Early intervention a great support in the South West

By Indi Fillery

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

In early 2016 Therapy Focus expanded service delivery to support people with disabilities living in the South West region of WA. For local families like the Newbolds, whose 4-year-old son Cody was recently diagnosed with autism, access to Therapy Focus’ early intervention program couldn’t have come at a better time.

Cody was diagnosed in February after his Mum, Narelle, noticed he wasn’t reaching the usual developmental milestones.

“I know that all kids are different, but there were a few things that Cody was doing, which his siblings hadn’t, like constantly spinning his milk bottle and flapping his hands,” Narelle said.

Cody and his therapist sit together and interact with some sensory toys.

Pictured: Cody (L) and therapist Rebekah (R)

“At first we thought it was just excitement and something a little funny, but after meeting with the paediatrician and looking back on certain things he did, we agreed that there must be more to it.”

Narelle contacted WA NDIS and local service providers to see what assistance was available for her son and spoke with Therapy Focus’ South West Team Leader, Danelle Milward.

“Therapy Focus stood out to me straight away. Danelle was very helpful and really put my mind at ease during what was an anxious time for my family.”

Cody now receives weekly visits from his Therapy Focus Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist, who are supporting him to develop the skills he needs to attend mainstream kindergarten next year.

“In discussing Cody’s goals with his therapy team, it wasn’t so much about making sure he keeps up with the other kids, but about making sure he doesn’t get frustrated or overwhelmed,” Narelle said.

“I was worried about him sitting and staying engaged in activities, but his therapy has been going really well – particularly as he gets to know his therapists and becomes more comfortable with them. As a parent, the therapists have really eased me into it too.”

Cody’s Occupational Therapist, Rebekah Wallace, has also seen great progress, saying that Cody “is moving forward in leaps and bounds” each time she visits him.

“When we first started working with Cody it was very much about what he wanted to do, but now he’s much more engaged and open to being guided through the activities we offer him,” Rebekah said.

“Right now we’re working toward school readiness, targeting his fine and gross motor skills, then once he transitions to kindergarten we’ll work with education staff to assess his needs and identify any support areas we need to target.”

For more information about the services and support Therapy Focus offers in the South West contact us on 1300 135 373 or email [email protected]

Early intervention services

Support for babies and young children with disability and developmental delay to achieve key milestones in the vital early stages of life.