. The funding package can also be used to purchase aids and appliances including communication aids.

You could also use the funding to purchase respite or flexible family supports so you can have a rest (time for yourself) and also have an opportunity to maintain your relationship with your partner, family and friends. If you have other children it will also allow you to have quality time with them. Think of respite as a positive support, think of it as “time for me, time for you.” A break from each other is sometimes the recovery that you need to maintain resilience in you caring role.

DSA can help you find the right combination of services to meet your child’s and your family’s support needs.

DSA has a skilled and experienced team who can offer you Early Intervention and therapy services that are:

  • Person and Family Centred
  • Culturally sensitive and safe
  • Developmentally Appropriate
  • Co-ordinated
  • Technically Competent
  •  Interpersonally Competent

DSA has:

  • A team experienced and skilled in providing Early Intervention
  • A history of facilitating early intervention groups and workshops for children as well as workshops for parents
  • Experience as a current provider under the Helping Children with Autism Initiative and the Better Start for Children with a Disability Initiative
  • Experience in supporting people and their family/carers to self-direct their packages
  • Trained staff
  • Modern, bright and engaging facilities
  • Modern and up to date workplaces
  • Staff from different cultural and religious backgrounds
  • An Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer
  • Technology in place such as video conferencing that means we can provide support to people who are geographically isolated, time poor or live in remote areas
  • Effective and accountable practices in place for managing your funding

For more information, contact us on 1300 372 121 or email customerconnections@dsa.org.au

Ruby's story

Ramesh and Layla have a four and a half year old daughter, Ruby. They noticed her showing signs of delayed speech development and some behavioural outbursts, among other issues. Ramesh and Layla took Ruby to their Paediatrician who referred Ruby to a DSA Psychologist and DSA Speech Pathologist for an Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) Assessment. Ruby's assessments were returned to the Paediatrician for a diagnosis, and she was diagnosed with Autism.

Ramesh and Layla contact the Autism Advisory Service - click here to be directed to the AAS website

Ruby is accepted into the Dept. Families, Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) " Helping Children With Autism" initiative.

Through DSA Ruby accesses Speech pathology and Psychological Services with Early intervention funding. Ruby’s family can access the additional 20 sessions under Medicare as they require them.

Last Modified: 19/10/2017 10:56 AM