Mary Wilson, EarlyAQtion CQ Team Leader. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Mary Wilson, EarlyAQtion CQ Team Leader. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Early intervention aids development in children with autism

AUTISM Queensland's John Villiers Centre of Excellence for Education, Therapy and Support team leader Mary Wilson said having students like Jack Simpson head off to prep was the best outcome imaginable.

"Jack has come such a long way. He had a lot of difficulties coping in a structured environment and this was a concern heading towards school and we were able to provide him with as many skills as he needed to be able to cope with being in groups, listening to and following directions," she said.

"I think because we see the kids every day we lose track on how far they have come.

"We have a high rate of children who have been diagnosed. We don't think that it's changed all that much in recent times - it's just consistent.

"The big difference is the age that children are getting diagnosed is getting younger, which is really exciting for us.

"It's really sad for them to leave us, we want to keep them forever but they are on to bigger and better things."

Ms Wilson said early intervention was key, and having so many children diagnosed so much younger than in the past was ideal for treatment.

She said "early" classified as anywhere from age eight and younger, but she said more and more toddlers were diagnosed, giving their family more time to understand and adjust to the diagnosis.

She said the centre currently had a teaching room, an extensive play area, areas for specialists to work with children and a gym to improve fine motor skills.



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