Our family started working with Mater Dei Early Intervention Program (MDEIP) at the end of 2011, when our son Anthony was only one year old. Anthony was born with Down Syndrome and had been attending other intervention services prior to this, when we learned about Mater Dei.
From the very beginning, we were welcomed like family to Mater Dei. The support they offered both emotionally and through therapy and group programs was wonderful.
Anthony has blossomed since his time with Mater Dei, and has developed in so many ways thanks to their program. He has learnt many new skills, such as communicating through sign language, which was a course offered to the parents and carers as well as applied during speech therapy sessions, and a multifaceted school readiness approach teaching Anthony personal care and independence skills through one-on-one occupational therapy, structured learning activities, object identification, and socialising within early learning and therapy groups.
MDEIP teach through play and music and by making it fun for the children, which motivates them to learn even more. The therapists and early learning teachers and their support team are all very patient, genuine and kind to the children and families, understanding how sometimes life can be very challenging and distressing.
Our daughter, Harmony, was diagnosed with Aspergers prior to attending school, and the team at MDEIP very kindly offered to help assess her needs and gave advice on schooling and other services. We are so grateful for the guidance they offered, especially at a time when everything was new and it is difficult to know where to begin.
For a child with a developmental delay and their families, Mater Dei Early Intervention Program provides a unique and complete program, providing opportunities for parents and carers to meet and create social networks, attend fundraising events, and become involved as much or as little as they can.
MDEIP provide access to information on available government funding schemes, assisting with applications where appropriate, and hold regular sessions on how to choose, prepare and apply for school. From birth to starting school, MDEIP provide valuable and crucial support for families with children with Special Needs from all walks of life.
Our family would be lost without their support and guidance, and we have certainly benefited from their extensive experience and knowledge over the years we have been involved with their program.
Anthony & Harmony’s Mum
Without Mater Dei and the support I have received from everyone there, I don’t know where my son would have gone to school as I didn’t know what options I had until I met with Pamela (the Director of Services, Mater Dei EIP), Joshua is now in Kindergarten and is the happiest I have ever seen him, he has made friends and comes home happy every day and he gets so much love and support from the therapy team and also the school.
Hunter, Joshua’s brother, loves going to Mater Dei EIP and is happy as soon as we get to the driveway. They have taught us so many new skills, that we take home and show our children, and have made our lives so much easier. We have never met such caring and honest people in our lives and all of our children love them.
Thanks to Mater Dei we have learnt how to deal and cope with everything that we need to deal with in our lives and our children’s lives and know that they are always happy to help.
Joshua & Hunter’s Mum
The team at Mater Dei are second to none!!! From the moment you enter the door you are greeted with such love and warmth, not just the first time, not just the initial visit when they sign you up and find a spot available, but every single time. You truly feel from that first moment that you are part of the family. Mater Dei doesn’t just provide early intervention for their special little people they provide a family environment, a safety net for all. Every one of the staff members are there to help guide you through the journey of acceptance, understanding, the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with the care of our special little people. The joy that you feel when your child has made progress or achieved a milestone is also felt and celebrated by the team and they are also there to bring you out of the dark moments that we all tend to feel from time to time after a day or two or let’s be honest several days of meltdowns. The team are constantly learning, training and adapting to ensure that the children are given the best possible chance that they deserve. I have and will always continue to recommend Mater Dei to anyone in need of their services. I particularly want to mention the two beautiful, amazing, talented ladies who have shared Mitchell’s journey with me and with whom I owe a great deal of gratitude, Tara and Simone. I certainly couldn’t leave out Pamela who has her heart and soul devoted to each and every one of the littles and treats us all as if we were her very own family.