New interventions for neurodiverse babies
The Sector > Policy > 2 new intervention pilots for early signs of neurodiversity in Australian babies

2 new intervention pilots for early signs of neurodiversity in Australian babies

by Freya Lucas

May 22, 2023

The Australian Government has introduced new funding to support babies aged between nine and fourteen months who are displaying early signs of autism.


A total of $22.1 million will be provided for two new intervention pilots which will focus on vulnerable infants from a diverse range of families.


Up to 1,500 babies and their families will benefit from the pilots which will be evidence-based and implement best practice design interventions for infants showing early signs of neurodiversity.


The pre-emptive early intervention pilots will be funded through to 2026-27 and have been developed in consultation with the early childhood, disability and health sectors, families and states and territories.


“We want to ensure no one gets left behind and that includes the one in six Australians with disability, including autistic Australians,” said Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth. 


The pilots will address the issue of developmental concerns not being detected early enough and provide strengths-based and family-centred interventions to improve outcomes for young children and their families.


About one in 70 Australians have been diagnosed with autism, and for the growing number of Australians on the autism spectrum and with other neurodevelopmental conditions, life outcomes in education, vocation, health and family functioning continue to be far from optimal.


The 2023-24 Federal Budget included $4.9 million to support the consultation phase of the development of the National Autism Strategy including for the development of the National Roadmap to improve health and mental outcomes for people with autism.


“The National Autism Strategy will form a whole-of-life plan to improve outcomes for all autistic Australians, spanning a number of key reform areas including healthcare, education and employment,” Minister Rishworth said.


“The strong representation of people with lived experience of autism on the Council, combined with experts and researchers, ensures autistic voices will be central in the development of the Strategy.


For more information on the National Autism Strategy, visit the Department of Social Services website.

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