Supporting Autism

For many families, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can initially be difficult to understand and we are here to help families through the process of getting a diagnosis and working out which types of supports are needed from birth through adulthood.

Once diagnosed with autism, the journey can begin for the whole family to learn to support a person with ASD in a positive and proactive way throughout their whole life.

The Chatterbox team have an outstanding background in supporting autism. We have a range of services available, including diagnosis, family support and ensuring multiple agencies work together for the right solutions for your child. We provide Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, a play school, tutoring, socials skills groups and clubs for people with autism.

Each person with autism is different and we will discuss with you the best solutions and support for your family, based on assessment of strengths and weaknesses.

We do not believe in a one size fits all method of providing services, which is why we offer a full range of diagnosis, supports, teaching strategies and therapies.

Come in and have a chat with us, to find out more.

About Autism

As a parent or caregiver, it is useful to learn the early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and become familiar with the typical developmental milestones that your child should be reaching at each age.

Developmental Milestones

Understanding your child’s development can feel quite daunting – a good place to start is this checklist, which helps outline a range of milestones and what you can do to help your child.

Children with autism have symptoms from a very young age, beginning before the age of three. Some children with ASD have difficulty with eye contact, social language development and use atypical behaviours within the first few months of life. Other children appear to follow expected developmental milestones until 18–24 months, then either stop gaining new skills or lose some they have already developed. While every child develops differently, we also know that early identification and intervention improves outcomes significantly.

The following “red flags” may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder:

  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • No response to name by 12 months
  • Loss of speech, or delayed speech and language skills
  • No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months
  • Has difficulty talking about feelings of their own or other people’s feelings
  • No spontaneous play of “pretend” games (such as pretend feed a doll) by 18 months
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or environment
  • Has obsessive interests
  • Demonstrates hand flapping, body rocking, or spinning in circles
  • Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel

If you have any concerns about any of these areas, then please contact us and arrange a chat about how we can help. 

ADOS-2 Autism Testing

How can I determine if my child meets criteria for Autism?

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) is a semi-structured, standardised assessment of communication, social interaction, play/imaginative use of materials, and restricted and repetitive behaviours for individuals who have been referred because of possible autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The ADOS-2 is a revision of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, which has been referred to as the “gold standard” observational assessment for diagnosing ASD.
Children as young as 12-months, regardless of verbal ability, can be assessed using the ADOS-2.

We are able to offer this assessment at Chatterbox.

Contact us to find to find out more.

Why is an accurate diagnosis necessary?

Through obtaining an accurate diagnosis, individuals and families can begin to access appropriate intervention services, obtain individualised communication and educational programs, and determine patterns of strengths and weaknesses at the current developmental level.

Determining an accurate diagnosis is a first step for a clinician in defining a treatment plan for a child. The ADOS-2 is not a cognitive assessment; it is designed to measure atypical development in the areas of social interaction, communication, and imaginative use of materials. It provides useful information for parents and teachers about specific behaviours in social communication and creative play that can help guide treatment plans, therapy options and how a child can be supported in different environments.

The results of the ADOS-2 result in a classification, not a diagnosis by itself, but it’s a useful standardised tool for assisting in making clinical diagnoses for both children and adults.

Results can be shared with parents, educators, Therapists, Psychologists and the family doctor or paediatrician and we ensure that a team approach to diagnosis is always used.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch to find out how we can help you!