What Next?

Surround yourself with positive people who do not discredit other forms of therapy. Build a team that will work towards the common goal of a brighter future for your child.

Scroll down to view some steps you can take after finding out your child has special needs.

Read our education, childcare, respite, equipment, leisure and play, travel, family & relationships pages and subscribe to our newsletter, join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for upcoming events and news for upcoming events of interest. Visit our A-Z of support groups to find services that may benefit your child and family. You can also visit the following pages of our website:

1. If your child has not met all milestones, visit your local GP who can refer you to a developmental paediatrician or specialist who will assess your child and can check for underlying medical conditions and diagnose these. It is necessary to have a specialist health professional assess your child to be eligible to access Centrelink funding and specialised government services, equipment, therapy and education assistance in schools.

Note: if the public health path has long wait lists, you can always ask for a referral to a private specialist to speed the process.

2. Contact a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) for information on services, therapy and funding 9426 9306 (WA) and make sure you are waitlisted for Early Intervention Services – get a copy of the Disabilities Services Commission information package.

3. Contact Centrelink & register for Carer Entitlements and Health Care Card 13 27 17

4. If your child has a diagnosis, consider joining an association specific to your child's condition. Assess the services and benefits to your child and family and compare to those of DSC Early Intervention. (See A-Z of support groups)

5. Visit the Independent Living Centre (ILC) if your child has high communication or physical needs to view equipment for seating, mobility, toileting, bathing, and many access devices (for turning lights on, opening doors etc) and communication devices. You may need an appointment to try the equipment

6. Find out about your options for private health care cover. Visit www.iselect.com.au to compare service providers and plans.

7. If your child is over three and still in nappies contact the Continence Aids Assistance Scheme and register for nappy allocation 1300 366 455.

8. Contact a Psychologist, Social Worker or Counsellor to assist you understand your own needs, your child’s needs and for grief counselling.

Carers WA 1800 242 636/1800 007 332 have telephone or face to face counselling.
Family Help Line 9223 1100 or 1800 643 000 provide a 24 hour confidential counselling service.

8. Read a book on your child’s condition. Ask your paediatrician, social worker, association or other parents to recommend some. Books written by parents often offer valuable information.

Order For Parents, By Parents. This is a resource guide for parents of children with special needs. It contains an overview, therapeutic approaches, biomedical interventions, sensory processing, educational interventions and a glossary. This is a wonderful support manual while you are working your way through the maze of information out there. It is written for the US but it is still relevant to us in Australia. http://www.icdl.com/staging/bookstore/catalog/index.shtml US$29.00.

9. Join a chat forum to speak with other parents and carers. They have often been there and walked a similar path to you so can offer much practical advice and support.

10. Contact Disability First Stop who can assist you with information and referrals to services if you have received a diagnosis.

11. Depending on the age of your child it might be an idea to start investigating options for schooling. This is a very long and tiring process so start gently. Visit our education pages.

12. Your health and your relationships are the key to all of this working for your child. Be kind to yourself. Seek help. Seek therapy. Seek support groups and people going through the same experience. These people are going to keep you sane over the next few years when no-one else understands what you are going through. We have met so many wonderful families and made some incredible friends, they inspire you to keep going, celebrate the little things and hold your hand when the mountain gets too high. Please, please reach out.