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What support is available for school aged children?

Services are available for children and adolescents, from six to 18 years of age.


School Support Benefits

Therapy can be delivered at our specialist centres or within home, school and/or community environments. Therapy and clinical services offer a range of benefits to people with Autism and their families which include:

  • Supporting emotional and physical wellbeing;
  • Promoting the development of networks and relationships;
  • Building skills;
  • Developing independence; and
  • Increasing participation at home, school and in the community.

Please see the range of options outlined below and contact us to speak to our team for more information.

The program begins with a comprehensive assessment to identify the strengths and areas needing further development for your child. It brings together the combined clinical expertise of our transdisciplinary team into a single Intervention Plan developed with your family and integrating your NDIA goals.

The goal is to support your child to participate at home, school and across community settings, by identifying priority areas to focus on which may include:

  • Transition to school.
  • School readiness, including organisation, participation and independence.
  • Emotional regulation and social skills.
  • Expressive and receptive language and literacy skills.
  • Gross and fine motor skills.
  • Sensory processing.
  • Self-care skills.
  • Protective behaviours and safety.

Therapy for individuals is delivered by a range of allied health professionals, including: speech pathologists, occupational therapists and psychologists.

Therapy is delivered at home, school or in our specialist centres and includes parent and carer involvement.

If additional support is required to help guide your child’s behaviour, our specialist behaviour support team is on hand.
The first step is a further in-depth assessment, followed by the development of a Positive Behaviour Support Plan, personalised to the needs of your child. This program also includes training and coaching for parents, siblings and other supporters.

Our team will work closely with you and the school to facilitate the transition into new school environments, the integration of therapy goals within the School Individual Education Plan and to support curriculum modification and integration of visual strategies.

This will include school visits and teachers are also encouraged to observe individual therapy sessions to replicate strategies that can be implemented into the classroom.

Support is available to plan career pathways to encourage a successful transition from high school to university or TAFE, employment, alternatives to employment and community or recreational activities.

Therapists provide parents with information and materials relating to ASD throughout the year. In addition, visual resources will be prepared and implemented across home, school and community environments, whenever required.

The goal of these resources is to develop the person’s independence, communication and social participation.

Parents are key members of the team. Throughout the year, training workshops and coaching programs are run to assist you to turn everyday family life and events into learning opportunities for your child. See the event calendar for more information.

  • Collaboration: We work in collaboration with Teachers to maximise the participation and inclusion of all students with Autism. 
  • Teachers can also contact your key therapist at any time to discuss strategies to positively support behaviour and develop skills.
  • Teachers of students not accessing our therapy programs can also contact us for advice for advise and support. Link here for advise and support page
  • Teacher training workshops: See the events calendar to find out more about the teacher training workshops available during the year.

Our highly popular small-group therapy programs are designed to develop identified skills in a welcoming and encouraging way. Each school-aged child is matched to a group according to his or her goals and individual needs.

The groups are run are either after-school or during holidays. The sessions are facilitated by experienced speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists and therapy assistants..

Topics include social skills, self-care, fitness and anxiety management as outlined below.

To find out which group might suit your school-aged child or adolescent, please contact us on therapy@autism.org.au

  • Detective Club:
    Social Skills: Designed to develop your child’s theory of mind, increasing social observation skills, building understanding of social expectations in different contexts and increasing language and memory skills to develop and sustain relationships.
  • Fit Kidz:
    Movement and Gross Motor Skills: Improving fundamental movement skills, developing a positive relationship with physical activities, building upon current fitness levels, enabling children to participate confidently in play, dance, games, sport, outdoor education and recreational activities at home, at school and in the community.
  • Secret Agent Society:
    Social Skills and Emotional Regulation: Improving the recognition of emotions in themselves and others, expressing feelings in appropriate ways, coping with feelings of anger and anxiety, starting, continuing and ending conversations and play activities with others.
  • Kids Club: Play:
    Learning to take turns and share with other children, playing simple rule-based games, initiating play, developing language, increasing group participation, awareness of emotions and basic theory of mind.
  • Super Chef:
    Daily Living Skills: Increasing independence in dressing, increasing independence in preparing simple food, increasing independence in tying shoelaces, washing hands and brushing teeth.
  • Cool Kids:
    Emotional Regulation: A group for parents and children to support learning about feelings and anxiety, detective thinking and learning to think more realistically, ways that parents can help, fighting fear and facing fear, learning to solve a problem and building assertiveness.
  • Special Interest Groups:
    These groups target goals and promote skill development through a special interest. Skills targeted include but are not limited to: Lego, Minecraft, girls , science, art and building things. These groups are typically held over the school holiday period.

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Our Team

The Autism Association’s trans-disciplinary team approach enables us to draw on the strengths of therapists from different professional backgrounds. Our team are passionate and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people with Autism and their families.

We meet with the person with Autism, their family and other important people in their life to discuss the goals that are important to them. Together we develop a Plan that outlines the best way to achieve these goals. 

One Team member is given the role of key therapist. The key therapist is responsible for collaborating with the person’s support networks and is the direct contact for the person with Autism and their family.

The Autism Association’s Therapy and Clinical Services Team includes:

  • Psychologists
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Specialist Teachers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Specialist Therapy Assistants.

Team members are skilled in supporting people with Autism and their families and receive extensive and ongoing professional development. Services are best practice and based on leading national and international peer-reviewed research in the field of Autism.

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