Choosing Autism Interventions

australian_storyDid you see  Australian Story this evening? Parents, Ian and Nicole Rogerson say that when their son was diagnosed with Autism, they turned to the Internet for help. It really struck me, when Nicole said over the years (their son is now 13) they tried some doggy autism interventions, that parents may like some guidance on where to find balanced, evidence-based assessments on the effectiveness of the various interventions and therapies.

I’d like to share with you the following journal articles, fact sheets and government websites that may help.

First up,  A Teacher’s Guide To Controversial Practices (2004) lists a set of indicators that may serve as warning signs that a practice has not been shown to be effective. It identifies and reviews a number of practices. I don’t agree that all of the interventions are ineffective just because there is no scientific evidence to back it up . While working in Special Schools in the past I have seen the calming effects of some of these interventions. However, knowledge is power so I hope this information helps.

Secondly, I’d like to point you in the direction of the Positive Partnerships online training portal, which comprises an excellent balance of expertise in autism-specific services for parents, carers, teachers and other professionals.

Positive Partnerships is consortium comprising Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), University of Canberra, Autism South Australia and the Department of Education & Training, Western Australia and funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) through the Australian Government’s Helping Children with Autism package.

I will attempt to direct you straight to the information click on the links below. If they do not work, you”ll need to log in first. So register, then look for the fact sheets under learning resources.

Fact Sheet 1 – Using evidence to guide decision making
Fact Sheet 2 – Effectiveness of different interventions
Fact Sheet 3 – Questions to ask when choosing interventions

Each State and Territory has it’s own peak body, which will offer a balanced view of autism interventions.

Here are the contact details for the Autism Associations in Australia and New Zealand.

Australian Capital Territory
Autism Asperger ACT
c/- Self Help Organisations United Together (SHOUT)
Bldg 1, Pearce Centre
Collette Place
Pearce ACT 2067
(PO Box 717, Mawson ACT 2607)
Phone: (02) 6290 1984

New South Wales
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)
Building 1, Level 2
14 Aquatic Drive
Frenchs Forest NSW 2086
Phone: (02) 8977 8300
Info line: (02) 8977 8377

Northern Territory
Autism NT
Shop 19, Nightcliff Shopping Centre
Dick Ward Drive
Coconut Grove NT 0810
Phone: (08) 8948 4424

Autism Queensland
437 Hellawell Road
Sunnybank Hills Qld 4109
(PO Box 354, Sunnybank Hills Qld 4109)
Phone: (07) 3273 0000

South Australia
Autism SA
262 Marion Road
Netley SA 5037
(PO Box 304, Marleston DC SA 5033)
Phone: (08) 8379 6976
Info line: 1300 288 476

Autism Tasmania
PO Box 313
South Hobart 7004
Phone: (03) 6423 2288
Info line: 1300 288 476

Autism Victoria
24 Drummond Street
Carlton Vic 3053
(PO Box 235, Ashburton Vic 3147)
Phone: (03) 9657 1600
Info line: 1300 308 699

Western Australia
Autism Association of Western Australia
37 Hay Street
Subiaco WA 6008
Ph: (08) 9489 8900

New Zealand – National Office
Autism New Zealand
Level 1, Trevinos Building
22 Riccarton Road
Christchurch 8011
Ph: 0800 AUTISM (288 476) +64 3 348 2526

successinlearningstarIf you would like to share your experiences with choosing Autism Interventions please leave a comment below

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