Rishworth announces Australian-first guideline to better support autistic children
Autistic children and their families will be better supported with Australia’s first national practice guidelines to promote the early development of autistic children, their participation in childhood activities and their overall wellbeing.
The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Federal Minister for Social Services, joined The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, to make the announcement yesterday.
A new National Guideline for supporting the learning, participation, and wellbeing of autistic children and their families has been developed by the Commonwealth-funded Autism CRC in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s framework for best practice guidelines.
“This guideline is an important step, outlining 84 recommendations to support consistent, effective and efficient delivery of evidence-based supports for autistic children up to 12 years of age. The evidence-based and inclusive development of this guideline is a demonstration of how the Government will develop its National Autism Strategy,” Ms Rishworth said.
Central to the premise of the guideline is the position that autistic children deserve a childhood full of love, family, fun, learning and personal discovery, and that they should be safe, have their rights respected, and be supported.
Many autistic children experience challenges to their learning, participation, and wellbeing, something Ms Rishworth hopes the guideline will help alleviate.
Currently around 1 in 70 Australians have been diagnosed with autism, and the current Government has made a commitment to supporting them through the recent announcement of $2 million in Commonwealth funding to the Autism CRC and commencement of work on the National Autism Strategy will also support the implementation of this guideline.
“Our Government has a clear and dedicated vision to improve the lives of all autistic people,” Minister Rishworth said.
“By working closely with the autism community and making sure their voices are at the centre of policy making, we are committed to improving research and supports and to ensure no one gets left behind.”
The guideline, Mr Butler explained, was developed by Autism CRC in line with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s framework for best practice guidelines along with having input from autistic adults and their families, to bring together clinical evidence and lived practice.
Of the 84 recommendations, each include a set of Good Practice Points covering:
- the guiding principles for the provision of supports for autistic children and their families;
- setting appropriate goals for supports;
- selecting and planning supports;
- the delivery of supports; and,
- monitoring, reviewing and safeguarding outcomes and quality.
For more information about the guideline, please see here.
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