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Your needs, interests and abilities will be very different at different life stages, no matter your personal circumstances or the disability you may be dealing with.
Raising a child with a disability can be demanding - physically, emotionally and financially - and may affect many aspects of everyday life.
As an adult with a disability, whether new or existing, your needs will change as you move through life’s normal stages – from the challenges of finding the right partner and suitable satisfying employment, to having and raising children, to your own aging.
All children begin learning and developing new skills from the day they are born.
Parents, siblings, relatives and friends play a critical role in nurturing and supporting a child in every area of development. They develop a close bond and encourage their child to take part in family routines, daily activities and cultural traditions.
If your child is not developing in the same way as other children or is having difficulty forming relationships with family members, it means that learning may happen in different ways for them.
Families can seek support from Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services to share and develop your understanding of your child’s specific strengths and needs, and to plan the best way for your child to participate and learn in everyday life.
This may be the case if your child has been diagnosed with a specific condition, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, or if your child is at risk of a delay in their development due to medical conditions or being born prematurely. Many families benefit greatly from ECI services.
All babies and children are individuals, and follow their own unique path through life – as do adults.
However babies, infants and children do typically pass through established developmental stages relating to physical, emotional, social, psychological and cognitive abilities.
Examples of babies’ developmental stages or milestones include being able to hold their head up and learning to smile, developing a close bond with their mother or principal caregiver and learning to communicate through sounds and gestures.
As they grow, infant and child milestones include learning to run, to stand on one leg, to take turns, to communicate with words and to deal with frustration in a non-physical way.
All children reach these milestones at different times. Sometimes if a child is reaching milestones at a very different rate to other children, it may be an indication to seek advice.
Getting help early is one of the best ways you can help your child.
This section of Oi provide resources for each stage of life.