The first years of life are a critical time in a child’s development. All young children go through the most rapid and developmentally significant changes during this time. During these early years, basic physical, cognitive, language, social and self-help skills lay the foundation for future progress, and these abilities are achieved according to predictable developmental patterns.
Children with Down syndrome typically face delays in certain areas of development, so early intervention is critical.
Early intervention involves a program of therapy, exercises and activities designed to address developmental delays that may be experienced by children with Down syndrome or other disabilities. The goal of early intervention is to enhance the development of infants and toddlers and help families understand and meet the needs of their children.
How can parents benefit from our Early Intervention program?
Early intervention provides parents and caregivers with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and support their child’s growth and development. The program teaches parents how to interact with their infant or toddler, how to meet their child’s specific needs and how to enhance development.
DSSA offers a range of services to support the growth and development of children in the early years. The program reflects a family centred approach to Early Intervention providing home visiting, Early Intervention playgroups, assistance with individual plans and accessing community and education services.
Pre- and post-natal visiting in the hospital and for home, free of charge
Pre and postnatal visiting in the hospital and home for babies and children to provide family support and information about the medical conditions and other developmental issues associated with Down syndrome and related developmental conditions.
Click here for Prenatal diagnosis information.
Early Intervention Parent Support and Information groups for 0-6 year olds, free of charge
The Early Intervention Parent Support and Information group is facilitated by DSSA education and disability consultants with expertise in early intervention. The group meets twice a term in a community location and is suited to families with new babies and children under school age with Down syndrome, developmental delay and other chromosomal differences. The group provides an opportunity for: play based early intervention; family support; networking and obtaining information on community activities; getting started and working with the NDIS; understanding associated medical conditions; feeding, speech and language development including signing; motor skills, cognitive and social emotional development.
Pre-kindergarten support to facilitate a successful transition to preschool or childcare
Consultants provide a pre-kindergarten program to enhance the development of routines and behaviours that are necessary for a successful transition to childcare, preschool and school. Support can be provided to the education service during transition and once attending in the form of resources, strategies, curriculum planning and professional learning for staff.
Support to navigate the NDIS
Support is available to help you to navigate the NDIS and provide you with information on how to get your child on an NDIS plan.
Expertise is available to help you understand your child’s NDIS plan and help you to get started with services.
Please click here to download the DSSA Services brochure.
Please click here to download the Getting started – The early pathway for new babies with Down syndrome.