SA families to get new autism support
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > South Australian families to get early autism support through new program

South Australian families to get early autism support through new program

by Freya Lucas

February 01, 2024

South Australian families with babies aged 6-18 months of age who show early signs of autism will be supported through a new program designed to build their capacity to support the unique needs that autism spectrum disorder presents. 


The Inklings program is the result of joint investment from the State and Federal Governments and is expected to benefit up to 1,300 families. The parent support program uses short videos of the parent with their baby to help parents better understand their baby’s thoughts and feelings, the different ways that babies communicate, the importance of interaction and of following their baby’s focus of interest.


The pilot, Federal Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said, is not intended to ‘fix’ children with neurodiversity, but rather to improve parents’ communication with their babies and make sure they have access to the best family-based support.


“Having a program like Inklings in place to support children and their families as early as possible will have widespread benefits across our community,” Premier Peter Malinauskas added.


“So often families tell me they wish they had received support earlier, and this pilot is about giving parents and families exactly that.”


The $14.8 million pilot, a key recommendation of South Australia’s Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care, will be delivered by the South Australian Government in partnership with the Telethon Kids Institute across the state in Northern Adelaide, Adelaide metro and regional areas, Lower Eyre and Far North (regional and remote).


It will focus on families from First Nations, culturally and linguistically diverse and low-socio economic backgrounds.


A second pre-emptive early intervention pilot will be announced later in 2024.

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