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Mater Health and Wellness provides assistance to help children with disabilities

The allied health clinicians at Mater Health and Wellness are now approved providers for two Australian Government initiatives which assist children with disabilities.

The Helping Children with Autism and Better Start for Children with a Disability packages provide funding for early intervention for children who have been diagnosed with autism or any other pervasive developmental disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, visual impairment and hearing impairment.

Children who are under six years of age, and who have been diagnosed with one of the above disabilities, can be registered to access early intervention funding of up to $12 000.

Funding is also available through Medicare for allied health intervention for children up to the age of 13 under these schemes.

Early intervention services which can be accessed at Mater Health and Wellness under this scheme include: physiotherapy; speech pathology, audiology, occupational therapy and social work.

Lisa and Phillip Anthony, of Carindale, credit the speech pathologists at Mater Health and Wellness with finding a new way for their daughter Sabrina, who is autistic, to communicate.

“Although we were nearing the end of our eligibility under the Helping Children with Autism program with Sabrina, we squeezed in a few sessions of speech therapy,” Mrs Anthony said.

“As Sabrina is completely non-verbal, our speech pathologist thought she would greatly benefit from daily access to an iPad. They helped us access funding under the Helping Children with Autism program to buy an iPad and the programs she needed.

“Sabrina now uses the iPad every day and although her communication is still currently limited to choosing foods and activities, we see the potential for it to open up so many more opportunities for her to communicate as she grows up.”

For further information on the Helping Children with Autism and Better Start for Children with a Disability packages visit www.fahcsia.gov.au or wellness.mater.org.au.

Enquiries regarding allied health services at Mater Health and Wellness can be directed to email info.wellness@mater.org.au or telephone 07 3163 6000.

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