What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a group of neuro-biological disorders that include Autism and Asperger Syndrome.
ASD affects the way a person:
- Communicates with others
- Socialises with others
- Processes information from his/her senses
- Responds and adapts to his/her environment.
These characteristics often lead to behaviours such as:
- Rigid adherence to routines
- Fixations on objects or topics (restricted interests)
- Repetitive behaviours.
ASD can have a profound and complicated impact on the most apparently simple everyday activities.
How is Autism Spectrum Disorder assessed and diagnosed?
Gateways has an expert team that works in collaboration with the child's paediatrician to undertake Autism Assessments, which are used to diagnose whether or not a child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Diagnosing a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder involves three stages: Screening; Assessment; and, Feedback and Report.
The assessment team uses information gathered from parents, doctors, therapists and teachers, as well as their own observations in the child's home/kindergarten/childcare, and during the formal assessment . The assessment is a play-based, standardised session.
A diagnosis is formulated after consultation with the child's paediatrician. Families are then given feedback about the diagnosis.
Who can I turn to for help?
Gateways provides many programs that help families gain the skills and resources they need to suit their individual circumstances. This approach, combined with early intervention programs, helps achieve maximum outcomes for the child and family, and promotes positive inclusion in their community.
What Autism Spectrum Disorder services does Gateways provide?
Gateways has an established, expert team of psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and early intervention teachers, who work with families with a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to help them identify and access the services and support they need.
Services provided by Gateways include: Autism Assessments; Early Intervention Services including educational, behaviourial, occupational and speech therapy; the Autism Early Learning Program; Autism Playgroups; the Kindergarten Inclusion Support Service; respite; and, support programs for parents. Read more about these in Our Programs.
Gateways also provides services under the Helping Children with Autism initiative including Early Days Workshops for parents and carers of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, or behaviours like an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
autismhelp.info is a website developed by Gateways to provide practical strategies for parents, teachers, childcare workers, integration aids and health professional. Look for the Printable Files for information about specific topics.
What is the 'Helping Children with Autism' initiative/
Helping Children with Autism is a Federal Government initiative that supports families with children aged between 1-7 years, who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, by providing up to $12,000 (maximum of $6000 per financial year) for early intervention services.
Gateways is an approved 'Helping Children with Autism' provider on the Early Intervention Provider Panel. Under this scheme you can ask Gateways' expert staff to provide the therapy and group services your family needs so you can maximise your:
Our services include: communication programs; sensory integration programs; independence training; training for families with preschoolers with autism; and, group programs such as Early Days Workshops and the Hanen 'More than Words' communication training. See a full list of Gateways Helping Children with Autism programs.
To find out if you can be part of this initiative contact the Gateways Early Childhood Intervention Services Manager via Contact Us or by phoning 5221 2984.
Who can help me if my child is aged 7 years or more?
Gateways Short Term Case Management helps families with school-age children get the information and resources that best supports them. Case Managers help families access: respite; parent-to-parent support groups; services provided by other agencies; and, social and recreational groups. Case Managers can also support families by liaising with their child's school to ensure positive inclusion in the school community. Read more about Short Term Case Management or Contact Us via email or by phoning 5221 2984.
Gateways may also provide Transition Case Management to support families as their children make the important transition from Gateways Early Childhood Intervention program to primary school.
You may also be interested in Parent to Parent Support. Many parents tells us that their most effective form of support and information is from others in the same situation. There may be a Parent to Parent Support Group operating in your area.
What is www.autismhelp.info?
Gateways developed www.autismhelp.info to increase awareness of ASD, and to provide practical strategies and resources to benefit preschool, primary and secondary teachers, childcare workers, integration aids, health professionals and more.
When visiting www.autismhelp.info be sure to look at the Printable Files. These are printable fact sheets that give invaluable tips on a huge range of topics including: behaviour management; sensory issues; social interaction; and, communication. There are Fact Sheets relating to preschoolers, primary school-aged children, and adolescents.