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The first national approach to supporting children with developmental delay or disability

Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has marked the first nationally-consistent approach to supporting children with developmental delay or disability by the release of the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach.

Under the ECEI approach, a child and their family will be referred to a specialist early childhood access partner to discuss their needs and determine the appropriate supports to help them achieve their individual goals.

The ECEI approach can be summarised as follows:

  • The family meets with an experienced early childhood intervention service provider (access partner) to discuss their needs.
  • The access partner determines the appropriate supports for the child and family, short to medium-term supports or longer term intensive supports. This may include information services, emotional support or referral to a mainstream service.
  • The access partner will assist a child and their family if they need more intensive supports, then complete a support plan and submit it to the NDIA for approval
  • Once the plan is approved, the family can choose the early intervention provider(s) they wish to work with and the support begins.

NDIA Chief Executive Officer, David Bowen, said evidence shows that timely support for a child with developmental delay before the age of six can significantly change that child’s developmental trajectory and overall quality of life.

“The whole premise behind the NDIS is that each person is treated as an individual, receiving support to meet their unique set of needs, wants and goals to achieve the best outcome for them,” said Mr Bowen.

The ECEI approach is currently being trialled in the Nepean Blue Mountains region and will be rolled out nationally.

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Image: SuSanA Secretariat – flickr

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