Establishing evidence for practice for supporting children with Autism in childcare


The Autism Association of Western Australia together with Curtin University and prominent university partners from across Australia established a research program in 2012 designed to evaluate the early intervention services offered to young children with Autism.The aim of the project has been to measure child and family outcomes of children who participate in an Autism Specific Long Day Care Centre (ASELCC). Child outcomes have been investigated in relation to goal achievement, preparation for the first education setting and developmental profiles.

Following analysis of the data from child and family assessments conducted over the past six years, preliminary results have shown positive outcomes for children and families who have participated in the program.

In 2016 we saw the completion of two major pilot studies. The first looked at identifying subtypes of children that may respond preferentially to certain types of intervention. While the second study looked at identifying the factors needed for children with Autism to make a successful transition from early intervention to school. Both studies were successful and each was awarded funding for a further two years of data collection. The transition to school project is currently being prepared for publication.

In 2017 the Association will lead two new projects. The first will extend the findings of the transition to school study by collecting parental and teacher perspectives on successful transitions, and the other will look to contrast the strengths of our ASELCC model of intervention with our highly regarded First Steps for Autism early intervention program. The Association will also play an active role in a new study led by Griffith University aiming to debunk and eradicate ineffective therapies that are either ineffective or harmful to children with Autism.

More information about research and the Autism Association of Western Australia can be found on the Research page of this website.

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