Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Early intervention can change lives

Growing up with a sibling with a disability wasn’t easy. Back in the 80’s Autism wasn’t very well known, and there certainly weren’t any recommendations for early intervention or therapy. As a child, Greg was frustrated, bullied and misunderstood.

Greg was finally diagnosed with Autism and an Intellectual Disability in his mid 30’s. Once we, and he, learned of the diagnosis and were able to research and understand it, it all made so much more sense. This is why he was ‘different’.

We also learned that a lot of research has been done into how early intervention therapy can help children with a diagnosis of Autism. Unfortunately, it was too late for Greg, but we realised there was a great opportunity to help other young children and their families to minimise the impact of the symptoms caused by Autism through centres where evidence-based, intensive early intervention was available. And from this, the Child Development Institute was borne.

Now, 4 years later, the CDI has helped hundreds of children to achieve great outcomes that have changed the trajectory of their lives.

Our programs, based on the Early Start Denver Model, are individualised to each child and the mix of programs they participate in is tailored to what they need at that time.

The focus of our play-based therapy is across all areas of a child’s development, which means we often see more rapid progress than the more traditional therapies such as speech therapy or OT.

The developmental areas covered by our programs include:

  • Receptive and expressive communication
  • Fine and gross motor
  • Play skills
  • Social skills
  • Imitation and joint attention
  • Cognition and behaviour
  • Personal independence

But our programs extend beyond just the child. Parents and other supports in the child’s life, such as their childcare educators, can also participate in programs that will teach them skills to support the child’s development. Including these people in a child’s early intervention journey means their therapy can continue outside of their CDI programs, which again, will result in more rapid progress.

It is incredibly rewarding knowing that our early intervention therapy is helping parents to connect with their children and helping their children participate within their community.

CDI centres are located in Western Sydney (Northmead) and the Northern Beaches (Dee Why and coming soon to Beacon Hill).

To find out more about how evidence-based early intervention programs could benefit your child and family visit

CDI will be running a Facebook Live on Wednesday 27th of April. Find out more details here.