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Keeping you Safe: COVID-19 Updates

The Autism Association is here to support you and your family at this challenging time. The health and welfare of individuals with Autism, their family and carers, is at the forefront of our minds in every decision we make.

Please be assured that the health and well being of our clients are of the utmost importance to us. We have put together a team who are meeting daily to review new information and advice on COVID-19 and to make decisions on the best way to support our clients at this time. Decisions that we make will be based on information provided by the Western Australian Department of Health, and the Australian Government.

Latest Updates

Services and Other information

All our services are in operation and we closely monitor them to ensure standards of hygiene and safe practices in the community, home and other venues. In this regard, the following updates may be helpful:

  • Our Early Intervention services continue to run from all of our centres. Our specialist groups, home and school therapy are postponed, however we are continuing to offer direct therapy on a one-to-one basis with their therapist – with all safety measures in place and time gaps between each child to allow for cleaning of equipment and social distancing.

  • In addition to direct therapy in our centres, we have a range of therapy services and consultancy services that are now taking place online through our TeleTherapy video conferencing platform.

  • Our Autism Advisors are on hand to help you with any questions you may have in relation to support or services you may need and NDIS.

  • All Community Living services are operating fully as usual with additional measures in place for safety and support related to COVID-19.

  • Community Access services are continuing on a one-to-one basis, albeit with more limited community options due to the closure of  venues.

  • We are excited to offer our weekly parent support groups and our Dads groups online for parents of children up to 15 years of age.

  • All our Parent Training will be available via live webinars or by 48 hour access to a recording of the live webinar. You can access all training here.

  • We have a range of social skills groups for teens online – click here for more. 

  • Our dedicated therapy team are busily preparing and collating great resources including videos and social stories that can support you and your family. You can download them in the ‘Resources for download’ tab on this page. 

Staying in touch:

As any new information comes to hand, we will be updating you. In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or if you would like to provide us with feedback. We are all going through this together and we will do everything that we can to support you at this time.

A Reminder

As a precautionary measure to minimise the risk of viral transmission, we ask that you advise us of the following prior to accessing services:

  • If you or your family has been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results.

  • If you or your family have been advised by public health authorities that you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

  • If you or your family member has a cold, or are experiencing flu-like symptoms (cough, runny nose, sneezing and/or fever), it is advisable to stay at home until the illness passes, and seek advice from your medical practitioner

Our Staff:

We have put in place robust reporting and return to work requirements for our staff travelling overseas. These measures are also intended to safeguard all our clients.

Questions: 

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your Coordinator or Key Therapist.

Where do I get more information?

You could call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080; or we also encourage you to visit WA State Government’s Health website for the latest information about the COVID-19 virus and its impacts in our areas: https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus

 

Therapy Options

Autism Advisors

Our Autism Advisor Team are here to help and provide phone consultancy and support. We know that many of our clients and families are going through difficult times related to the Pandemic. There is a loss of routine, constant changes and unpredictable changes to how we are all living day to day. This for people with Autism is even more challenging, and it is important that we try to set up routines and try and create a sense of calmness through the routine, and create visual supports to be able to communicate this routine when it is needed. Our Team of Autism Advisors can help problem solve and provide support and strategies to assist you through this period.  We can also help:

  • Phone support and consultancy

  • Link you into relevant resources and visual supports

  • Provide you with NDIA updates and information

  • Link you into other government support and funding that is now available

  • Diagnostic support

  • Service linkages

We are here to help and you can contact our team on (08) 9489 8900 or via email to: Autism.Advisor@autism.org.au


TeleTherapy

Access therapy from the comfort of your own home utilising our TeleTherapy service.

In light of recent recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 many families and individuals will be limiting their usual outings including work, school, appointments, and social gatherings and will be spending more time at home. Tele therapy is a video conferencing online platform in which therapist are able to connect with individuals.

Individuals with Autism benefit significantly from access to regular support, structure and routine. During this time of uncertainty and frequent change we would like to assist you to support your family or yourself to implement as much routine and consistency as possible. It is our mission to ensure that all our service users have access to continued therapy services whilst safeguarding their health. What better way to do this than in the comfort and safety of your own home!

For more information select the most relevant option: 

Click here to download your free TeleTherapy Guide – or visit the ‘Resources’ Tab. Alternatively, chat to your Current Key Therapist.


Therapy in our Centres

We are still offering individual therapy sessions for children in our centres. Most of these sessions will be 1.5 hours to minimise number of children in the centres, and maximise hygiene and safe working practices. We have taken extremely high hygiene standards and measures to ensure a safe working environment for all our children and families.

