This material is also available in a PDF format: Additional needs: Resources for families and educators

Where can I go for further information?

The Better Health Channel provides health and medical information to help individuals and their communities improve their health and wellbeing. A wide range of health and medical information is available at www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/. Information on coping with stress can be found at www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Parenting_coping_with_stress.

Association for Children with a Disability provides information, support and advocacy for children with a disability and their families. The association runs a free telephone advice service for any issues related to children with disabilities, publishes newsletters and fact sheets and information for community education. More information and resources are available at www.acd.org.au.

Early Childhood Intervention Australia provides specialised support and services for infants and young children with disabilities and their families in order to promote development, wellbeing and community participation. There is a chapter in each state and territory of Australia, see www.ecia.org.au for more information.

The Inclusion and Professional Support Program provides high-quality professional development and inclusion support to Australian Government-approved childcare service providers, regardless of geographic location.

Inclusion Support helps childcare services to include children with additional needs, especially: children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including children from a refugee or humanitarian intervention background; children with ongoing high support needs, including children with a disability and Indigenous children.

Professional Support provides professional development and support to providers to enable them to build the skills of their staff to improve the quality of care provided. This includes building the skills and knowledge of educators, supporting the implementation of the National Quality Framework and providing professional development. Information is available at www.deewr.gov.au/inclusion-and-professional-support-program.

Yooralla provides essential services for children and adults with disability, their families and carers that include a range of accommodation alternatives, respite, in-home support, therapy, attendant care, specialised equipment, employment, recreation, information, education and training, and practical skills for daily living. See www.yooralla.com.au for more information.

Speech Pathology Australia is the national peak body for the speech pathology profession in Australia, striving for excellence and representing the interests of clients with communication, language, feeding and swallowing difficulties. See www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au to find a speech pathologist in your area.

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) represents over 12 000 physiotherapists around Australia. Physiotherapists provide assessment and intervention for disorders which affect movement, which may be of physical or psychological origin. The APA works with governments and educational bodies to try to ensure that a quality physiotherapy service is available when and where you need it. See www.physiotherapy.asn.au/findaphysio to find a physiotherapist in your area.

Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) is the national professional association for occupational therapists in the public and private sector. Occupational therapists provide assessment and intervention in sensory processing, gross and fine motor development and developmental skills such as self-care and play. OTA contributes to and shapes professional excellence in health services for clients. See www.otaus.com.au/find-an-occupational-therapist to find an occupational therapist in your area.    

The Raising Children Network, funded under the Australian Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, is a national website aimed at helping families care for their children. Articles on a range of issues relevant to children’s development, including parenting children with special needs, are available at www.raisingchildren.net.au.

The Women’s and Children’s Health Network: Parenting and Child Health is a resource for parents and caregivers that provides information on everything related to the health and development of children, including parenting children with a disability. See www.cyh.com/SubDefault.aspx?p=98 for more information.

Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities provides support and information for children and people with disabilities and their families from culturally diverse communities. The organisation provides a lot of information and resources in many different languages. For more information see www.adec.org.au.

Interchange programs are community-based, not-for-profit organisations established to provide family support and social opportunities for children and young people with a disability. Information is available at www.interchange.org.au.

Siblings Australia is a national organisation that provides support to siblings of people with special needs, including disability, chronic illness and mental health issues. They provide workshops, print and web-based resources and networking opportunities for families and providers across Australia and overseas. Information is available at www.siblingsaustralia.org.au/.