Support to get started

By Luisa Bustos, 16 December 2019 , Comments

“Our Northcott Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Coordinator Emily took us through the NDIS process, what services will be available to us, what we can claim and so forth. We didn’t have many questions afterwards because she covered everything. Our case is probably one of the simpler ones, but to know that the help is out there was great.”

Peter and his wife Jolene were referred to Northcott’s ECEI service by Westmead Children’s Hospital after their son Aiden was diagnosed with level 2 autism. Three-and-a-half years old at the time, Aiden was roughly a year behind other children his age in terms of his milestones, with a mild delay in speech and a moderate to high delay in development.

Back then, Peter and Jolene had limited knowledge about the NDIS. On the hospital’s advice, they decided to enlist the support of Northcott to apply for funding and put the best possible services and supports in place for Aiden.

“Having Emily has been great. It definitely did help. One of the things we found difficult was applying. We thought we could figure it out, but it was a bit confusing so we turned to Emily. We needed that little bit of extra support to get us going. Once Emily provided that, then we were on our way on our own.”

With a solid understanding of the system thanks to Emily’s guidance early on, Peter and Jolene are now self-managing Aiden’s funding and supports. They haven’t needed to call on Emily for further support, but they do appreciate the resources and opportunities she passes on to them.


“Emily’s gone above and beyond by letting us know of seminars that we could attend to get our head around everything and learn how to approach the common scenarios that parents of an autistic child will come across. And she’s already planned to contact us prior to Aiden’s funding review to get the process started early and discuss what services he’ll need going forward, just to make sure the funding is continuous,” Peter says.

Having seen the progress made by Aiden this year, Peter and Jolene feel grateful for the support they have received from Northcott and Aiden’s other providers and therapists.

“Everything has been going great with Aiden. He goes to psychology, occupational therapy and speech therapy. They’re all really helpful. He still has a few concepts that he has a bit of trouble grasping, but overall, he’s picking up things really well,” Peter says.

“Once you start seeing what’s available to you, it’s a massive help for us as well as Aiden. It’s good to know he’s in good hands and he will lead a normal life like every other kid.”

Related content

Rachel and her daughter Ellie are benefitting from connecting with our Port Macquarie ECEI team.

Northcott’s Annual Report 2018–19 features other customers stories like Aiden and his family. See the Report here.


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