Stepping Stones for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Central Victoria

stepping stones

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects 1% of the population and which encompasses a broad range of conditions ranging from mild to very complex.

A group of Masters occupational therapy students from Latrobe University in Bendigo were commissioned to undertake a project to identify Autism specific needs, challenges and opportunities in Central Victoria.  Working together with Windarring and the Macedon Ranges Autism Network the students undertook a survey of clients, carers and support staff which provided useful insights for the students to base their findings.

The students today presented their “Staff Resource Booklet for Autism Spectrum Disorder” which gives in-depth recommendations for the type of services and the best method of service delivery for people affected by Autism.  Recommendations include the development of individualized programs and goal setting, providing up to date training for staff and the value of additional allied health services.

“Windarring is pleased to be able to say that we are well underway in implementing these recommendations, and in particular we are working hard to provide vocational training and pathways for young people with Autism through our new ‘Windarring Works’ program currently under development”  said Windarring CEO Chris O’Connor.  “In addition to this we understand that housing and accommodation has become an emerging issue and we are developing a range of opportunities and supports for people to enjoy living in the community”.

The presentation was also attended by Fiona Le Nepveu from the Macedon Ranges Autism Network which has contact with over 200 families.  Fiona was pleased to have played a key role in the study and is excited to be able to share the findings throughout the professional network facilitated by the group.  “This project has created a valuable link between people affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder and service providers such as Windarring.  We are excited to be able to work together to provide great outcomes for people with Autism in Central Victoria”, said Fiona, a comment which was backed up by Chris O’Connor.