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1. 0-5 Years Print this page

1. 0-5 Years

How do I know what to expect?

The stage of life between birth and three months is a hectic time for both babies and parents or carers as both parties are just getting to know each other.

For a parent or carer who is faced with a pre-birth diagnosis of a disability, the newborn stage is crucial for your baby’s development and for planning your baby’s needs and routine requirements.

All newborn babies start to develop motor skills (such as lifting their head), hearing, vision and communication skills from the moment they are born. All babies need touch, they need to be spoken to, and to see new faces and new things. This is how they start to learn and to develop.

Where can I find more information about indicators for developmental milestones?

Autism Awareness -

Mayo Clinic -

Raising Children network -

Women’s and Children’s Health Network -

How can early intervention help?

Getting help early is one of the best ways you can help your child.

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.

The sooner you seek help, the sooner you and your child can tap into the many avenues for assistance, support, guidance and reassurance.

Early Childhood Intervention services play an important role for many families.

Who can help through these years?

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) professionals such as Special Educators, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists and Social Workers work closely with parents and carers to identify how their child best learns and develops within their family.

Professionals recognise the people in a child’s family as key members of their child’s intervention team. They work collaboratively with families and other services to ensure that a family’s individual priorities and needs are represented.

ECI supports all children to participate in the same kind of experiences as other children their age. ECI professionals recognise that some families will need information and support as they plan for their child to attend early childhood settings (child care, preschool, family day care), schools or activities within their local community.

Other people and professionals such as teachers and sport coaches, who work with children who have additional learning needs, can access guidance from ECI Professionals to ensure all children are able to participate meaningfully within community activities.

ECI Professionals play a key role in supporting families and their child to make important transitions and gain independence as they grow. Families can be supported to think about the choices that will help their child and family to live in the way that is important to them. This could include choosing a child care centre, preschool, school or school holiday activity. Families may also ask for assistance in accessing a community activity such as a local playgroup, sporting team, church or social group. Ongoing support means that families and children are able to make valuable social networks in the communities their family lives in and they grow up in.

For more information on Early Childhood Intervention contact:

How can I best help my child?

  • Read and learn what you can

There are a wide range of resources and information available to help you find more about strategies to improve development and early intervention for newborns and infants.

  • Find and nurture a trusted group of professionals – including your early childhood intervention professional, your GP, specialists, teachers and any other therapists
  • Look after yourself, your partner, your relationship and your other children

To be the best help and support to your child with a disability, it is really important that you take care of yourself, your relationship and the rest of your family.

  • Get help early
  • Ask lots of questions


Links and resources

The following websites and links contain resources and strategies to improve development and early intervention for newborns or infants.


Northcott -

CareWest -

Learning Links -

Catholic Care -

House with No Steps -

NSW Government ADHC -

Raising Children Network -

Department of Education and Communities -

Department of Social Services (used to be known as FaHCSIA) -

Kalparrin -

Murdock Children's Research Institute -

Mission Australia -

Nichy -

Parents Helping Parents -

Government of WA -

Victorian Government -

Women’s and Children’s Health Network -

Early Childhood Intervention Australia -

First Chance -

Pathways -

Aspire -

Early Childhood Intervention Inclusion -

Tasmanian government -

Autism Spectrum Australia -

Aspergers Victoria -

Down Syndrome NSW -

Monash University -

Parent Line -

NT Children and Families -