Our Early Intervention Service
Our early intervention service 'Better Start, Better Future'
Better Start, Better Future is our early intervention programme for babies in Wales who are at risk of/ or who have cerebral palsy. We aim to support each family in providing the best start and best future for their child.
Our approach to early intervention is parent/carer-led, individualised, and holistic. It places families at the centre of their child’s care, recognising their expertise with their baby.
Research shows that the brain is at its most plastic and adaptable during the first 2 years of life. Therefore, this is an important window of opportunity for families and their infants at high risk of cerebral palsy for specialist intervention. Future outcomes for babies are maximised when intervention begins as early as possible and considers the whole family.
The main aim of our intervention is to promote the baby’s own activity and participation, supporting them to reach their full potential not just in terms of their mobility, but also early learning and communication.
Our approach has been further enhanced by the EI SMART approach reiterating the importance of developing Sensory-Motor, Attention & regulatory and Relationship skills and working closely Together with families.
Frequently asked questions
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding our early intervention service. If you are a Health Professional and would like to find out more about our referral process, regardless of whether a diagnosis has been made, please click here.
How can I access this service for my child?
If your child is under 2 and is considered to be at high risk of developing cerebral palsy/or has had a diagnosis of cerebral palsy you can either self-refer by completing our referral form or your local therapist can complete a referral form for professionals.
Does my child need to have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy before I can make a self-referral?
No, a diagnosis does not need to be made for you to make a referral.
What will happen once I am referred?
Each consultation is 1¼ hours long. The aim of the initial session is to discuss and observe each child’s abilities. Together with families, we will explore your baby’s current skills as well as any particular challenges. We will use this as a basis for planning, developing and practising therapeutic activities to consolidate abilities and the learning of new skills to progress development. We consider the baby’s ability to feed, self-soothe, sleep, move, learn, play and communicate. Both the focus of intervention and suggested activities will be parent-led.
Depending on individual needs and circumstances, we are able to offer further single consultations every 4-6 weeks or short intensive blocks of 3 sessions every 3-4 months. A written home programme with explanations and photos is provided for each family after each episode of care.
Sessions will be provided by one or two senior therapists from our transdisciplinary team with access to our Family Support Coordinator. Face to face therapy will take place in our new centre in Llanishen, Cardiff where protocols are in place to provide a Covid-safe treating environment.
Is there any additional support for my family?
We understand that families of infants who are at a high risk/ have evolving cerebral palsy often go through periods of uncertainty. As part of our early intervention service, you will also have access to our family support sessions with our family support coordinator, Glenys Evans. Glenys is one of the charity’s Founding Parents and is a mum to Tom who has cerebral palsy. These sessions offer practical advice and emotional support to those who need it.
As part of our service, we also offer a ‘Better Start Together’ playgroup/coffee morning which provides an opportunity to meet other families of babies under 2 years who attend our centre. The group runs on a monthly basis and is led by Glenys Evans and one of our therapists. To find out more about this service, please email Glenys - firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I have to pay to access this service?
No. Once a referral has been made, your child will receive their blocks of therapy sessions and your family will receive our full support at no cost to yourself.
My child is under 2 years of age, and I would like to access this service. How do I do this?
Please fill in our self-referral form.
I have further questions regarding your early intervention service, who can I speak to?
Please email email@example.com or call 02920 522600 to speak to Glenys Evans our Family Support Coordinator.
Meet our therapy team
Our therapy team are all specialists in cerebral palsy. They work closely with you and your local therapy team to help your child reach their potential.
Make a gift to support our services
As a charity, we need to raise £1.5M every year, and around 80% of this total comes from fundraising activity. One-off donations, fundraising events and monthly gifts help ensure we can continue to provide this service free of charge to our families.
Keep in touch with us
By keeping in touch with us and joining our online community, you can stay up to date with the latest news about the services we offer and how we are continuing to make a difference to babies, children and families across Wales living with cerebral palsy.
How we have helped in Wales
Family support appointments took place in 2021-2022
Children from across Wales have been treated during 2021-2022
The number of sessions of specialist therapy we delivered in 2021-2022
After our first therapy session, I left Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s children’s centre with something nobody had previously dared give me for my little boy. I left with hope.
- Leah, Noah's mum
We left that initial therapy session on an absolute high and haven’t looked back since!
- Alison, Ben's mum
Hi, my name is Charlotte and I have just turned 15. I have recently taken part in Cerebral Palsy Cymru's 'Independent Living Skills Programme' and I would love to share my experience of the project with you.
- Independent Living Skills 2021
From that day we feel we have been part of the Cerebral Palsy Cymru family, and we have not looked back.
- Family story
Having virtual sessions opened up a new avenue of skill-building for Aoife
- Family story
Therapy and support for children and their families
Cerebral Palsy Cymru is a registered charity in England and Wales 1010183. A company limited by guarantee. Registered company in England and Wales 02691690. Registered address: Cerebral Palsy Cymru, 1 The Courtyard, 73 Ty Glas Avenue, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5DX.