Carers Program
Carers Program

Caring for a Person with Autism Spectrum Disorder

If you are caring for someone with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), whether a new diagnosis or an existing condition, there are support groups and information available to help you. The word "spectrum" is used to describe the range of these disorders, as there can be a great variation in the needs, abilities, range and severity of conditions in people with autism.

According to Autism Aspect Australia (ASPECT), Autism Spectrum Disorders include three different types of autistic disorder:

  • Autistic Disorder, sometimes known as classic autism or childhood autism,
  • Asperger's Syndrome, sometimes known as Asperger's Disorder, and
  • Pervasive Developmental - Not Otherwise Specified (sometimes referred to as atypical autism). This diagnosis is made when someone has a marked social impairment but fails to meet full criteria for either autistic disorder or Asperger's disorder.

In all three types of autism, people experience communication difficulties, problems interacting socially, and will show repetitive behaviours and restricted interests. Children diagnosed with an ASD will have some kind of difficulty in all three areas, though these vary greatly from person to person.

ASPECT offers a range of information and services for people with an ASD and their parents/ Carers including:

  • An Infoline which can provide practical strategies and information about resources and services;
  • Autism Advisor Program - this program delivered by ASPECT is part of the Australian Government's Helping Children with Autism package
  • Aspect Behaviour Support which provides behaviour support services for various age groups
  • Aspect Early Intervention - the Building Blocks program helps children with an ASD to reach their full potential. Programs can be provided for children aged up to eight years at their home, childcare, preschool, or school
  • Some programs for adults with autism, including a community participation program.
  • A parent support network called Aspect; Someone To Turn To.

Other Services include regular workshops for parents and Carers, and Aspect Diagnostic Assessment which provides assessments for ASD in children, adolescents and adults.

For more information on services, contact:
Infoline: 1800 277 328
Phone 8977 8300
Email: contact@autismspectrum.org.au
Or see Important Links

Other Resources
The Department of Education and Training runs a Positive Partnerships Program. The aim of this program is to improve the educational outcomes for school age students with an ASD, both online and through face-to-face training and workshops. These resources are delivered nationally, through training for teachers and other school staff, and workshops for parents and Carers.

The free workshops include:

  • Information on ASD
  • Opportunities to meet other families,
  • Specific strategies on how to advocate for your child,
  • Strategies to strengthen your support network and;
  • How to link to local services

For more information see Important Links

Important Links
www.autismspectrum.org.au/
http://education.gov.au/search/site/Autism

The information on these web pages is drawn from Autism Spectrum Australia's website