29 September 2017
The ASDESI Program: Education, Support and Information for Children With ASD and Their Families – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Amber Hall
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that affects the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people.
(ASD’s) are lifelong developmental disabilities characterised by impairments in social interaction, communication and a lack of flexibility in thinking and behaviour, including restricted, repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behaviour, interests and activities.
The range and severity of developmental challenges occur along a spectrum which includes Autistic Disorder, Asperger syndrome, Retts Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS).
It is estimated that one in 100 people has autism: that’s almost 230,000 Australians and it affects almost four times as many boys than girls. 28% of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants have autism, making it the second largest disability group in the NDIS.*
Paediatricians, psychologists and psychiatrists play a key role in ASD diagnosis. By observing and meeting with the individual, their family and service providers, they can make an assessment based on factors such as the individuals level of social interaction, communication and behaviours.
Each person diagnosed with ASD has different challenges, strengths and abilities. Interchange Australia’s ASDESI program (Autism Spectrum Disorder Education, Support and Information) provides a range of education, support and information services for families caring for a young person (up to 18 years) with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to maximise the potential of each child and family.
The ASDESI program uses a family-based model to identify ASD-related challenges and to develop collaborative family strategies to manage these challenges. Parents are supported and empowered to become the ‘expert’ and to optimise their capacity in supporting their children to achieve their potential.
• Educational Courses: To provide ASD specific courses which educate young people and their families.
• Activities: To provide opportunities for children to learn new skills, to have fun, and to socialise with other children. Activities include music, cooking, art and drama.
• Social Support Groups: To facilitate social networking groups between parents and, separately, between the young people with an ASD.
The ASDESI program supports over 33 local families each year. Not only has ASDESI delivered positive outcomes for children with ASD, it has immensely supported the families of those children.
The ASDESI Program would not exist without the ongoing support of the Kollege of Knowledge Kommittee for Kids and the 4K Ladies Luncheon Committee.
For more information about ASDESI, please call 4868 6677.
*Autism Spectrum Australia
*National Disability Insurance Scheme