Autism (ASD) Assessment & Multisensory Learning Support in Ashbury
Strategies for Learning with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Who is Impacted by Autism?
The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne states that approximately one to two in every 100 Australians are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. It is common for autism to have a familial pattern, with family members often sharing similar traits.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often affects individuals in two main areas – social communication and repetitive behaviour. The manifestation of these challenges may differ depending on the age. While the diagnosis is often made in primary school or even preschool-aged children, it may be recognised only during adolescence or even adulthood in some cases. It is noteworthy that girls with ASD tend to be diagnosed later than boys.
What Exactly is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the processing of information particularly around social situations. It may affect people’s educational progress in many different ways regardless of how intelligent someone with ASD may be. It often comes together with ADHD, dyslexia, epilepsy, and so can be difficult to isolate in diagnosis while frequently being missed for many years. The educational system may provide extra help, but because of how varied people with autism present and because of the various other issues they may have, it is often not sufficiently fine-tuned for the individuals concerned. This is where targeted educational therapy may make a big difference.
Enhancing Learning for Individuals with Autism/ASD Through a Multisensory Approach
Our experience has shown that the multisensory approach yields results for individuals with autism. This approach is gaining significant recognition and research focus worldwide, particularly in its implementation for students with autism.
There is a growing body of research into the usefulness of employing multisensory methods for people with autism, including Jaclyn Smith (“Multisensory Learning and its Effect on Students with Autism” (2019). Education Masters. Paper 367) and Amaal Mustafa (“Investigating the Effect of Multisensory Approach on Improving Emergent Literacy Skills in Children with Autism Disorder.” International Journal of Psycho-Educational Sciences Vol. 7, Issue (1), April –2018).
The following link is an example of how multisensory education is becoming increasingly recognised and implemented for students with Autism.
Empowering Individuals with Autism/ASD through Multisensory Therapy/Tutoring
Mainstream education often fails to effectively engage students with autism and related conditions, as it is primarily designed for the majority. At Neurosensory, our therapists and teachers take an individualised approach that recognises the value of their special interests in fostering engagement and facilitating growth. Our approach combines organic, creative, and structured elements to provide a holistic learning experience.
By showing that we value their interests, we find that the self-esteem, confidence, and self-expression of our students grow.
Supporting Students with Autism: The role of our MSL Therapists and Tutors
They are encouraged to:
- Establish a routine for each lesson
- Integrate a student’s interests into lessons and encourage creativity
- Steer clear of sarcasm and everyday idioms
- Prepare for instances where subtle social cues may pose challenges in comprehending fiction
- Offer the students alternatives within the learning experience
- Foster a safe and trusting environment for the student to ask any question, regardless of its apparent simplicity
- Inspire the student to take a break when facing overwhelm-perhaps engaging in a 5-minute table tennis game, a brief run around the garden, or a mini basketball game
Choosing the Right Therapy and Tutoring Options for Autism/ASD
Neurosensory offers two options to support individuals with autism, allowing primary, secondary, TAFE, university students, and others to access our services.
The Benefits of In-Person Therapy/Tutoring and Learning Support
In-person tutoring encompasses the establishment of a warm and inviting learning environment that offers a greater level of relaxation compared to a traditional school classroom. Our therapists acknowledge the significance of routine for individuals with autism, as well as the challenges they face in breaking deeply ingrained but less effective habits.
Our learning rooms are equipped with a diverse array of hands-on materials that transcend traditional paper and pen learning methods. We understand the challenges that students with learning difficulties and disabilities face in a school environment. At Neurosensory, our approach aims to eradicate the notion of failure and instil a can-do attitude. We recognise the importance of accommodating concentration limits and incorporating short breaks with movement to invigorate the mind. Through interactive and creative lessons, our approach promotes better retention of skills and information among our students.
The Advantages of Online Therapy/Tutoring and Learning Support
At Neurosensory, we acknowledge that not everyone can access in-person tutoring and therapy due to factors like geographical distance, transportation challenges, and prior obligations. Our therapists excel in providing structured and varied sessions. We understand that the learning experience is more than just a mechanical procedure; it thrives on the foundation of personal connections.
We view every individual who seeks our services as a ‘whole person,’ and we integrate social awareness and language development seamlessly into our sessions. Our online ASD option ensures that students with autism and other disorders can access appropriate interventions from the comfort of their own homes.
