Comprehensive Assessment for Autism (ASD) & Multisensory Learning Support in Campsie
Exploring Learning Approaches for 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 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) tend to have difficulties in two main areas – social communication and repetitive behaviour. These may present differently at different ages. Although it’s often diagnosed in primary school or even preschool-age children, it’s not considered until adolescence or even adulthood in some people. Girls with ASD are also more likely to present 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.
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.
Enhancing Learning and Development with Multisensory Therapy/Tutoring for Autism/ASD
Mainstream education is primarily focused on meeting the needs of the majority and may not effectively engage students with autism and related conditions. At Neurosensory, our therapists and teachers employ a personalised approach that embraces the unique interests of these students, considering them as opportunities for enhanced engagement and growth. Our approach is characterised by its organic, creative, and structured nature.
By showing that we value their interests, we find that the self-esteem, confidence, and self-expression of our students grow.
Empowering Students with Autism: The Approach of our MSL Therapists and Tutors
Our approach involves encouraging them to:
- Establish a routine for each lesson
- Integrate a student’s interests into lessons and encourage creativity
- Avoid using sarcasm and common sayings
- Anticipate where subtle social cues may make it hard to understand fiction
- Give the students choices within the lesson
- Cultivate a trusting setting where the student feels empowered to ask any question, regardless of how straightforward the answer may appear
- 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.
Enhancing Learning with In-Person Therapy/Tutoring for Autism/ASD
In the realm of in-person tutoring, our focus is on cultivating a nurturing learning environment that is more laid-back in comparison to a conventional school classroom. Our therapists appreciate the importance of routine for individuals with autism and also understand the formidable task of altering well-established yet less optimal habits.
In our rooms, we provide a wide range of captivating hands-on materials that extend beyond traditional paper and pen learning. We understand that schooling can be stressful for students with learning difficulties and disabilities. At Neurosensory, we strive to eliminate the stigma of failure and foster a can-do attitude. We acknowledge the importance of recognising concentration limits and incorporating short breaks with movement to rejuvenate the mind. Our approach promotes interactivity and creativity in lessons, enhancing students’ ability to retain skills and information.
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.
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.
Comprehensive Autism Assessments for Individuals of All Ages
The diagnosis of autism can be challenging, as there is no definitive medical test to rely on. Instead, a diagnosis is made by observing behavioural symptoms. Many individuals with autism camouflage their symptoms in everyday life as they strive to meet societal norms. This is particularly common among girls and women, often resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment.
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.
We want to emphasise that we do not have the authority to provide formal diagnoses. However, if our assessment indicates a potential diagnosis, we can refer individuals to qualified professionals who can conduct formal evaluations.
Exploring Common Inquiries
If you have concerns regarding the development of yourself or a loved one, it is recommended to consult with your GP for an initial assessment or seek assistance from a paediatrician or psychologist. These professionals can refer you to a team of experts who are experienced in autism assessment, including paediatricians, speech pathologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
You also have the option to book a consultation with us at Neurosensory. In the consultation, we can discuss the concerns that you have, administer screening assessments, provide a preliminary report, and refer you to the appropriate professionals for a formal diagnosis if deemed necessary.
As part of a child or adult ASD assessment, you may be asked to undergo:
- Interviews (with yourself, your child, and/or with other primary carers)
- Review of developmental history
- Watching your (or your child’s) social interactions
- Assessment for diagnosis (including TOPL-2 and SRS)
Indeed, the earlier autism is detected, the smoother the individual’s life journey may become. It may also contribute to a stronger sense of self-esteem and self-awareness, granting them an identity they may have previously lacked. Additionally, a diagnosis may facilitate access to financial assistance and support services for families.
Although autism can be detected in some children at 18 months of age or even younger, the average age for diagnosis is around three years old. Children who have a family history, such as a sibling or parent, with autism, tend to be assessed earlier rather than later.
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.
Encouragement and Nurturing through 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.
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.
Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to ask about this topic. I’m here to help!
Are You Prepared to Discover the Power 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 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.