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Canberra families will soon have access to a world-class early intervention autism hub for children

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A good news story during a difficult time. Soon, the AEIOU Foundation will be arriving in Canberra, with its first-ever Canberra region centre opening in Garran.

Made possible with $4.3 million in funding from the John James Foundation, the centre will support up to 40 local children with autism, aged two to six years, and provide life-changing early intervention care to help strengthen their overall development at such a crucial age.

Construction began late July, with the centre due to open mid-2021.

The organisation has been operating in Queensland and South Australia for several years, with many success stories. This type of specialised service has not been available locally before and, in good news for families, AEIOU is an approved NDIS provider.

AEIOU Foundation CEO Alan Smith said families can now register their interest for their child to join the centre’s waitlist.

“We recognise that receiving a diagnosis of autism can sometimes be a difficult time, so we want families in the Canberra region to know that we are here to assist them, and available to talk to them about the NDIS support that is available,” says Mr Smith.

Renders of the upcoming AEIOU Centre in Garran.

Mr Smith praised the John James Foundation and says none of this would have been possible without their support.

“We have an outstanding collaborative partnership with John James Foundation. They are supporting the Canberra community and absolutely committed to bringing these essential services to Canberra. The AEIOU facilities are being developed, project managed, funded and retained by the John James Foundation. AEIOU will operate and manage the service.”

The new centre also has the support of Canberra’s Marymead Autism Centre—the main point of contact for autism information, support and referral in the ACT.

Marymead Autism Centre Manager Helen Gardner says that the Marymead Autism Centre celebrates diversity, promotes awareness and inclusion and supports people of the Canberra region who are on the autism spectrum.

“Through our work with children on the spectrum and their families across the ACT and surrounds, we know that having more resources and options available is a plus for families,” says Ms Gardner.

Families interested in joining the waitlist or learning more about AEIOU can visit aeiou.org.au/canberra-region or call 1300 273 435.

Renders of the upcoming AEIOU Centre in Garran.

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