Parents may notice that a child is having difficulties with adjusting to the routines of daily life, communicating, or relating with their peers. In this case, an assessment may be done to check for an autism spectrum disorder. This needs to be done carefully as a number of other conditions can mimic autism or Asperger’s Disorder at first sight.
Assessment for autism spectrum conditions take a bit of time as the information gathering needs to be thorough. At present there is no single test which can confirm the condition and so a combination of getting to know and observing the child, taking a very thorough history, speaking with the parents and child’s teacher, and completing standardised tests, will be done. However this is carried out in a way which will not disturb or distress the child in any way – they will mainly notice some extra chatting and play!
Medicare Rebates (Helping Children with Autism package).
A paediatrician or psychiatrist can refer a child aged between 7 and 14 years for:
- Up to four assessment sessions from a psychologist (or other allied health disciplines) to help achieve a diagnosis or to contribute to a management plan.
- Up to 20 lifetime sessions may be accessed from a psychologist for a child who has registered prior to the age of 13, and for children who are under 15 years old.
The Federal Department of Social Services registers panel of early intervention providers under the Helping Children with Autism scheme.
Grow Psychology Pty Ltd is a registered panel member and can provide services under this HCWA package.
- Children who are diagnosed with a Pervasive Developmental Disorder ( or Autism Spectrum Disorder) and who are under 7 years old, may be eligible.
- $12,000 per child ( or $6,000 per year) is available to access treatment for cognitive, social, and emotional development. This is aimed at assisting children to be ready for school.
- An additional sum of $2,000 may be available for children living in rural or remote regions.
- Autism Advisors help the child’s family to plan services and to access funding.
Information can be found by calling 1300 424 499 or by visiting the Department’s website ( address)
Help for children through their development
Once diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder or an Autism Spectrum Disorder, children may benefit from monitoring and the use of appropriate help at times when they need it. For example, sometimes a child’s social skills may fall behind those of their peers, causing isolation. Alternatively, significant changes such as the move to High School can be a cause of stress. At these times families may either access HCWA funding to support sessions for the child, or use rebates through their health fund or Medicare.
Please call the clinic to book an Assessment, to discuss sessions under FaHCSIA, or to arrange a group of sessions for a child’s current particular difficulty.
Our Helping Children with Autism and Better Start Consortium Partners are Building Blocks Therapy, and de Silva Speech Pathology. Both practises bring several years of specialist experience working with children who have special needs – both for Intervention and Assessment activities. Children can be seen both at the clinics or at their kinder, daycare, or school setting.
Director of Building Blocks Therapy/Occupational Therapist
Ph: 0400 514 424
540 Masons Rd, Mernda, 3754
Trudy de Silva
De Silva Speech Pathology
P: 0437 005 662
PO Box 507