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Children’s autism excellence centre opens in Adelaide today

17 September 2015    

South Australian children with autism and their families will receive a significant boost today (Thursday 17th September) with the official opening of a centre of excellence providing evidence-based early intervention autism programs and ongoing research.

Inclusive Directions Flinders Therapy House, a partnership between Inclusive Directions and Flinders University, will make critical early intervention behavioural therapy for children with autism more accessible and affordable through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The House aims to relieve some of the pressure on the oversubscribed National Disability Insurance Scheme in South Australia where children with autism making up 46 percent of all children registered with the Scheme.

Children attending the House will undertake the Flinders University developed two week intensive Early Intervention Program with caregivers trained to maintain the Program at home. This is followed by 18 weeks of ongoing support from Inclusive Directions including home visits and monitoring.

Inclusive Directions, Chief Executive Officer, Jocelyn Graham said the opening of the House marked a new era of support for South Australian children living with autism and their families.

“The Flinders University developed early intervention program is the only Applied Behavioural Analysis program of its kind in the world, said Ms Graham.

“The program has been developed through pioneering research by renowned and respected researcher Associate Professor Robyn Young from Flinders University, who will act as Inclusive Directions Flinders Therapy House’s Clinical Director.

“Current early intervention programs available elsewhere in Adelaide are simply not accessible to most families because they’re often too expensive, with costs ranging from $40,000 to $60,000.

“The Inclusive Directions Flinders Early Intervention Program costs $16,000 and may be fully funded by the government under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”

The House will also be home to ongoing Flinders University’s research into new Programs by Associate Professor Robyn Young and Anna Moffat, PhD from the university’s School of Psychology. A trial of a School Readiness Program, which aims to socialise children with autism to the often confronting and chaotic environment of the classroom is already underway.

Inclusive Directions is aiming to roll out the new Australian-first School Readiness Program next year.

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Note: Inclusive Directions will fund ongoing research by Flinders University. Anna Moffat, PhD, from Flinders University’s School of Psychology will work alongside Associate Professor Robyn Young on ongoing research programs to refine existing programs and develop new programs for the House.

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