My child was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 3 years.
We were referred to Hasting Early Intervention by our Paediatrician and highly recommended by the Community Health child psychologist.
Our child’s speech was unintelligible which was incredibly frustrating for both our child and us. Our child had also had trouble toilet training, difficulty adjusting to change of routine and playing with others socially. He was displaying meltdown type episodes with outbursts of uncontrollable crying.
Once our child started to attend Hasting Early Intervention, we were able to see first hands the practices and procedures in place to help our child and deal with his special needs. We found quite helpful the Individual Service Plans and Assessment meetings, where we set goals and actions to reach those goal, we felt part of a team that was specifically set up to help our child and that was in actual fact what it was; we were not alone anymore. Visual aids became a big part of our child’s life and Hasting Early Intervention very kindly printed and gave us some to use at home. There was also always a listening ear for any concerns we were having and advice about how best deal with those concerns. Having a speech therapist amongst the team was also an added bonus and very important as waiting list to see a private one at the time was most lengthy. The programme run for the children is absolutely superb in the way that it caters to the child, but also helping them to interact with each other and learn the skills needed to be part of the community and skills not just for now but to take through life. There was also plenty of information and information sessions on offer for all areas of concern to do with children with special needs, as well as a great library to borrow from provided by Hasting Early Intervention.
Hasting Early Intervention worked along side our local preschool that our child attended and communication between the two, I believe has been essential to our child’s development. Hasting Early Intervention helped us to realise our child’s needs in areas of development and gave us more understanding of our child in general, which than lead to better family life for us all as we began to understand why our child did certain things or displayed certain behaviours, and than in turn how best to deal with them. Hasting Early Intervention also helped us access others services in our area which we found most helpful.
The last 12 months has been all about preparing our child for transition to school, a big step for any child let alone my child. The support and assistants given to us to take our child to the next stage of his life has been priceless. Our child has developed the language skills and he has also become independent in most areas needed to attend school. Obviously our child will need continued support at school and Hasting Early Intervention has been most instrumental in liaisons with our school of choice, in what our child’s needs will be, and how best to help our child.
The staff at Hasting Early Interventions experience, caring nature and attitude has given us hope and assurance that our child will make it in this big wide world and we are most grateful to all the staff for the two years of service they have given to our child and the many other children in our area.