If you have a child with a hearing impairment, you may be eligible for the Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start) initiative which includes up to $12,000 worth of funding that can be used for early intervention services and treatments. This is particularly suitable for families that are located in the outer regional, rural or remote locations of Australia and require further assistance to cover costs in order to access better health services for children with a hearing impairment.
What Kinds of Services And Treatment Can I Access For My Child?
You can claim up to four allied health diagnostic services which can assist your family to plan out better treatment plans as well as a management strategy to help your child develop and grow. In addition, a total of 20 relevant allied health services. There are however limits in quantities and age limits which need to be reviewed.
Examples Of Early Intervention Programs And Services
The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC)
The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) offers a range of early child intervention services particularly for children with a hearing impairment. This program is called the Early Learning Program and assists children from 0 to 6 years of age. These services include:
– Language and communication
– Self-care, self-regulation and life skills
– Physical / sensory / psychomotor development
– Social and emotional development and
– Cognitive development and learning skills
These services use health professionals such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologist, audiologist and special education teachers to provide the best quality services for your child. The cost of this program will be $2100.00 per year or $95.00 per session.
Pyramid Educational Consultants of Australia
Other providers such as the Pyramid Educational Consultants of Australia offer language and communication and cognitive and learning skills. The program works with trained speech pathologists and special education teachers to provide 6 hours per day for children, 5 days a week. The program cost however, is $3500 per week.
The ISADD offers an extensive range of services and programs for children with hearing impairment in Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia only.
– Initial consultation with speech pathologist will cost $150.00 per hour. This session is used to assess your child’s individual needs in order to develop a more effective program catered to your current child’s development and to build communication skills. An additional session will be required this time with the psychologist at a cost of $216.00 per hour.
– Consultations for the feeding program, personal hygiene skills program and toilet training are charged at the same rate. Once the initial consultation is complete, the training program will take place in the home where a health professional will teach your child. This cost is $67.50 per hour.
– If your child requires assistance from a behavioural therapist to develop oral motor skills, a session of one hour can cost $67.50.
– ISADD also offers social and emotional development programs that aims to assist your child to develop social skills. With guidance from a professional psychologist, the ISADD offers this program for $216.00 per hour. For the same cost, you will also be able to access cognitive and learn skills programs.
What Happens If I Am Not Eligible For The Funding Or I Cannot Afford These Programs For My Child?
The services that may be suitable for your child with a hearing impairment are of course still available. However, when accessing these services you need to review the cost involved. Generally, for early intervention support services, you will require to pay ongoing fees as these services are long term programs that help your child develop and grow.
Fundraising for these costs can assist families who want to give the best chances for their child in early intervention programs. This option is helpful particularly if you have exalted other options such as additional employment, government benefits and allowances and the Better Start for Children with Disability program.