Inklings is funded for eligible families who live in Western Australia. Click here to learn more.
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NDIA backs Telethon Kids Institute's Program Inklings to support babies who are developing differently.

A world-first program for babies with delays in their social and communication skills has been launched in Western Australia, thanks to support from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Telethon Kids Institute's Inklings — a program which supports babies aged 6-18 months who are showing early differences in their social interaction and communication development — is now funded in WA by the NDIA as part of a new partnership between NDIA, Telethon Kids, Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) and WA Country Health Service.

Minister for the NDIS and Government Services Bill Shorten MP and WA Minister for Health Amber-Jade Sanderson announced the new partnership, which will run for three years and involve 700 families from across WA, in Perth today.

Minister Shorten said this is a game changing pilot that many families in Australia are excited to take part in and see the results.

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

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

“The Albanese Government is excited to fund this program to eligible families in WA as it will allow us to explore new ways in how we go about supporting future generations.”

Minister Sanderson said it was great to see such a groundbreaking program like Inklings emerge out of WA.

“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.

“It means parents can also be proactive in their approach to their baby’s development, and if they have an ‘inkling’ about a delay these areas, they will be empowered to act.”

The Inklings Program builds on landmark research conducted by Telethon Kids Institute, University of Manchester, La Trobe University and CAHS, which found improvements in parent-child interactions and children’s language skills.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse, the Angela Wright Bennet Professor of Autism Research at Telethon Kids and The University of Western Australia, welcomed the Federal and State Governments’ support of Inklings.

“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,” Professor Whitehouse said.

Caregivers who live in WA can either be referred by a health professional or enquire direct to Inklings to see if they are eligible to participate in Inklings.