More Australian children living with cerebral palsy will be able to benefit from early intervention therapy, thanks to funding from the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation.
The $14,000 grant is cerebral palsy allianceoccupational therapist Jane Berry said: “It will help enable early diagnosis of cerebral palsy.”
Mr Berry, who works at the CPA’s Randwick Early Diagnosis Clinic, said early detection could be life-changing for the one in 700 Australian children born with cerebral palsy.
“For babies under 12 months old, [Early Detection] It’s a clinic where people are at risk for cerebral palsy,” Berry said.
“We are examining babies as young as two or three months old. [and] Over the past five years, we have seen over 400 babies across our three clinics. ”
She said the average age at which babies attending the clinic are diagnosed is eight months old.
“This is much lower than five years ago, before the clinic started. Back then, the average age of diagnosis in Australia was about 18 months to two years,” Mr Berry said.
“The brain learns very quickly at this age, so it’s very important to start treatment early. It’s also beneficial for families to know what’s going on with their baby.”
Seven-year-old Annika Facer was introduced to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance as a six-week-old baby, which her mother Kylie Facer said was a “complete blessing”.
“Being able to start Annika’s therapy at such a young age has only helped her development,” the Hunter Valley mother said.
“All children, including those in rural and remote areas, should have the right to access these services.
“And that should be an established link from the time the brain injury is identified. That’s where the expertise of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance comes in. Through research, they have an amazing ability to rewire the brain. We understand the importance of early diagnosis and intervention.”
CPA is one of 38 charities to have donated more than $568,000 as part of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation’s 2023 Employee Connected Grants Program.
Coca-Cola Europa-Pacific Partners employee Tabatha Satkunarajah nominated the CPA for the grant after her daughter benefited from attending an early diagnosis clinic in Randwick.
“The Cerebral Palsy Alliance is an organization that is very close to my heart,” she said.
“When my daughter was born, she was determined to be at high risk for cerebral palsy due to neurological complications.
“Thanks to CPA’s amazing team of experts and world-class early diagnosis facilities, she is now a healthy, energetic 4-year-old and living life to the fullest.”
Originally published as Cerebral Palsy Alliance: Early Detection Center receives ‘life-changing’ funding
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/cerebral-palsy-alliance-early-detection-centres-receive-lifechanging-funding-boost/news-story/bca41c4798ce6193e4c057b407268902 Coca-Cola grant enhances funding for cerebral palsy early diagnosis clinic