Autism (ASD) Assessment & Multisensory Learning Support in Belfield
Enhancing Learning for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Who Does Autism (ASD) Affect?
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.
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) commonly experience challenges in two primary domains: social communication and repetitive behaviour. These challenges may vary across different age groups. While it is often diagnosed in primary school or even preschool-age children, it may not be evaluated until adolescence or even adulthood for some individuals. Moreover, girls with ASD tend to be diagnosed later than boys.
Autism is a developmental disorder that influences information processing, particularly in social contexts. It may have various effects on educational progress, regardless of a person’s level of intelligence. Autism often co-occurs with conditions like ADHD, dyslexia, and epilepsy, which may complicate diagnosis and lead to delays. Although the educational system may provide additional assistance, it may not be finely tuned to address the specific needs of individuals with autism due to the wide range of presentations and associated challenges. This is where targeted educational therapy may have a significant impact.
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.
Enhancing Learning and Development with 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.
By demonstrating our appreciation for their interests, we observe an increase in the self-esteem, confidence, and self-expression of our students.
Assistance for Students with Autism: The Impact of our MSL Therapists and Tutors
We encourage them to:
- Implement a predictable routine for every lesson
- Incorporate the student’s passions into the curriculum and foster imagination
- 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
- Establish a supportive atmosphere where the student feels comfortable asking any question, irrespective of its perceived obviousness
- 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
Choosing the Right Therapy and Tutoring Options for Autism/ASD
To ensure accessibility, Neurosensory offers two options for supporting individuals with autism, catering to primary, secondary, TAFE, university students, and beyond.
Enhancing Learning with In-Person Therapy/Tutoring for Autism/ASD
Creating a welcoming learning environment that is less formal than a typical school classroom is a key aspect of in-person tutoring. Our therapists recognise the value of routine for individuals with autism and are empathetic to the difficulties they encounter when trying to modify deeply ingrained yet less efficient behaviours.
Within our learning spaces, we offer a multitude of engaging hands-on materials that go beyond conventional paper and pen activities. We are cognizant of the stress that schooling can impose on students with learning difficulties and disabilities. At Neurosensory, our approach is designed to remove the fear of failure and cultivate a positive mindset. We acknowledge the limitations of concentration and advocate for short breaks accompanied by movement to rejuvenate the mind. By fostering interactivity and creativity in our lessons, we facilitate improved retention of skills and information for our students.
Embracing Online Platforms for 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 treat everyone who comes to our services as a ‘whole person’, building social awareness and language development seamlessly into the sessions. Our online ASD option ensures that students with autism and other disorders can still access appropriate interventions from the comfort of their home.
Should you or a loved one require learning assistance due to an autism diagnosis, our dedicated autism tutors are here and eager to assist.
Comprehensive Autism Assessments for Individuals of All Ages
Diagnosing autism may present challenges as there is no specific medical test available. Instead, diagnosis is based on the observation of behavioural symptoms. Many individuals with autism mask their symptoms in order to conform to societal expectations. This is especially true for girls and women, who often go undiagnosed and untreated due to their adeptness at masking.
At Neurosensory, we offer screening assessments and facilitate referrals to psychologists, paediatricians, and psychiatrists if there is a possibility of an autism diagnosis. Some of the assessments we utilise as guidance include the Test of Pragmatic Language (TOPL2) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Additionally, other professionals may employ assessments such as ADOS-2. It is worth noting that new assessments are being developed to address the limitations of older ones, as they may not effectively diagnose individuals who are ‘highly functioning’ but face significant challenges due to masking symptoms.
We stress that we cannot formally diagnose people, but we can refer them to someone who can if our assessment reveals a possible diagnosis.
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.
If you prefer, you can arrange a consultation with us at Neurosensory. During the consultation, we can delve into the concerns you have, conduct screening assessments, provide a preliminary report, and direct you to the appropriate professionals for a formal diagnosis if deemed necessary.
During an ASD assessment for a child or adult, you may be requested to undergo:
- Conversations (with yourself, your child, and/or with other main caregivers)
- Examination of developmental background
- 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.
While it is possible to detect autism in some children as early as 18 months or even earlier, the average age for diagnosis is typically around three years old. Children with a family history of autism, such as a sibling or parent, are often assessed at a younger age.
There are several signs of autism to be aware of, including: not responding to their name, not engaging in pretend play, avoiding eye contact, difficulty understanding emotions, becoming upset by minor changes, developing obsessive interests, avoiding or resisting physical contact, engaging in repetitive behaviours like hand flapping or body rocking, displaying hyperactivity and impulsivity, having a short attention span, exhibiting unusual sleeping and eating habits, and demonstrating limited or 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.
Fostering Encouragement and Nurturing in Autism Learning Support
Research and studies have indicated that individuals with autism frequently exhibit attributes such as strong long-term memory skills, precision and attention to detail, adherence to rules, independent thinking, intensive focus (especially when engaged in their interests), and proficiency in visual thinking. At Neurosensory, we aim to foster and cultivate these attributes through our ASD-adapted tutoring, as we recognise and value the uniqueness and special qualities they bring.
What Support Can be Accessed Through the NDIS for Individuals with Autism?
Eligible students with autism may receive NDIS funding. We have helped numerous students secure NDIS funding for Neurosensory services. Additionally, we provide support with the NDIS application process.
If you have any additional inquiries regarding this matter, feel free to let me know. I’m at your disposal and ready to assist!
Are You Open to Exploring the Benefits of Multisensory Learning?
At Neurosensory, we provide support to students in overcoming the challenges they may face in education and schooling as individuals with ASD, particularly in areas such as organisation, disruptions to routine, different expectations, and understanding teacher communication. Our multisensory approach enhances the connection between abstract concepts and tangible, visual models.
This aspect is particularly important for individuals who struggle with processing the intricacies of language, a common challenge among individuals with autism. At Neurosensory, our goal is to empower students of all ages to develop learning and study habits that extend beyond their academic life, as these habits can also contribute to the development of social skills.