Parent Connect

Parent Connect has funding to assist families with children aged 0-6 who are developmentally delayed or have a disability, or older children aged 6+ who have a newly acquired or identified disability.  They can support a family for up to twelve months in many ways, including accessing an expedited private diagnosis, setting up some therapy options, linking to services and communities, learning about the child’s disability, and connecting with other families on a similar journey.  Parent Connect in Brisbane/Ipswich is run by Mission Australia.


Baby Bridges and a Developmental Tracker

Baby Bridges is a free program for 0-5’s with disabilities and/or developmental delays, and their parents/carers. The standard program consists of two components: children’s play and specialised therapy sessions with qualified therapists; and parent information and training sessions. It is offered at several locations throughout Queensland, however, the location at Auchenflower (Developing Foundation) incorporates the Developing Childhood program and Funtastic Creations.

The Developing Childhood program designed by child development experts (which is available independently of Baby Bridges) is a fantastic opportunity for parents of children to track and enhance milestones from birth to a functional age of 3 – and there are 342 of them in the first three years of a child’s life!  This detailed record-keeping is invaluable for parents who may be concerned about developmental delays, to track and to share with their paediatrician or therapists.  In addition to charting milestones, the program offers a personalised program ofactivities to help stimulate and encourage your child towards their next milestones.  The site offers a one month free trial (which I highly recommend checking out!), and the full cost of the program is $95 (total).  

Mercy’s Goodna courses

Mercy Community Services provide many different kinds of family and disability support. I particularly noticed the quality programs they offer at minimal cost or free- here are the programs they’re running from Goodna in terms 3 and 4:

123 Magic and Emotion Coaching flyer Term 3 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in children 2-12 years old)

123 Magic and Emotion Coaching flyer Term 4 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in children 2-12 years old)

Fun Friends Flyer Term 3 2015 (Building Resilience in 4-7 year olds through play)

Fun Friends Flyer Term 4 2015 (Building Resilience in 4-7 year olds through play)

Friends for Life Term 4 2015 (Help build resilience and prevent anxiety and depression in 7-12 year olds)

Engaging Adolescents Term 3 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in adolescents)

CoSTermFour 2015 (Circle of Security parenting series)

Available to people who live within the Ipswich City Council geographical region (but still worth enquiring if you don’t!). For further information, contact the Family Matters Team at Mercy Community Services, Goodna on (07) 3280 8000.

Carers Qld- and beyond!

At a recent expo I attended in Ipswich, one of the contacts I made was Gillian Fleming, who works at Carers Qld, looking after the Better Start families. I had a lovely long chat with her, and was amazed at her wealth of information and contacts! She invited me to friend her on Facebook– she uses her Facebook account only to share information about all things disabilities, and is happy to accept friend requests from anyone seeking such information.

Membership of Carers Qld is $10 per year, and includes access to their Care Program (discounts), as well as their No Interest Loan Scheme.

One of the many great resources she shared with me is this list of useful links: Useful Websites for parents 2015.

I highly recommend connecting with Gillian, downloading the websites document – and for Queensland people, checking out Carers Qld.

Concerns about child’s development

So… you have ongoing concerns about your child’s development. Now what?, by Kristen Callow (The Online Water Cooler blog). Such a thorough, encouraging, resource-full article! Kristen examines the many obstacles that parents face when trying to address their concerns about their child’s development, including family and friends considering you dramatic, a dismissive GP, a reluctant partner, cost, the implications of a label, feeling overwhelmed- and every obstacle listed has some suggestions for how to address it!