Autism at Heart of Workshop to Support Carers

Article excerpt

Byline: Jaime Newborn jaime.newborn@dailymercury.com.au

A FREE two-day workshop will be held in Mackay at the Magpies Sporting Club, on October 19 and 20 for parents and carers of children on the autism spectrum.

The program Co Positive Partnerships: Supporting school-aged students on the autism spectrum Co aims to build partnerships between parents, carers and schools to find ways to improve the formative school years of students living with autism.

The Positive Partnerships workshop is expected to be valuable to those in the Mackay region, where there are reportedly at least 150 children of school age living with autism.

Project manager Julie Hook said despite autism being an issue which dominated lives, many people would never have the chance to participate in a specialised, professionally run forum.

"Programs such as this relieve the isolation often felt by families living with autism. It allows participants a chance to meet other people with similar experiences, and helps them find out about support services and other resources available to them," she said.

Mackay program facilitator Debbie Brooker said early intervention was important to allow children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to learn skills such as social interaction, communicating and responding to others. …