What, Why, How

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What

The Early Response Therapy Program for Babies at Risk of Cerebral Palsy in NSW is focused on ensuring early intervention and care is provided to babies diagnosed with cerebral palsy or diagnosed at risk of cerebral palsy (CP), and their families, in the critical first year of the baby’s life. The program aims to ensure families can access the therapy their baby needs when it’s needed most, to maximise their child’s developmental outcomes and support the health and wellbeing of the entire family.

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Why

One in every 600 Australian babies is diagnosed with CP, yet staggeringly half of these babies do not get intervention before their first birthday, unless they receive neonatal intensive care follow up. Almost all do not get cerebral palsy specific intervention until after their second birthday while awaiting their diagnosis. The first 2 years of a child’s life are critical for cognitive and motor development as the brain is undergoing constant spontaneous plasticity. Neuroscience suggests, that to harness maximum brain plasticity, intervention should commence before 6 months. 

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How

This program provides a solution at a pivotal point in time, with the potential to reduce the severity and impact of disability for each child, and for their family, over their lifetime. Each baby and their family will be supported with thirty hours of critical specialised therapy from highly skilled occupational therapists, speech therapists and physiotherapists. Results from specific assessments can be used to inform NDIS planning, therefore enhancing appropriate levels of funding for each child's needs into the future. For infants diagnosed at risk of cerebral palsy, information gathered during the program can also support a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. 

Early Response Therapy Impact

The mission of CPA is to build futures for people with cerebral palsy. The Early Response Therapy Program for Babies at Risk of Cerebral Palsy aims to maximise each child’s developmental outcomes and support the health and wellbeing of the entire family unit, thereby laying a platform for a brighter future Greater Charitable Foundation funding support will be directed to running the program across Alstonville, Croudace Bay, Dubbo, East Maitland, Orange, Tuggerah and Wagga Wagga, to benefit an estimated 36 babies and their families.

A reduction in the severity of disability for each child increases their potential to live a more comfortable, independent and inclusive life. It expands their potential to participate in the workforce and in society as a valued and respected contributor, reducing their life long costs of care, and the costs to the Australian economy.

Improving Life Outcomes

Take a look at our other charity partners and see how we're improving life outcomes for families and communities near you.