When Rebecca Stanik learned her nine-year-old daughter could have cerebral palsy, it was a huge shock.
But it's the pitfalls of the health system that have rocked the family to its core.
Dakota has muscle weakness on her left side and is falling behind at school. She becomes fatigued easily, especially after playing netball, and is know to sleep for several hours afterwards to recover.
Her occupational therapist suspects the condition causing her symptoms is cerebral palsy, which affects muscle movement and coordination and can also cause learning impairments.
Mrs Stanik says Dakota needs additional support in the classroom straight away but the school cannot request funding to pay for that help until it receives a concrete diagnosis.
That has to come from a pediatric neurologist and it'll be June before they can see that specialist.
On top of that, the family cannot apply for NDIS funding to help pay for Dakota's medical appointments until they can supply a written diagnosis from a specialist.
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The costs of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, podiatry and seeing a dietitian and an ear nose and throat specialist are quickly adding up.
"My husband is working two jobs now to try and get us through," the Thornton woman said.
"We have to pay all of it out of our own pocket, the occupational therapy is $176 a session for an hour, physio is $165 for an hour and the amount for speech varies.
I'm wondering how many parents who have thrown their hands up and thought it's too hard - there's no help from anyone. We just want to help our little girl.
Mrs Stanik contacted the NDIS after an occupational therapist suggested she apply to help pay for the medical appointments. She said the NDIS told her it couldn't help because her daughter was over the age of six.
She then created a Go Fund Me page to raise money to help pay the bills.
An NDIS spokeswoman said access to the NDIS was based on functional impairment, not on the condition or diagnosis.
She said children aged seven and over may need to provide evidence of their diagnosis and functional limitations to meet eligibility requirements and those up to the age of six were covered through the Early Childhood Early Intervention approach.
Having an informed diagnosis is an important step to help families identify the most appropriate types of supports best placed to assist – such as the health system for diagnosis and assessment, the education system for learning supports, and the NDIS for disability-related supports. This is particularly important for children,the spokeswoman said.