If you think you or your child are showing signs of losing speech or language skills, delayed speech, or other issues communicating, your doctor can support you through diagnosis. They might refer you to experienced specialists including psychiatrists, paediatricians, psychologists or a speech pathologist, all of which can be navigated with the right NDIS support.
If you have a disability that affects your verbal communication, you can apply for access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS funds disability-related supports and services for people with permanent and significant disability. This can include a range of AAC options and other supports you might need as a result of your disability and communication needs.
If you are noticing signs of developmental delay in your child, you can contact your local Early Childhood Early Intervention NDIS partner. They will connect you to supports and services, and guide you through the NDIS application process if your child has a disability.
Find out who to contact about the NDIS where you live.
Getting support early for young children with developmental delay can benefit a child’s long-term development, and help families and carers manage. Speech Pathology Australia provide a range of resources on speech disorders and nonverbal communication. They have also made a Communication Milestones Kit that can help you identify whether your child aged 1-5 is experiencing speech or communication delays.
Raising Children also has information about connecting and communicating with children and teenagers of all ages.
For more information about specialised communication services and how to access AAC, visit Scope Australia, or speak to your disability service provider.
Disability can be challenging for families and carers, too. It is important for carers to get the help they need. Carer supports are available through government support programs, the NDIS for carers of NDIS participants, and the Carer Gateway.