Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an umbrella term for developmental disorders characterised by difficulties with social communication and interaction, and repetitive and restricted interests and behaviours. ASD is life long, meaning that a person will not “grow out of it”, and the first signs appear before a child is three years of age. For information about early warning signs of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, follow this link. Children with an ASD may show differences across a range of areas of development, including sensory processing (the way they experience the world through sight, touch, sound, and so forth), fine and gross motor skills, cognition, speech, language and social skills.
ASD should be diagnosed by a team of professionals, including a paediatrician, psychologist, speech pathologist and (where appropriate), an occupational therapist. In the public health sector, autism assessments in the Western suburbs of Melbourne are conducted at Sunshine Hospital, or through Melton Health. Alternatively, assessments can be coordinated privately by a paediatrician, with medicare rebates available to assist families financially with this process. Words in Motion Speech Pathology clinic has several clinicians who are able to conduct assessments to contribute to a diagnosis of an ASD.
For children who already have a diagnosis of an ASD, we are able to provide therapy utilising the Helping Children With Autism (FaHCSIA) funding. For more information about this funding, follow this link. We also offer private therapy for children who do not have access to government funding, as well as accepting support packages from other external agencies.
If you would like to read more about the early warning signs of an ASD click here
If you would like to read about therapy for children with ASD click here
And of course if you would like to chat to one of our experienced therapists about your child's development, please contact us