What do you do after a diagnosis of Autism?

By Dr Tommy TranGeneral10 Nov 2015

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Autism is a condition where children have difficulties with their social interactions as well as having restricted or repetitive interests. The incidence of autism has slowly increased which may be related to better identification and awareness in the community, but may also be due to a general increase in the condition. Currently approximately one in 88 children will be diagnosed with autism and it is more common in boys at a ratio of approximately 3:1. 

With more people being diagnosed with Autism, what do you need to do after your child has been given a diagnosis? This can sometimes be an overwhelming task with lots of conflicting information available on the Internet. Below is a list of services that become available following a diagnosis of autism.

  • The autism advisor program provides access to the Helping Children with Autism Package, if the diagnosis is made before 6 years. Their phone number is 1800 428 847
  • The HCWA package provides $12,000 of funding to be used before the age of seven, with a maximum of $6000 per year. It can be used for resources, as well as therapy.
  • Early intervention providers such as speech and occupational therapists need to be registered to provide services. You can check if your provider is registered at this website
  • For any children diagnosed with Autism,  there are an additional 20 allied health sessions available with Medicare rebates to be used before the age of 15.
  • For children who have not started school they will be able to access an Early Childhood Development Program (ECDP) run by education Queensland. For a list of schools you can visit this website. This is a prep readiness program to help children get ready for school.
  • For children who are attending school they can access and Education Adjustment Program (EAP) which provides extra funding to support your child at school. It also allows access the the Special Education Unit at certain schools.
  • Your child will also be eligible for a carers allowance and healthcare card through centre link. Ask your Allied health or doctor to complete a medical report.
  • Autism Queensland have lots more group programs and resources available.

As you can see this can be a daunting process however it will be worthwhile in the long run. There may be other services that can be accessed, and the information above is a guide only. Should you have any questions remember to talk to your allied health professional or doctor.

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