Page 824 - Week 02 - Thursday, 12 February 2009

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Support Assistant. Preschool children may also be supported through the Early Childhood Centres, a special preschool group program; and

− Respite services for the families of children with ASD are provided by Disability ACT and by community agencies funded by the ACT Government.

(2) The same range of services is available for school aged children as there are for pre school children, but with a greater emphasis on school based activities. School aged children have access to:

− Medical and diagnostic services through ACT Health;

− Multidisciplinary assessment services through Therapy ACT;

− Family Support programs through Therapy ACT and with additional Family Information workshops funded by the Commonwealth Government and provided in the school setting;

− Therapy ACT provides intervention through its school aged teams. The service delivery model will depend on the needs of the individual child and could include one or more of-individual therapy, group therapy (both with a parent education focus), programs within the education setting (including collaboration with the teacher), and home visits. However, in the school aged population, especially towards middle primary, many of the issues which are raised by parents involve the school setting, therefore intervention is often based in this setting;

− The Department of Education provides education support. Depending on the level of need of the child and the preference of families this support may be to provide additional support in a mainstream classroom, attendance at a Learning Support Unit, or at a special school; and

− Respite services for the families of schools aged children are provided by Disability ACT and by community agencies funded by the ACT Government.

(3) Adults with suspected ASD can self refer or be referred to Therapy ACT for assessment and support. Disability ACT provides a range of services to adults with disabilities, including ASD. These services include:

− Community Access support;

− Accommodation support;

− Respite services for families and carers; and

− Information and Planning services.

(4) Parent Support and Education is provided through the Therapy ACT Autism Assessment and Family Support service and through the aged based teams providing intervention. The Commonwealth Government is funding two parent/carer workshops in the ACT in 2009. These workshops will be provided by the Australian Autism Education and Training Consortium

(5) The ACT has an established an interdepartmental working group on autism services. Both Territory and Commonwealth Departments attend these meetings to exchange information on services and the progress of implementing the new initiatives.

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