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For Children Under Six

The early years of a child's life are critical for their developmental health, and accessing appropriate services and resources during this time can help promote healthy growth and development, setting the foundation for lifelong well-being.

Does your child already have a diagnosis?

We will review young people that already have a diagnosis. These are mostly seen in our Developmental Paediatric Clinics. We do not provide allied health assessments or therapy for children with a confirmed developmental/disability diagnosis. We usually liaise with the clinicians your young person is already linked with or arrange extra assessments using your NDIS funding. Rarely, we may refer internally for allied health assessments if there is another developmental diagnosis in question.

  • Please ensure you forward us a copy of previous documentation confirming this diagnosis.
  • Ensure you are registered for the NDIS ECA Program so that you can access therapy and supports.
  • If you are not eligible for NDIS ECA please see our resource page.
  • If your child attends childcare, talk with them about accessing Inclusion Support Program for your child.
  • Register for the Special Needs Library – they provide extra toys and resources for children with special needs.
  • Consider enrolling your child in an Early Childhood Development Program (ECDP) ECDPs are services that support children who have been identified as meeting the guidelines of a diagnosed or suspected disability. ECDP services are delivered by special education specialist staff with support from other Department of Education and Training Specialists and Therapists. Most programs offer a centre-based service located at a school. All services are free. When the children reach their prep year, they are supported in their transition to their local school setting.
  • See our resource page for extra information on recommended Support Services and Parenting programs. 
Is your child eligible for the NDIS?

The NDIS Early Childhood Approach (ECA) Program is a nationally funded scheme to support people with disabilities to meet their goals.

Services and supports, funded through the NDIS, can include therapy and equipment to increase your child’s ability to do activities they need or want to do throughout the day and support to enable participation in activities/childcare

Our Local ECA Providers are:

Provider Contact Details
Early Childhood Approach (Uniting Care) Gold Coast 1800 543 354
UnitingCare.EarlyChildhood@ndis.gov.au
Early Childhood Approach (EACH) Scenic Rim / Mt Tamborine 1300 003 224
NDIS Early Childhood (Northcott) Northern NSW 1800 118 481
Benevolent Society South East Queensland: Logan City, Redland City, Brisbane City and Moreton Bay Regional Council areas

1300 00 ECEI (3234)

The Raising Children’s Network website has great information about the NDIS.

More information about how to find a private therapist is also available.

What happens if I'm not eligible for NDIS?

More information about how to find a private therapist is also available.

Consider accessing the local University Clinic options.

If you have Private Health Extras Cover, discuss with your provider if they will subsidise services.

Please note, our service will help with diagnosis for your child, but we have LIMITED capacity for therapy - we help you to find this support locally in your community.

Does your child have behaviour difficulties?
  • There can be various reasons why your child has behaviour challenges. We suggest discussing this with your GP/Child Health team to determine which therapists would be most helpful in your situation. We highly recommend booking an appointment to start receiving support, even before we see you.
  • We advise booking a session with your local Child Health team to arrange supports near your home. Your child may be eligible for their Early Intervention Parenting Support Service or other programs they are running.
  • Consider attending a Behaviour Program
  • Register for Early Childhood Approach (ECA) funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). They will help fund therapies needed to support you and your child.
  • Your child may be eligible for Medicare Care Plan options that could help subsidise the cost of therapists. Please discuss this with your GP. These include:

Potential therapists that can help in this area are:

  • Speech Pathologist: Can assist your child to develop their communication skills - both verbal and non-verbal i.e. Gesture, facial expression and body language.
  • Psychologist: Can work with you to help manage your child's behaviour, mood and emotions.
  • Occupational Therapist: Can assist your child develop their muscle skills, self-care skills (eg dressing, toileting, bathing, eating, sleeping), social and emotional skills and will help you to understand how sensory input effects your child.

Private therapists can be found here or consider accessing the local University Clinic options.

Does your child have speech and language difficulties?
  • Check out our Talk With Me! and Speak With Me | Gold Coast Health resources
  • We advise booking a session with your local Child Health team to arrange supports near your home.  They may be able to complete an initial language screen for your child.
  • We recommend a Speech and Language screen be completed by a Speech Pathologist.  They can assist your child to develop their communication skills - both verbal and non-verbal i.e. Gesture, facial expression and body language.
  • Options to help support funding of this include:

Private therapists can be found here.

Does your child have mealtime difficulties?

