Rocky Bay are excited to share that thanks to the generous support of the Channel 7 Telethon Trust, we have launched an Early Start Intervention pilot program (ESIP) that will bring more timely therapy support to WA children with developmental delay and who are at risk of, or diagnosed with, rare diseases.
Rocky Bay’s ESIP Program Coordinator, Cristina Lee, and Grants and Fundraising Advisor, Kelly-Anne Day, attended an event held by Telethon on Friday 26 March to recognise all beneficiaries of the $46.3 million grant shared among 65 organisations, including Rocky Bay.
Rocky Bay’s ESIP targets at-risk children, and their families, to provide critical therapy to better support the key early years’ development potential.
Intervention for children at high risk of disability is critical, but can often be challenging due to eligibility and funding restraints. This pilot program will provide 24 children and their families access to necessary supports and therapy within the critical early developmental period, where they are in the most need of a high level of support and neuroplasticity is at its peak.
The ESIP pilot will aim to provide intensive multidisciplinary services and support including physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy.
Rocky Bay will aim to bridge the gap by targeting children from infancy to five years of age with two or more identifiable risk factors, providing access to intensive multidisciplinary and goal oriented individualised home-based therapy, and group-based hydrotherapy.
It will also seek to provide evidence-based early intervention to children who are undiagnosed, to improve their developmental outcomes and support them to reach their goals.
Rocky Bay will work collaboratively with key stakeholders and advocacy organisations in the community to increase the level of support and the number of children and families able to access the ESIP.
Clinical General Manager, Michelle Dillion, said that due to the complexity of many rare diseases and the development markers that a formal assessment must identify, there could be significant wait periods for diagnosis.
“Some children are subject to such large waiting periods of up to five years before a formal diagnosis is received,” Michelle said.
“This time coincides with the very critical early year’s development window, so children and their families may receive little or no funded supports, and must self-fund therapy. This means they miss the boat in terms of timely intervention.
“With our ESIP pilot, the children involved will receive structured support and intervention and ongoing developmental assessment which will be valuable in working toward their individual goals, and advocating for support needs now and into the future, as well as empowering families and carers.”