More funding for cerebral palsy diagnostic clinics | MyCareSpace

Cerebral Palsy Early Diagnosis

A gorgeous little girl sitting in a supported wheelchair. She has a pony tail and super cute glasses.

The importance of early diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

A diagnosis of cerebral palsy can now be made for children under 6 months of age. Babies’ brains develop more rapidly in the first 1000 days of their life than at any other time. Getting the right diagnosis early means your child can start with appropriate interventions and supports to reach their best potential.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance's Early Diagnosis Clinics are free diagnostic clinics for babies at high risk of cerebral palsy. The clinic aims to fast track diagnosis and enable quicker access to early interventions, family support and better outcomes for the future.

Each clinic has an expert multi-disciplinary team, including a paediatric neurologist, social worker, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, and speech pathologist.

Why is early intervention so important?

Research shows that early intervention including intensive, repetitive, task-specific exercise should start for children diagnosed with cerebral palsy within the first 12 months.

This is essential for the developing brain as the connections between the brain and spine are still forming. Experiences a child has when they are very young, shapes the way their brains develop. Infants at risk of cerebral palsy also need targeted intervention and monitoring to prevent secondary problems from occurring.

Coca-Cola funds Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s early diagnosis clinic

Changes are ahead for Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s early diagnosis clinic in Randwick, Sydney following a grant from the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation.

The clinics aim is to fast-track early diagnoses of the condition, which research shows is critical, especially within a child’s first year of life.  As well as supporting the clinic at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, clinics in the Hunter and Prairiewood will receive funding to provide free access to these services.

According to Coca Cola senior commercial manager Tabitha Satkunarajah, the grant gives “hope for families like mine”. Having a child with cerebral palsy is a real eye-opener that perfectly connects my work life at Coca-Cola with my home life as a mum, she said.

 “The Randwick Early Diagnosis Clinic was our first clinic and it’s already a game-changer as it brings essential services closer to families who need them most,” CP Alliance chair of Cerebral Palsy Research, Professor Nadia Badawi said.

CPA is one of 38 charities to receive funding as part of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation’s 2023 Employee Connected Grants program, sharing more than $568,000, its biggest pool yet for the foundation.

The foundation supports charitable initiatives across a diverse array of programs, from disaster preparedness to citizen science projects. 

Who is eligible for the clinic?

Infants 12 months or younger are eligible if they have clinical history indicating risk for cerebral palsy.

Risk factors may include:

  • prematurity,
  • birth defects,
  • genetic conditions,
  • intrauterine growth restriction,
  • seizures,
  • neonatal stroke,
  • infection. 



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