The early intervention specialist team from Melbourne City Mission (MCM) is bringing skill and passion in helping children with developmental delay or disability in the Brimbank-Melton areas.
Early Childhood Intervention Services manager Sally Moore says the team is equipped to support children and their families as they work towards goals and milestones.
“The journey for families from diagnosis to accessing support can be quite overwhelming,” she says. “Our early intervention specialists offer support every step of the way.
“We work in partnership with children and families to put building blocks in place for lifelong learning and development.”
MCM provides speech, physio and occupational therapy, as well as specialised teaching.
Every family is matched with a key worker, such as occupational therapist Samara Mascarenhas, who grew up in Melbourne’s west and loves helping others.
“It takes everyone being involved so we can support children in the best way possible – support during setbacks and celebrations when we achieve goals,” says Samara.
“It’s so important to empower the whole family and grow everyone’s knowledge and skills.
“The children I work with benefit the most when the whole family and a support network are involved. We can make goals together, practise at home, at the park, at kinder – anywhere that works best.”
Lucy Rudge is a speech pathologist and key worker. She mentors families and educators, providing strategies that support children’s communication and development.
“While some people think the main role of a speech pathologist is to help people to talk, we support many more aspects,” Lucy explains, “from developing attention and play skills to learning new vocabulary and problem-solving in social situations.”
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides funding for people with disability to access support, achieve goals and live a positive life. The NDIS roll out started in Melbourne’s west in October 2018. The scheme currently provides support for almost 6000 children aged under six in Victoria.
Melbourne City Mission’s early intervention team works across Melbourne’s western and northern suburbs. To learn more about ECIS or the NDIS, visit www.mcm.org.au/ecis or call 1800 343 287