Autism sym­po­sium plan for Novem­ber

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

PAR­ENTS with autis­tic chil­dren can at­tend an Autism West-or­gan­ised sym­po­sium after the Mos­man Park com­mu­nity group got a $19,850 Lot­teryWest grant from Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett last Wed­nes­day.

“We’ll be cov­er­ing is­sues in­clud­ing be­hav­iour, sex­u­al­ity and di­ag­no­sis of autism, and the grant will pay for ac­com­mo­da­tion for peo­ple to at­tend the sym­po­sium in Novem­ber,” Autism West chief ex­ec­u­tive Ali­son Davis said.

With greater aware­ness of autism, pres­sure is grow­ing on the 2008-cre­ated group that helps about 90 chil­dren, teenagers and young adults daily get so­cial and prac­ti­cal skills.

“A lot of these kids make it to school or univer­sity, but strug­gle there be­cause they don’t have the so­cial skills and con­nec­tions with a group,” Ms Davis said.

Autism West has 600 fam­i­lies on its books, re­lies on fundrais­ing for its $500,000 bud­get, and gets no di­rect State Govern­ment fund­ing.

Ms Davis said it was try­ing to broaden the sup­port avail­able to young autism suf­fer­ers by tap­ping into those ser­vices pro­vided to main­stream schools.

Autism West’s ser­vices for older stu­dents in­clude a re­cently cre­ated ro­bot­ics and com­puter cod­ing work­shop, and an autism ther­apy ap­pli­ca­tion for iPads de­vel­oped with Curtin and Deakin uni­ver­si­ties. More in­for­ma­tion on Re­think­ing Autism sym­po­siu­min Novem­ber can be found at

Autism suf­ferer and Autism West IT staff mem­ber Scott Sadler show­ing Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett the use of com­puter cod­ing and ro­bot­ics.

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