NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention has Georgie on track

When Cowra mum Samantha Hill noticed her daughter, Georgie, had mild learning delays, her preschool educators confirmed it and referred her to Mission Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Early Childhood Early Intervention.

Now, the four-year-old is back on track, thriving and she no longer needs the support.

Mrs Hill said like any preschooler, Georgie loves hearing stories, doing craft activities and playing in the sand pit, but through preschool observations, several discussions and educator developmental checklists, it was evident she wasn't meeting her age milestones.

"The preschool teachers were really insightful," she said.

"Together, we knew Georgie needed more specialised support.

"She needed work on developing her core strength to be able to sit longer, and she needed work on her fine motor skills to give her more control, drawing and writing.

"We also knew we needed some ideas and strategies on Georgie's gross motor coordination so she could move more confidently, like running without tripping, and we worked on her balance, introducing activities like hopping."

Mrs Hill said, with the information Georgie's preschool educators provided, she was able to get a referral to Mission Australia's NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) program.

Through this program, Mission Australia staff help ensure families and carers of children aged zero to six, living with disability, or who have a developmental delay, can understand and access the NDIS and receive the supports they need, when they need them.

"Mission Australia is the NDIS partner in the community so Georgie took part in its short-term intervention Building Better project," Mrs Hill said.

"I'm just so grateful we were able to be part of this program. Georgie's confidence has blossomed and she's now able to do activities she was struggling with before.

"She's become more persistent and is now able to ride her bike and sit and complete tasks at preschool."

Mrs Hill said a key to Georgie's success was she got to work with an occupational therapist (OT) in her preschool environment.

"Georgie just loved it, and when she came home from each session she was so excited to show us what they had been working on," she said.

"Georgie said it was so much fun, and she enjoyed doing activities with her friends."

"It was just so wonderful to have support for Georgie, and her preschool educators, in that classroom environment.

"Her preschool educators were able to learn and implement strategies to include in Georgie's day-to-day classroom routine not only to support her, but to support all the children."

Mrs Hill said Georgie no longer needs support from the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention pathway.

"She's improved in all the areas we were concerned about, so now we can continue to maintain her progress with mainstream and informal supports," she said.

"I'm so glad we found this service when we did. Mission Australia staff were fantastic, working with us to identify Georgie's NDIS support needs. It's been life-changing."

As an NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention partner, Mission Australia is the first point of contact for parents concerned their child may have developmental delay or disability and they can access short to medium-term support without becoming an NDIS participant.

Early Childhood Early Intervention supports promote wellbeing, development and community engagement through a family-centred approach.

The NDIS is providing support to more than 130,000 NSW residents. Nationally, 412,000 Australians are now benefitting from the NDIS, including over 193,000, receiving support for the first time.

For more information on the NDIS, visit www.ndis.gov.au.

For more information on Mission Australia, visit www.missionaustralia.com.au.