The range of therapy options include:

  • Direct Therapy with your Key Therapist

  • Occupational Therapy Sessions 

  • Speech Therapy Sessions

  • Sessions with a Therapy Assistant

  • Behaviour Support Consultation  (Key Therapist & Therapists from our Behaviour Support Team)

  • Meal Time Consultation with our Specialist Meal Time Management Team

  • Individual Planning Meeting- Review and updating of goals, NDIS preparation and Planning  (we can invite your child’s teacher into this meeting via teleconference)

  • Specialist assessments

  • NDIA pre-planning and preparation

Talk to your Key Therapist to book these in, or you can call the Team Leader at any of our centers to book in sessions. These sessions are filling fast, especially over School holidays, so book your spot quickly.


Groups

Based on Government updates and feedback from you our families, we are planning to put our specialist therapy groups on hold for Term 2. This may change and we will let you know.  We have made it a priority of our services to focus on direct individual therapy in response to the requests from a majority of our families. We hope to have our specialist groups back as soon as possible.

In the mean time, stay tuned, as we are going to have a number of groups go live online starting Term 2.  Groups such as Koder Club for Teens, Kontakt for Primary School Kids and PEERS for Adults will be available virtually; we will update you with more information very soon.


Parent Support Groups

We are so excited to offer our weekly parent support groups and our Dads groups online starting next week. This is a really important time for parents to connect with each other and to get support whilst in the comfort of your own home. Click here for more information: https://www.autism.org.au/our-services/diagnosis/parent-support-training/


Parent training webinars – Now available

A range of webinars are available for parents to register for using there funding – click here for more information:  https://www.autism.org.au/training/training-for-families-2020/


Tele-Hanen

In the current global situation, we are looking at ways to offer the Hanen programs: More Than Words™ and Talkability™  via TeleTherapy. This will ensure that every family can access this parent-implemented intervention that will build and improve their child’s communication skills. To find out more information, or to book your place, kindly complete the expression of interest form: https://www.autism.org.au/training/training-for-families-2020/hanen-intensive-parent-training/


Employment and Autism

We know that it is a difficult period for many people including those with Autism who have recently lost their employment. Our Employment team can help you during this pandemic period; provide you with support; help you maintain and develop your job skills;  and link you back into employment in the near future. Talk to our Employment Team for Support on (08) 9489 8900. 

Resources for Download

Our wonderful team of therapists are busily preparing and collating great resources that can support our clients and families across the pandemic.

Therapists can provide customised home therapy packs for their clients that include visual supports, tips sheets, activities and more! Chat to your Key Therapist today!

Not accessing services with us? Contact our Autism Advisory service on (08) 9489 8900. 

In the meantime, the following resources are available to download with more coming soon! 

Useful Websites

Our Therapists have identified the following websites that may prove useful to Families at this time: 


Federal Department of Health:

Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. Our information provides daily updates, answering your questions about the latest news, current facts and figures, travel advice, key contact and phone numbers: https://www.health.gov.au/

A collection of coronavirus (COVID-19) campaign resources for the general public can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-campaign-resources

NDIS 

Check this page regularly for the latest information on the response to coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.ndis.gov.au/coronavirus

WA Disability Services – WA Dept. of Communities

Information for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants and providers through COVID-19: https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19/disability-services-covid-19/

Department of Social Services

The Disability Information Helpline provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/information-and-referrals-for-people-with-disability-and-their-supporters-about-coronavirus-covid-19

WA Department of Health

Updates as new information becomes available:  https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus

WA Covid19 Clinics: https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/COVID-clinics

World Health Organisation

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Department of Education

All Western Australian public schools are being supported by the Department of Education to implement a plan in relation to COVID-19. Information for Parents can be found here: https://www.education.wa.edu.au/coronavirus-school-update

Positive Partnerships

Online learning modules and webinars that cover a wide range of autism-related topics. Free and available at your convenience: https://www.positivepartnerships.com.au/

Raising Children Network

Find information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and protective hygiene, plus tips to help you and your family cope: https://raisingchildren.net.au/guides/coronavirus-covid-19-guide

Head to Health

Head to Health is committed to providing Australians with trusted information and digital supports to help support everyone’s mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic. https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19

Student Wellbeing Hub

Find topics and student learning resources on things like dealing with bullying, how to be smart online, and lots more. You can also find games, videos and websites just for you: https://studentwellbeinghub.edu.au/students/

Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM

Strategies to support individuals with ASD through uncertain times: https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/supporting-individuals-autism-through-uncertain-times

Every Australian Counts

Information about coronavirus – or COVID-19 is changing every day – and information can be hard to find. This website has collated a range of information into one place for people with disability, their families and carers: https://everyaustraliancounts.com.au/ndis-coronavirus-resources/

Speak now