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State-of-the-art centre to open in Canberra for autism support

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Today is World Autism Awareness Day.

And Canberra families raising young children with an autism diagnosis have something to celebrate.

From mid-year, they will be able to access a state-of-the-art facility here in Canberra which brings specialist services under one roof.

The AEIOU is a profit-for-purpose organisation, established in 2005 to deliver high-quality therapy and care to support children with autism to develop essential life skills, independence and confidence.

AEIOU, which operates specialist centres around Australia, received a welcome boost in 2019 when the John James Foundation decided to work collaboratively in developing, project managing and funding the purpose-built facility.

The multi-million dollar facility, based in Garran as an extension of the broader John James Village precinct, will have capacity for 40 children who will access support in a therapy room, a gross motor room and a sensory room.

Children will be aged between 2-6 and will receive between 15-20 hours of early intervention therapy each week.

AEIOU Canberra Region Manager Enia Alberto said families would benefit from many aspects of the new facility, all stemming from having the range of services in the one location which would allow children to build rapport to their therapists more quickly and enabling families to enjoy what is in essence a “second home” which builds a sense of community and partnership.

Pictured left to right, John James Foundation CEO Joe Roff, Gus Filmer, Geoff Filmer and AEIOU Canberra Region Centre Manager, Enia Alberto.

“I always say our goal in the program is to give each child the skills to be successful in their next step—whether it is moving into a school setting, whether it is learning to communicate and participate in family life, or whether it is going to the grocery shop without having a meltdown.

“Our best outcome is to assist children to be fully included and to participate in family life and for their family not to feel isolated,” Enia said.

There are common characteristics of autism, however it affects every child differently and each family’s circumstances need to be managed holistically.

The AEIOU centre will being employing a specialist team of speech pathologists, occupational therapists, behaviour therapists and early childhood educators and is a registered NDIS provider.

AEIOU will be hosting two tailored workshops on Tuesday 13th and Tuesday 27th April from 6.30pm at Marymead.  The workshops will be hosted by Enia and topics covered will include “understanding behaviour”— looking at functions of behaviour and the evidence behind AEIOU strategies, as well as “play—more than just fun and games”— identifying how play relates to communication, social and gross motor skills and more. Allied health professionals are welcome to attend, in addition to students studying allied health or education, with an interest in paediatrics. To register go to www.aeiou.org.au/community.

For more information and to join AEIOU Canberra Region waitlist click here www.aeiou.org.au/canberra-region or call 1300 273 435





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