If you or a loved one require some learning assistance as a result of an autism diagnosis, our autism tutors are ready and waiting to help.
Assessing Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adults
Diagnosing autism can be challenging, as there is no single medical test. Instead, it is diagnosed through the observation of behavioural symptoms. Many people with autism mask their symptoms in everyday life as they try to fit in with the expectations of society. Girls and women in particular often miss early diagnosis and treatment as a result of their skill in masking.
At Neurosensory, we offer screening assessments and have the ability to refer individuals to psychologists, paediatricians, and psychiatrists if there is a potential autism diagnosis. Some of the assessments we utilise as a guide include the Test of Pragmatic Language (TOPL2) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Other professionals may administer assessments such as ADOS-2. Recognising the limitations of certain assessments in diagnosing individuals who are ‘highly functioning’ but face significant challenges due to masking symptoms, new assessments are currently being developed.
Please note that we do not have the capacity to offer formal diagnosis. However, if our assessment suggests a potential diagnosis, we can assist individuals in obtaining referrals to professionals who are qualified to provide formal evaluations.
Common Questions and Answers
If you have concerns about the development of a loved one or yourself, it may be beneficial to consult with your GP for an initial assessment. Alternatively, you may already be in contact with a paediatrician or psychologist who can provide guidance. These professionals can then refer you to a team of experts who focus on autism assessment, including paediatricians, speech pathologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
Another option is to schedule a consultation with us at Neurosensory. During the consultation, we can address the concerns you have, provide screening assessments, offer a preliminary report, and guide you towards the appropriate providers for a formal diagnosis if necessary.
During an ASD assessment for a child or adult, you may be requested to undergo:
- Interviews (with yourself, your child, and/or with other primary carers)
- Review of developmental history
- Noticing your (or your child’s) engagement with others
- Diagnostic assessments (including TOPL-2 and SRS)
Without a doubt, the sooner autism is identified, the better it may be for the individual’s overall well-being. It may significantly boost their self-esteem and understanding, granting them a sense of identity they may have been lacking. Additionally, a diagnosis may be able to streamline the process of obtaining financial assistance and support for families.
Despite the fact that autism can be detected in some children at 18 months of age or even earlier, the average age for diagnosis is usually around three years old. Children who have a family history of autism, such as a sibling or parent, are often assessed at a younger age compared to others.
Some signs of autism include: not responding to their name, not playing ‘pretend’ games, avoiding eye contact, difficulty understanding emotions, getting upset by minor changes, obsessive interests, avoiding or resisting physical contact, flapping the hands or rocking the body, hyperactivity, impulsivity, short attention span, unusual sleeping and eating habits, and low to no social skills.
It is worth noting that the signs of autism can differ greatly among individuals, with some presenting multiple signs and others displaying only a few.
Those with autism often possess a remarkable ability for rote memory, enabling them to memorise substantial amounts of information, including dialogues from movies. The utilisation of a multisensory approach has demonstrated significant success in supporting individuals with ASD.
Based in Campsie, we are just around the corner from Belfield, Belmore, Ashbury, Canterbury, Croydon Park, Clemton Park, Earlwood, Ashfield and Hurlstone Park.
Promoting Encouragement and Nurturing in Autism Learning
Studies and research have shown that people with autism often display attributes like strong long-memory skills, precise and detail-oriented, strong adherence to the rules, independent thinking, intensive focus (when their interests are involved), and they may be better at thinking in a visual way. We seek to encourage and nurture these attributes through ASD-adapted tutoring, as they’re what makes you special and unique.
Is NDIS Funding Available for Individuals with Autism?
NDIS funding is available for some students with autism. We have supported several students in obtaining NDIS funding for Neurosensory services. Moreover, we offer assistance with the NDIS application process.
Should you have any further questions or require more information on this subject, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here to provide support and guidance!
Are You Excited to Delve into the World of Multisensory Learning?
At Neurosensory, we help students deal with the challenges that education and schooling may present for people with ASD, particularly when it comes to things like organisation, breaks in routine, differing expectations, and understanding what their teachers may be saying. The multisensory approach helps link abstract concepts to tangible and visual models.
This is especially important for people who struggle with processing the nuances of language as many of those with autism do. The goal of the Neurosensory team is to empower students of all ages to build learning and study habits that serve them all through life – not just at school, as they can assist with social abilities, too.