Autism (ASD) Assessment Services & Multisensory Learning Support in Ashfield
Learning with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Who is Impacted by Autism (ASD)?
According to The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, one to two in every 100 Australians is on the autism spectrum. Autism often runs in families, and family members may have similar traits.
People diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) commonly experience difficulties in two key areas – social communication and repetitive behaviour. These difficulties may manifest differently at different stages of life. While it is often identified during primary school or even preschool years, it may not be recognised until adolescence or even adulthood in some individuals. Additionally, girls with ASD are more likely to receive a diagnosis later than boys.
What is Autism?
Autism, as a developmental disorder, impacts information processing, especially in social situations. It may have diverse effects on a person’s educational advancement, irrespective of their intelligence level. Often, autism is accompanied by conditions like ADHD, dyslexia, and epilepsy, making diagnosis sometimes challenging and oftentimes delayed. While the educational system may offer additional support, it may not be sufficiently tailored to the individual needs of those with autism due to the variability in presentation and associated issues. This is where targeted educational therapy may play a vital role.
Harnessing the Power of Multisensory Learning for Autism/ASD
We find that the multisensory approach is often very useful for people with autism. There is a growing body of research and interest in applying this approach to students with autism all over the world.
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.
The Benefits of Multisensory Therapy/Tutoring for Autism/ASD
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.
When we demonstrate our support for their interests, we witness the development of self-esteem, confidence, and self-expression in our students.
Supporting Students with Autism: The role of our MSL Therapists and Tutors
We encourage them to:
- Implement a predictable routine for every lesson
- Blend the student’s interests into the lessons and promote imaginative thinking
- Refrain from using sarcasm and popular expressions
- Prepare for instances where subtle social cues may pose challenges in comprehending fiction
- Provide options for the students during the session
- Create an environment of trust so that the student can ask any question, no matter how obvious the answer may seem
- Encourage the student to take a break if they’re overwhelmed-perhaps a 5-minute table tennis game, a run around the garden or mini basketball game
Autism/ASD Therapy and Tutoring Options
At Neurosensory, we provide two options to assist individuals with autism, ensuring that support is accessible to primary, secondary, TAFE, university students, and beyond.
In-Person Therapy/Tutoring and Learning Support
In-person tutoring involves the creation of a welcoming learning environment that is more relaxed than a school classroom. Our therapists understand the importance of routine for those with autism and also how hard it is for them to change 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
We understand that not everyone is able to attend in-person tutoring and therapy due to location, lack of transportation, and other commitments. Our therapists are skilled at providing structure and variety in their sessions. We appreciate that learning is not merely a mechanical process but is based on building personal relationships.
Every person who utilises our services is treated as a ‘whole person,’ and we seamlessly incorporate social awareness and language development into our sessions. Through our online ASD option, students with autism and other disorders can receive appropriate interventions from the comfort of their homes.
In the event that you or a loved one require learning support following an autism diagnosis, our team of autism tutors is ready and enthusiastic about helping.
Evaluating Autism 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.
Neurosensory can provide screening assessments and refer to psychologists, paediatricians, and psychiatrists if we consider that there could be a possible autism diagnosis. Some assessments we use as a guide include the Test of Pragmatic Language (TOPL2) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Other professionals may use assessments such as ADOS-2. There are new assessments being developed as some of the older ones miss out on diagnosing more ‘high-functioning’ people who are skilled at masking symptoms but find themselves facing many obstacles in their lives.
It is important to note that while we cannot provide formal diagnoses, we are able to refer individuals to professionals who have the expertise to do so if our assessment indicates a possible diagnosis.
Common Questions and Answers
If you have concerns about the development of a loved one or yourself, it is advisable to consult your GP for an initial assessment or seek guidance from a paediatrician or psychologist. They can 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 a child or adult ASD assessment, you may be asked to undergo:
- Discussions (with yourself, your child, and/or with other primary caretakers)
- Review of developmental history
- Observation of your (or your child’s) interaction with others
- Assessment for diagnosis (including TOPL-2 and SRS)
Yes. The faster autism is detected, the easier the person’s life may be. It may also provide a greater sense of self-esteem and understanding, giving them a sense of identity that they may have previously lacked. A diagnosis may also open up an easier way for families to receive financial help and support.
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.
Several signs may indicate the presence of autism, including: not responding to their name, not participating in imaginative play, avoiding eye contact, experiencing difficulties with understanding emotions, becoming upset by minor changes, developing intense and obsessive interests, avoiding or resisting physical contact, engaging in repetitive movements like hand flapping or body rocking, displaying hyperactivity and impulsivity, having a short attention span, exhibiting unusual sleep and eating patterns, and demonstrating minimal to no social skills.
Remember that the signs of autism can vary from person to person, with some individuals showing multiple indicators while others may only exhibit a few.
Individuals with autism often excel in learning through rote memory, allowing them to memorise substantial amounts of information, including dialogues from movies. The implementation of a multisensory approach has shown remarkable effectiveness 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.
Enhancing Encouragement and Nurturing in Autism Learning Support
Numerous studies and research have demonstrated that individuals with autism often possess attributes such as strong long-term memory skills, precision and attention to detail, strict adherence to rules, independent thinking, intense focus (particularly in relation to their interests), and a preference for visual thinking. Our ASD-adapted tutoring at Neurosensory aims to embrace and nurture these attributes, as we believe they contribute to your individuality and distinctiveness.
How Can the NDIS Support Individuals with Autism?
Some students with autism may be eligible for NDIS funding. We have several students who have been able to fund Neurosensory services through their NDIS plan. We can also assist people with their NDIS application process.
Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to ask about this topic. I’m here to help!
Are You Excited to Delve into the World of Multisensory Learning?
Neurosensory is dedicated to assisting students in tackling the challenges associated with education and schooling for individuals with ASD. We address issues such as organisation, breaks in routine, varying expectations, and comprehending teacher instructions. Through our multisensory approach, we establish meaningful connections between abstract concepts and tangible, 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.