Townsville Bulletin

A loving leap forward


A PROGRAM for families of children with autism has been described as a “one-stop wonder” by a Townsville couple after their son was able to pronounce the three words “every parent wants to hear”.

AEIOU Foundation is a specialist provider of early interventi­on for children with autism, employing a team of therapists and educators who work together to support the individual needs and goals of a child.

The foundation believes its approach of combining evidence-based therapy with naturalist­ic teaching in a daycare setting worked wonders for children.

Gemma and Lee Haskings’ son Ethan, 4, has been assisted by AEIOU and claimed it had changed their lives.

“Ethan was non-verbal, having regular tantrums, and developing much more slowly compared to his peers – it was agonising to watch and especially frustratin­g for him,” Mrs Haskings said.

“Lee and I felt like the only people in the entire world who could understand Ethan.

“We had our own way of communicat­ing with him, but we knew it wasn’t enough. We needed help.

“We needed speech pathologis­ts, occupation­al therapists, behaviour therapists and on top of that, daycare.”

She said after Ethan joined the program, they noticed a huge improvemen­t.

“Ethan can now say the words every parent wants to hear: ‘I love you’,” she said.

“AEIOU has been like one-stop wonder for us. a

“Ethan began his journey in January, and we are so proud of the progress he has made with speech and independen­t living skills. To hear those three little words ‘I love you’ and watch Ethan playing and having conversati­ons with his brother is further from where we thought we’d be.

“I don’t feel worried about the future anymore.”

AEIOU Foundation is hosting a series of open days this week for local parents and carers to learn about autism-specific early interventi­on therapy and care for children aged 2-6.

“There will be a centre tour, a chance to meet the team and access to a behaviour-focused workshop sharing practical tips and strategies,” Mr Smith said.

“We have been overwhelme­d by the response to open days already, with some centres planning follow-up events; it really highlights the demand that exists for autismspec­ific early interventi­on.”

>>For more informatio­n on the open days visit the AEIOU Foundation’s


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 ?? ?? Left: Gemma, Ethan and Lee Haskings are thrilled with the progress Ethan has made with the AEIOU program.
Left: Gemma, Ethan and Lee Haskings are thrilled with the progress Ethan has made with the AEIOU program.

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