“We’ve lost count over the years,” manager and educator at Young and District Early Intervention, Teena Whitechurch said when asked how many children had been involved with Early Intervention.
For the past 20 plus years, Young & District Early Intervention (EI), has worked beside children with challenged abilities and developmental delays. From newborn through until eight years, educators and therapists work together with the children and their families to implement individualised programs to make sure the children are getting the most out of their home life as well as in mainstream schools.
Teena Whitechurch has been a team member for the past 10 years. Alongside Teena is her hard working team, Teacher - Tanya Taylor, Teacher/Therapist aide - Lorraine Miller, Speech Pathologist - Sarah Philpott, Occupational Therapist - Annmarie Chapman, Physiotherapist - Mylan Quach and Family Support Liaison - April.
Early Intervention’s philosophy is that every child has the right to realise his or her potential for growth. On top of all the specialised help and guidance provided by educators and staff, Early Intervention also offers educational opportunities for parents, a playgroup as well as a transition to school program.
Children are referred to Early Intervention through either self-referral or early learning centres when carers notice behaviours being exhibited that may need further attention.
With a caseload of around 40 children a mobile playgroup once a fortnight and a weekly support playgroup on a Wednesday, as well as the Transition to School groups it isn’t any wonder that there is now a waiting list.
Teena said they are in high need of a second speech pathologist and extra funding would go a long way towards hiring someone. The region has a high referral rate to see the one and only speech pathologist. Teena believes that more funding for EI means that more children could access the much needed resources.
Supporting the entire Hilltops Region, Early Intervention also travels to Harden and Boorowa on alternating weeks.
“It’s important for parents to know there are people out there to give help and advice,” Teena said. If parents would like more information about all that Early Intervention has to offer they can contact Teena at email@example.com or by phone (02) 63826034.
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