Autism Awareness Month aims to improve the lives of all Australians on the autism spectrum and the families who love them.
Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) is a registered NDIS provider and supports the mission of Autism Awareness Australia by empowering parents and carers to continue to be the best advocates for their children, through the provision of quality information, resources and programs.
With the support of the Primary Health Care Network, GLCH provides an Autism Diagnostic Support Service in Lakes Entrance, to help children, parents and health professionals with the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In response to a referral from your paediatrician, this service takes a multi-disciplinary team approach, which involves play-based formal observation to gain a comprehensive understanding of the child’s skills and areas of difficulty.
GLCH’s team of qualified, experienced and friendly practitioners provide support and assistance for families who need help navigating challenges related to autism. This expert allied health team includes clinical psychologist Wayne Burgoine, speech pathologists Lyn Nicol and Sarah McKenzie, and occupational therapist, Ainsleigh Whelan.
Sarah has been providing speech therapy to Jonathon – a happy and energetic three-year-old – for around 12 months now.
“We originally came to GLCH for speech therapy, due to his delayed speech,” explains Jonathon’s mum Rebecca “and it was a bit later when he was diagnosed with autism. But since we’ve been coming, his speech has progressed a lot.”
Vicky is mother to a cheeky three-year-old named Seth, who was diagnosed around 1.5 years ago. She says, “We started off in the early intervention program at GLCH due to his delayed speech and limited vocabulary. After around six months he was diagnosed with autism, as well as possible ADHD and sensory issues.”
As a result of his weekly speech pathology sessions with Lyn and fortnightly occupational therapy with Ainsleigh, Seth has also made excellent progress.
“The staff are really good,” adds Vicky. “They inform me of everything I need to know and are always suggesting ways to help both Seth and me.”