There are different approaches to supporting children experiencing mealtime difficulties. A Responsive Feeding Approach is the initial approach typically used by our team when supporting young children and their families with mealtime challenges. Responsive Feeding values the relationship between the caregiver and child and respects their individual roles within the mealtime.

  • See your GP to arrange review of your child's:
    • Growth (height, weight and head circumference) - plot these in your red book.
    • Check for any nutritional deficiencies that may need to be addressed (blood test including full blood count, iron studies, vitamin B12 and folate).
    • Address any possible underlying medical concerns including constipation, intolerances, reflux, ear/nose/throat-related concerns (e.g. recurrent tonsillitis, enlarged tonsils/adenoids, snoring, mouth breathing)
  • We advise booking a session with your local Child Health team to arrange developmental screening and discuss other available supports.
  • Attend our Navigating the Maze of Mealtime – Carer Education Session.  Many of the strategies used within our clinic are introduced in The Mealtime Puzzle caregiver education session. CDS Mealtime Allied Health Clinics frequently run a caregiver education session (2 hours) providing key information around common aspects and strategies used to support children experiencing mealtime difficulties.  This session provides initial support and guidance for families whilst they are on the waiting list for the CDS Mealtime Clinic.  Any caregiver of a child experiencing mealtime difficulties is welcome to attend, regardless of whether their child meets criteria for accessing support through the CDS Mealtime Clinic.  Register to attend by phoning 07) 5687 9183 (Press Option 2).
  • As waitlists for our service can be long for this issue, there are also Private Allied Health Services offering mealtime support in the community.  Options to help support funding of this include:
  • See our resources section.

 

Is your child starting Prep next year?
  • We highly recommend enrolling your child in a Kindergarten program the year prior to Prep.
  • We suggest touring schools local to you to determine the right fit for your young person. State Schools are catchment driven so depend on your location. School catchment areas.
  • Talk with your Kindergarten about your child’s strengths and challenges (ideally early in the year prior to starting school). See if they have any suggestions on supports required for your family prior to this transition.
  • Some children will need more support to transition well to school. They can have an individualised Tailored Transition for starting school. This is a plan for your child’s individual needs and strengths, worked out by your child’s care team (you, and other people who work with you and your child e.g. Early Childhood Education teacher, schoolteacher, therapists, Child Safety Officer).
    • Please talk to your educators at Kindy, and the Principal at your new school, about arranging a Tailored Transition Plan.
    • You can also contact the Tailored Transition team at tailoredtransitions.SER@qed.qld.gov.au
  • See our resources section
Have you accessed your local community supports?
  • We advise booking a session with your local Child Health team to arrange supports near your home.
  • Consider attending a local play group e.g. Play Matters. There are playgroups available that specialise in children with all disabilities (e.g. MyTime)
  • Attend some of your local library sessions e.g. Rhyme Time.
  • Consider enrolling your child into a childcare/daycare program – this can be a powerful therapy tool for a lot of children.
  • Consider accessing one of the support services or attending one of the parenting programs we recommend.
Do you or your child identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?
  • Consider talking with your local Kalwun service (07 5578 3434) about services they can provide you.
  • If your child is under 2, contact Waijungbah Jarjums (07 5687 9851) about services they can provide you.
  • They have access to therapists and doctors, including Paediatricians. They also offer hearing and vision testing.
Does your family require extra support (For example, relationship difficulties, financial challenges)?
  • Please ensure you discuss your individual needs with your GP so a specific support plan can be made.
  • For Crisis Support – refer to our list of Emergency Phone Numbers.
  • Contact Family and Child Connect on 13 FAMILY (13 32 64) or by completing their online referral form. They offer free support to help with a range of family and parenting challenges.
  • If you are having relationship challenges, contact Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 to find the most appropriate support service close to your home.
  • If you require mental health support, we recommend accessing the Head to Health website that links Australians to free or low-cost online and phone mental health services.
  • Consider if you could access Supporting Minds - Wesley Mission Queensland has been commissioned to deliver two service streams of 3-month, moderate intensity Psychology Support for:
    • Adults (16 years +) experiencing situational distress (homeless or at risk of homelessness, have domestic violence issues, have current legal procedures pending or are in significant financial hardship  
    • LGBTIQAP+: people (12-65 years) who identify with the LGBTIQAP+ community and/or are questioning sexuality or gender identity.
  • Talk with New Life Care community support service.
  • Consider accessing one of the support services or attending one of the parenting programs we recommend.

Last updated 13 Jun 2024