AEIOU will hold a number of workshops to help families with ASD
AEIOU will hold a number of workshops to help families with ASD Mike Knott

AEIOU has room for enrolments

A GROUNDBREAKING autism early intervention centre in Bundaberg is working with child care centres across the region to boost awareness of its life-changing services.

The AEIOU centre opened in Bundaberg in 2013, in part due to Bundaberg's higher than average rates of children with autism, but it still has vacancies.

AEIOU operations manager Yolanda Borucki said the centre was currently taking enrolments for 2016 but were also able to take enrolments throughout the year.

"We're still quite new in the area and are keen to make sure families know our service can provide life-changing support, therapy and education for their child, but also provides strategies that can be used at home," Ms Borucki said.

"AEIOU also provides some respite and support for the family unit."

She said awareness of autism in Bundaberg had increased in recent years and there were benefits of the early intervention which played a big part in what AEIOU did.

"There's more work to be done. We also recognise that families who live in regional areas beyond the Bundaberg city area may find it harder to access support, and can struggle with long commutes," she said.

"High quality early intervention, via a program that is evidence-based can change the future of young children with autism.

"Each child is different, but across the program at AEIOU children make gains in communication, cognitive skills, independence, self help skills, including toilet training, and finally, the ability to attend to task. As a result of this, behaviour becomes more manageable and children have the best opportunity to reach their full potential."

She said the centre was busy promoting a series of workshops that would take place for both families and allied health professionals in late November. And would be presented by AEIOU foundation program co-ordinator and senior behaviour therapist Michael Scanlon who would cover topics including behaviour management strategies, verbal behaviour, and changing the developmental trail in children with autism.

"I am keen to share my knowledge with professionals and families who support children with autism," Mr Scanlon said.

The workshops would give the opportunity to meet with child care professionals and other services to let them know they are here, and can not only help young children with autism but also provide advice and assistance to them if they need it or are struggling with any challenging behaviours which may present with children in their care.

"We would recommend families interested in the service arrange to visit the centre, meet our friendly team and learn about how the program works," Ms Borucki said.

"I would recommend that any parent who is concerned about their young child's development to make an appointment with their GP for a specialist referral. From there, parents can receive support from our service during the enrolment process. The best time to act is now, the 'early' part of the intervention is critical."

To register for the free workshops, contact AEIOU, Andrea Trudeau on 4155 0399 or email andrea.trudeau@aeiou.org.au



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