World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day that takes place on 2 April every year. It encourages Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with autistic spectrum disorders including autism and Asperger syndrome throughout the world.
Autism can present many challenging behaviours for those living with the condition as well as their carers. Under the NDIS, there are many supports available that can help manage these behaviours and set those living with autism up for a full, rich life.
Today, we’re celebrating members in our community and beyond who are living with autism.
Seven-year-old Dante is living with autism spectrum disorder, global developmental delay, severe speech delay and a sensory processing disorder.
To support his condition and livelihood, Therapy Care has implemented integrated speech and recreation therapy sessions with speech pathologist Kira and recreational therapist Karlie into his NDIS plan.
These joint sessions are interdisciplinary and allow our therapists to collaborate and set goals that are both personalised and holistic to Dante’s wellbeing.
Of this integrated approach, Karlie explains, “We adopt a client-lead approach in Dante’s sessions, as it increases levels of engagement and shared attention throughout.”
During his joint speech and recreational therapy sessions, Kira and Karlie focus on:
Empowering Dante to learn and use language in a functional way
Increasing Dante’s abilities to perform activities of daily living
Increasing Dante’s motor skills
They do this by including an array of activities, such as:
Play-based tasks and activities that incorporate speech and language goals
Using sensory modalities to increase engagement and emotional regulation during sessions
Kira explains, “Having the care of multiple therapists allows Dante to work on social communication goals such as turn taking and waiting as well as exploring the concept of winning and losing. Attention and participation goals are also met as Dante has more than one person to interact with.”
Dante’s mother and primary carer, Amy, has been working closely with Kira and Karlie and is often actively involved in Dante’s therapy sessions.
“It’s important for a care giver to observe and interact in sessions as it empowers them to implement the functional and language goals we’ve set at home and out in the community,” Kira says.
Karlie explains, “During sessions, one therapist interacts with Dante, and the other works with Amy; teaching strategies on ways to support Dante at home and within the community.
“Over the last six months, during his sessions we have observed an increase in Dante’s joint attention as well as high levels of engagement, which are both extremely impressive milestones. We are so proud of how Dante has demonstrated dedication and determination, and that he is able to reap the rewards of increasing his ability to communicate.”