Autism Queensland Gladstone has a specialist therapy and teaching team that can deliver several programs to individuals with ASD and their families living in Gladstone and the surrounding region.
Programs offered from the Autism Queensland Gladstone site in Glen Eden include;
- Early Childhood Intervention
- Group Programs for School-Aged Children & Adolescents
- Individual Therapy
- Secret Agent Society (SAS) Social Skills Program
- School Advisory Visits
Autism Queensland is also able to offer families the following programs;
- Early Days Workshops
- Early Intervention Indigenous Liaison Officer Program
- Scheduled Workshops and Professional Learning Opportunities
Bonita Chard, Team Leader of Autism Queensland in Gladstone explained that there is a fee for these programs, however, Autism Queensland can provide complementary support to assist in NDIS Pre-Planning. “We are able to provide information about the services we have, or what may suit their needs. Autism Queensland is a registered provider of NDIS supports which mean NDIS funding can be used for these programs,” Bonita said. Enrolments for 2019 programs are now open.
Bonita said individual programs can be held within the home, and within the school where appropriate. “You don’t need a formal diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) however, this is our niche,” Bonita said. The cost of these services is based on the NDIS price guide and is available on request.
Early Childhood Intervention Group Therapy
Autism Queensland’s ‘Early Childhood Intervention Group’ program supports young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays. This program helps develop the skills necessary for successful participation in home and community life.
Essential components of this programs include:
- Staff following evidence-based practice, including the implementation of the Early Start Denver Model (a very intensive approach, which optimises child engagement to target all areas of development, according to 480 developmental milestones of a child aged 0 – 5).
- Acknowledging that parents are crucial members of the team, who will help their child achieve success.
- Recognising the specific needs of young children and their individual strengths and interests, to motivate learning and the development of skills ov
- er key developmental domains (communication, social skills, cognition, play, fine motor, gross motor, behaviour and personal independence)
- Capitalising on the tremendous plasticity of the young mind, to support and build capabilities to minimise the impact of the disability on the child’s daily living, through naturalistic learning and age-appropriate play.
- Teaching skills that are meaningful and purposeful to each child, which align with the parent centred goals and concerns.
- A positive approach to behaviour support, which focuses on understanding the reasons for undesirable behaviour, and building knowledge and skills to replace.
A maximum of six children will attend this program, two days per week for a total of 11 hours, during school terms (12-month enrolment). Each child will also receive eight hours of assessment and home and/or kindy visits annually, as recommended by therapists and discussed with parents. Within this program, the child will have exposure to weekly input by an Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist and Developmental Educator/Teacher.
Early Start Denver Model Individual Program
This intervention is provided by trained therapists during natural age-appropriate settings, including play and daily routines. This is a relationship-based intervention that involves the parents and families aiming to increase the rates of the child’s progress in all developmental domains. All ESDM therapists are qualified professionals who have attended a training workshop and submitted videotapes showing their use of ESDM techniques in therapy sessions. Individual programming is usually 1 – 3 hours per week, pending the individual needs of the child.
Autism Queensland’s speech pathologists and occupational therapists have a broad range of experience, skills and additional certifications to best cater to the individual needs of the person accessing their services. They use a strengths-based, client and family-centred approach and deliver evidence-based interventions in line with current research. Autism Queensland’s therapists are part of a highly experienced team of specialist therapists and teachers who work alongside each other and regularly share their knowledge and expertise. They all access regular clinical supervision from Senior Professionals in their disciplines and participate in a range of continuing professional learning activities throughout the year.
‘Learn to Play’ Program
Autism Queensland has therapists trained in Karen Stagnitti’s ‘Learn to Play’.
Playing in the playground is not an easy thing to do. You need to decide if you want to play by yourself, play with others, or join in on a team game. Recess time, or lunch time, is unstructured time and children who come to school with the ability to play can usually organise themselves into some sort of activity during lunch. Autism Queensland includes play as part of their curriculum with careful thought and understanding of how children learn through play.
What assessments are available?
- ADOS -2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale – 2nd Edition) …coming 2019.
- Speech Pathology Assessment (Speech, Language and Communication)
- Functional Needs Assessment
- Cognitive Assessment
- Autism Diagnostic Questionnaires (young adults)
- Occupational Therapy Assessment (eg sensory profiles, fine and gross motor skills, daily living skills, etc).
Fine Motor Skills Group
This group aims to develop the fine motor skills of children with ASD focusing on areas including:
- Hand and finger strength and control
- Independence in everyday tasks including tying shoe-laces, doing-up buttons.
These weekly, hour-long sessions are delivered by an occupational therapist, during term time. Short group therapy involves 3-5 children, per group.
Secret Agent Society
An evidence-based social skills program for children aged 8-12 years with social and emotional challenges. This program aims to help children crack the codes of emotions and friendships, bullying, friendly joking, conversations and social encounters. This program is delivered during school terms.
Food School/Feeding Therapy
Food School will assist individuals to develop their eating habits and independent eating skills.
These sessions target areas that may cause difficulty for individuals with ASD, such as restrictions in the types and number of foods they will eat, sensitivity to certain tastes, smells and textures and extreme reactions to foods they do not like. These weekly, one-hour sessions are delivered by a speech pathologist or occupational therapist.
Social skills are a typical area of difficulty for children with autism and developing these skills happens most successfully using favourite activities and interests to encourage engagement, curiosity, communication, sharing and waiting for a turn. Lego is commonly a strong interest for children with autism and is ideal to use as a tool to teach and practice social skills. The group will assist younger children to develop competencies in communication, build social skills and emotional intelligence as well as self confidence in literacy and team building skills.
Literacy Support Group
This group provides time for students with ASD to focus on their education in a relaxed setting, where they can receive support for their specific needs. Autism Queensland works collaboratively with schools to source your child’s goals, or with your child to develop their personal academic aspirations or challenges. The program also focuses on the independent completion of tasks to help children avoid anxiety and to better cope with future academic difficulties.