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May 09, 2023

Early connections can make long-lasting difference


Maceo is 6 years old, and he loves cars, swimming, Legos and playing tag with his sister. His family had recently moved to Australia from the Philippines, and Maceo who was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay and Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 3 he is slowly adjusting to the new environment.

After a frustrating process of trying to get support for Maceo, his parents were referred to Northcott in 2022. “When we first contacted Northcott we were not expecting a reply as we had not heard back from other providers. Surprisingly, Northcott responded and called us. Northcott helped us to check with the NDIS if our visa was eligible. Once it was verified that we are not eligible Northcott informed us that we would be assisted to engage with other mainstream and community services that could benefit us” explains Maceo’s father, Marc.

Maceo’s goals

Maceo’s main goal is to be ready for school next year. Marc says, “We wanted Maceo to be able to communicate what he wants to say and express his feelings, get prepared for school and be ready to socialise with other kids. We also wanted him to be open to trying out more foods.”

Rashmi, their Early Childhood Coordinator met with the family and through research connected them to various types of early connections. These were things like researching activities for Maceo’s education, finding out about free webinars for parents about behaviour and daily routines and connecting the family to free play groups near their home. Rashmi also connected Maceo to an occupational therapist who was able to regulate Maceo’s sensory diet. She also helped connect the family to find out if they could be eligible for addition funding for Maceo’s therapy, childcare and cognitive assessment needs.

Connecting to other supports

“The biggest help was when Rashmi connected us with the Kids Early Years Network (KEYS). We were not expecting any help on funding with Maceo’s therapies, cognitive assessment and childcare but KEYS made it possible. We were able to get Maceo additional sessions to his OT, we they booked us for speech therapy, cognitive assessment and even additional schedule in the childcare”, says Marc.

Maceo has improved a lot over a short time. “If Rashmi did not insist on asking advice from the occupational therapist, he would not be able to regulate his sensory needs” says Marc.

When Maceo first arrived in Australia he would usually only go outside in his pram. Now is loves to walk on his own to playgrounds or anywhere outside the house. Maceo is excited to go to big school and has even started colouring and writing a little. He is also able to dress himself with minimal supervision.

Right now, Maceo is in a Support Unit in an early learning centre and is very excited to go every day. Marc says, “Maceo is improving every day, confidently and slowly being independent. We expect more improvements in Maceo’s educational journey and we are very grateful to Northcott for being part of his journey.”

Looking for support?

Northcott is an NDIS early childhood partner who works with families of children aged 0-6 years-old with disability or developmental delay. Our early childhood team understand the NDIS and can help you access funding and supports for your child.

Find out more about how the NDIS can support your young child to reach their milestones.


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