Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Autism Specific Early Intervention Coming to the Northern Beaches

Autism Specific Early Intervention | Northern Beaches Mums

It’s not a Pool Shop anymore!

The Child Development Institute (CDI) have taken over the pool shop on Warringah Road, to open a world class facility providing early intervention to children with Autism or Developmental Delay.

Since 2018 the CDI has been delivering high quality, evidence based Early Intervention to Children aged 2-5 years in Western Sydney. In those 3 years we have helped over 100 children and their families to achieve goals and develop foundational skills that have changed the trajectory of their lives. 

Our Northern Beaches centre will offer all the programs that we provide at our Western Sydney centre.

Each program is based on the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) – this is a beautiful play-based intervention model specifically designed for young children with Autism or Developmental Delay.

The ESDM is built on a strong evidence base of clinical trials – this means that research has proven it is effective and can reduce the symptoms of Autism, particularly in the areas of communication, social skills and cognitive development.

The ESDM is what is known as a ‘multi-disciplinary’ intervention model – this means that it addresses every area of a child’s development, and that our team of therapists is made up of professionals from the various allied health disciplines. These include Psychologists, OT’s, Speech Pathologists, Special Educators and Early Childhood Teachers. All of our team are trained to deliver the ESDM and they are all available to input into the children’s programs, adding their own expert guidance.

Our whole team works within our morning group program, which is aimed at preparing children for inclusion in their mainstream childcare or preschool (aptly named the Inclusion Readiness Program). So each child will be known to all members of our team who can then provide discipline specific input into their individual program as needed. Skills targeted in this group program include social skills, transitioning and routines, participation in group times and personal independence. 

Each team member will also provide 1:1 ESDM Clinics – these are 1 hour sessions that target the individual goals that have been set for the child across all areas of their development. Therapists also work with the parents on things they can do at home to support their child’s development.

Another program offered is the Mainstream Support program, where CDI Therapists with an Early Childhood Teaching background, visit your child’s mainstream childcare or preschool to provide coaching and mentoring to the educators there. The aim is to support your child’s inclusion. Unfortunately, many Educators don’t understand Autism, they don’t have the training or background to know how to manage the associated symptoms and behaviours, and this can often result in the child not being authentically included and reduced participation. We have had a lot of great feedback from both parents and educators regarding our Mainstream Program – it makes a positive difference to everyone!

Intensive early intervention for children with Autism can have a significant impact on their development and social participation. By ‘intensive’ we mean more than 1-2 hours per week. Children will typically start their enrolment by attending the CDI for 2 mornings of the group program and 1-2 clinic sessions per week. This is 8 hours of in-centre therapy per week. In addition to this they may also receive a weekly visit to their childcare centre if enrolled in our Mainstream Support program.

A child’s enrolment pattern often changes as their skills develop – they might drop a clinic or move into our more advanced group program, Start Strong. Our aim is to move each child through our programs, reducing our supports and increasing their time in their community settings.

To pay for therapy services provided at the CDI parents can apply for an intensive NDIS plan for their child – this will be based on what is deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’ for the child and requires the right type of evidence to be submitted with the application. We provide in-house NDIS support for enrolled families and also work with an external Advocacy Consultancy for the more challenging applications (

The ‘old pool shop’ will be re-opening as CDI Northern Beaches around August 2021. We are now taking enrolments and have no waitlist – so to lock in the therapy programs, days, and times that suit your family, now is the time to act.

Call us on 9037 2234
Email us at

Attend one of our upcoming Parent Information Sessions to be held at Warringah Mall Library:

Thursday 27th May at 1pm –
Tuesday 15th June at 11.30am –
Monday 19th July  at 10am –

We look forward to supporting children and families in the Northern Beaches community.