Looking for local support?
It can be hard to find exactly what you are looking for, and even harder when you don't even know what you are looking for in the first place.
Let's take a closer look at some of the services we have found useful over the years in the local Wollongong area.
Choose below between Therapists, Activities, Sports & Services to find some of the amazing local resources you never knew existed.
Who We Love
Sports & Social Groups
Getting involved with sports and social activities can be a great way to introduce your child to new social experiences and build new skills in the process. Find out some of out favourite local activities below.
It doens't take long before parents and carers of children with additional needs find out how expensive therapy can be.
Here is a list of the different funding options available to you.
Have you ever struggled to get your child's hair cut or teeth checked without a whole lot of tears?
It can be difficult to find services where staff understand the additional needs of some children. Find out who we love when it comes to getting the basics covered below.
Therapists we love.
It's all about finding the right fit for your family and your child.
As parents ourselves, we thought it might give you a head start to know some of the services we have used over the years. If you are or know of services that may benefit our Community, feel free to let us know.
If you are looking for a team of psychologists with a variety of specialties, check out Warehouse One7.
You've probably already heard all the wonderful things about the team at Unique Kids and all we can say is that it's all true.
We have come across two speech therapists that we have worked alongside. Both Fusion Speech Pathology in West Wollongong and Let's Talk Speech Pathology in Wollongong are amazing.
North Wollongong Physiotherapy have a great team of supportive therapists and have newly expanded their premises,
Sports & Social
Getting Out & About
Finding the right activities for special needs children can be difficult. We have come across so many great options over the years but have included our top three favourites below for you.
If you think your child might enjoy learning all the skills of Rugby with the help of occupational therapists in a non-competitive environment, contact Unique Kids to learn more about the Sense Rugby Program.
That whole idea of running away to the circus isn't so far-fetched! Our Fairy Meadow neighbours, Circus Monoxide, offer a wide variety of classes for all ages and abilities that can help build strength, confidence, social skills and engagement. They even offer special classes for kids with ASD.
Another great local option for after-school activities is Gravity Gym in Unanderra. They offer a range of classes for gymnastics and also offer Additional Needs classes as well.
It's one thing to figure out everything you need for your child, it's a whole different journey figuring out how to afford it. Below is a list of a few financial support options you might want to look into.
NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme)
The first stop on your list might want to be the NDIS. Because it can take a while to be put into place (if you are eligible), start the process early. As in, as soon as you have your diagnostic reports. Get the tissues ready, it can be a gut-wrenching process but well worth it on the other side.
Shuttling our children to non-stop, weekly therapy appointments can make it hard to keep up with life as usual. Check with Centrelink to see if you qualify for the Carer's Payment. This option is now means-tested however the limit is reasonably high unlike other support funding out there.
Mental Health Care Plan
If you have a diagnosed disorder, speak to your doctor about a mental health care plan which gives you ten sessions with a mental health provider (like a psychologist) through medicare.
Register for the Active Kids Vouchers
Take advantage of government incentives like the Active Kids Vouchers that allow you $100 each child, twice a year to help offset the cost of sports and activities
Register for the Creative Kids Voucher
Take advantage of government incentives like the Creative Kids Voucher that allow you $100 each child, once a year to help offset the cost of creative activities. These can often be used with anything from art programs to yoga sessions!
Getting The Basics Covered.
Sometimes it is the littlest things that are the hardest. Getting a hair cut of a dental checkup might be simple for some, but for children with additional needs, these basic activities can be a nightmare. Here are a few services we love with staff that understand.
Kween Bee Hair Studio - Corrimal
Kween Bee's founder, director and well, Kween, Bek Forbes, has been a strong advocate for the special needs community for many years. Having worked with disability services in the past, Bek has a unique way of connecting with children that have additional needs or concerns about getting their hair cut. Her calm, and clear communication teamed up with a lot of patience and respect has our kids never wanting to leave.
Illawarra Paediatric Dentistry
Does your child have a meltdown when visiting the dentist? All of the sounds and the unusual feeling of someone touching your teeth can be enough to send many into a meltdown. We love the team at Illawarra Paediatric Dentistry. With an inviting waiting room, on-time appointments and wonderful communication with children, it's hard to go wrong. The balloon animals at the end of your appointment are a bonus!