The Champion Centre provides a range of services for children whose developmental progress is impacted by conditions such as Down syndrome, other genetic disorders, cerebral palsy, the consequences of prematurity, epilepsy, developmental dyspraxia, Autism Spectrum Disorder and brain injury.
We offer a number of services at the Centre including:
- An early intervention programme for children from birth to primary school age who have delays in at least two areas of development;
- A specialist early intervention programme for children with relating and communicating difficulties;
- A monitoring programme for children who are at developmental risk either because of prematurity or because of other health-related vulnerabilities;
- Individual assessment for children for whom there are concerns about their development.
Most children and families attend the Champion Centre, located on the Burwood Hospital site, once a week during school terms. The programmes are multi-disciplinary, involving teams (including physiotherapists, early intervention educators, speech therapists, music specialists, social workers, and more) who work in partnership with parents/whānau to help each child reach their full potential. All areas of development are attended to (physical, intellectual, communication, social and emotional) and the programme provides both practical and emotional support to the families raising these children. The service embraces the principles of whānau ora in supporting whānau to support tamariki in the ways that work for them.
The Centre model uses a holistic approach based on a working partnership with parents/whānau as first teachers. There are three core components – Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, and Early Intervention Teaching. They are augmented and integrated at age appropriate stages with learning through musical play, technology supported learning, early childhood play, and early intervention educator programmes. Family Support Team services are available throughout.
This Centre-based approach is constantly reviewed and updated incorporating cutting edge research. It achieves ecological validity through the systematic incorporation of the child’s family and home life, early childhood centre and finally school into the child’s programme. This “wrap-around” service includes visits by a dietician, podiatrist, vision and hearing resource specialists, Early Childhood Centre teachers and school personnel. It is a programme, which celebrates the whole child and their whānau and is recognised on the international stage for the quality of its early intervention practice.
Here is a short video about what we do and what it means for parents: