World-first program for babies with social and communication delays launches in Perth

Inklings Launch Perth
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The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has backed Telethon Kids Institute’s ground-breaking new program for babies with delays in their social and communication skills.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Service (NDIS) and Government Services Bill Shorten and WA Minister for Health Amber-Jade Sanderson announced the new partnership in Perth yesterday.

The program, known as Inklings, supports 6-18 month old babies showing early differences in their social interaction and communication development.

The program will run for three years and involves 700 families across the state, and will be funded by the NDIA as part of a new partnership between the NDIA, Telethon Kids, Child and Adolescent Health Service and WA Country Health Service.

Inklings Launch Perth

“The program puts Australia at the head of the world in redefining early childhood supports,” said Minister Shorten.

“What we learn from Inklings has the potential to change the way we help our littlest Australians who have delays.”

Minister Shorten said it was an incredible opportunity to explore new ways to support future generations, with Minister Sanderson agreeing.

“The hope is that Inklings will help support parents and provide easy access to developmental support for babies experiencing a delay in social and communication skills,” she said.

The program builds on landmark research conducted by Telethon Kids Institute, University of Manchester, La Trobe University and CAHS, spear-headed by Perth-based Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Angela Wright Bennet Professor of Autism Research at Telethon Kids and The University of Western Australia.

“It’s a great feeling to see translation of this life-changing research actually making a difference to families who need support so that each child has their very best chance to reach their potential,” said Professor Whitehouse.

WA caregivers can be referred by a health professional or enquire direct to Inklings to see if they are eligible to participate – find out more at inklings.org.au/wa.

Image Credit: Supplied