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AQ Mackay

Our specialist therapy and teaching team provide the following services for individuals on the autism spectrum living in Mackay, Whitsundays and surrounding areas.

Autism Queensland is a registered provider of NDIS supports.

This service was made possible thanks to the financial support of The John Villiers Trust, in conjunction with funding provided by the Department of Communities – Disability Services. John Villiers was a lifelong member of Autism Queensland and emphasised the importance of accessibility of services in regional Queensland.

The John Villiers Centre of Excellence Mackay-Whitsunday
10 Macrossan Street, East Mackay QLD 4740


EarlyAQtion Early Childhood Services

EarlyAQtion Kindi

EarlyAQtion Kindi supports children up to school entry age to develop the skills necessary for successful participation in-home and community life and transition into the next stage of their education.

These are small group programs, with 4 to 12 children in each group, depending on the needs of the children and centre facilities.

The program is holistic, family-focused and transdisciplinary, with all areas of your child’s life being addressed and with all staff having expertise and input across all areas of functioning.

Staffing varies according to the number and support needs of children in the group:

  • There is at least one professional (Occupational Therapist, Teacher or Speech Pathologist) who is the Group Leader (Key Worker).
  • Each group has at least two Program Assistants.
  • Weekly support from one or more other professionals (Occupational Therapist, Teacher, Psychologist or Speech Pathologist) occurs depending on the support needs of the children in the group.

EarlyAQtion Kindi:

  • Recognises the specific needs of young children on the autism spectrum
  • Recognises parents are crucial members of the team who will help your child achieve success
  • Uses the child’s individual strengths and interests to motivate learning and develop skills
  • Teaches your child skills that are meaningful and useful
  • Utilises a positive approach to behaviour support that focuses on understanding the reasons for undesirable behaviour.

For more information about accessing a place for your child, fees, NDIS funding etc please complete the service request form.

Please note: Autism Queensland group fees are charged under the Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living section of your NDIS Plan. If you do not have funding in this specific Support Category, please discuss with your NDIS Local Area Coordinator or phone the NDIS on 1800 800 110.

NB: A waitlist may apply to some groups.

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GROUPS

The following groups are available to families of young children on the autism spectrum living in Mackay, Whitsundays and surrounding areas. They are delivered by members of our multidisciplinary team including teachers & teacher aides, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and psychologists.

Please note: Autism Queensland group fees are charged under the Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living section of your NDIS Plan. If you do not have funding in this specific Support Category, please discuss with your NDIS Local Area Coordinator or phone the NDIS on 1800 800 110.

To register your interest in any of these groups please complete the service request form below.

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Early Start Denver Model

The ESDM is a model designed to target the key features of autism involving intensive teaching within a play-based curriculum. Read more.

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Food School

Food School follows the principles of the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to Feeding to help children develop positive eating habits and reduce anxiety around mealtimes.

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Fun, Friends and Feelings

A small group delivered during school holidays for children aged 4–7 years and their parents that focuses on using the group environment to teach and reinforce a range of social skills including coping with stress and frustration, communicating and making friends. Available during school holidays. Sessions run for 3 hours each scheduled day. This group is delivered during the school holidays.

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Preparing for Year 1

A 15-week group for children on the autism spectrum that aims to help with successful transition from Prep to Year 1.

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Social Skills Group

A short-term, after-school group that aims to develop children’s functional abilities in the area of social skills including turn-taking and sharing, play, social communication and friendship. Children attend a one-hour session weekly over nine weeks after school.

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GROUPs FOR Children & Adolescents (7-17 years)

These groups are delivered by members of our multidisciplinary team including teachers & teacher aides, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and psychologists.

To register your interest in any of the following groups please complete the service request form below.

B-ME

Individuals on the autism spectrum aged 13-17 are invited to join our autism specialists & mentors for five days of self-discovery and learning. Each participant will be supported to identify key goals they wish to work on and achieve across the five days.

Participants will have the opportunity to:
– Learn how to express themselves through makeup and clothing
– Choose the right outfit for different events (eg what to wear to your
school formal vs a job interview)
– Meet new friends and practice conversation skills
– Identify their strengths and abilities
– Explore areas of interest.

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Cool Kids Club

A 10-week group that teaches children (6-12 years) and their parents how to better manage their child’s anxiety. The group is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), involves the participation of children and parents and focuses on teaching practical skills. Topics covered include: Learning about anxiety; Learning to think realistically; Parenting an anxious child; Facing fears using stepladders; Learning coping skills such as assertiveness or problem-solving.

The Cool Kids group was developed by Macquarie University and has been running since 1993. It has undergone continual scientific evaluation and development to include the latest understanding of anxiety and its treatment. The group has been translated into a number of languages and today is used in clinics, schools and hospitals around the world.

Food Scientists

A nine-week group to help children (7-9 years) develop positive eating habits and reduce anxiety around mealtimes. The group aims to help children learn about the ‘science’ of food (using food for energy, learning about digestion), have positive experiences with food and learn about the properties of food, learn simple recipes they can use at home and expand the range of foods they will try.

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Gamers Club - For Minecraft Extraordinaires

This exciting and fun-filled Minecraft® themed program aims to develop the social skills of children on the autism spectrum aged 8-10 & 11-13 years. During the 8-week program, children will have the opportunity to make connections with others through shared interests, engage in social interactions through structured and unstructured activities, increase their participation in group activities and learn to understand the perspective of others.

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Movie Club

Movie Club is for children and teenagers (12-14 years & 15-17 years) who enjoy movies and would benefit from practising their social skills in a small group setting. The group provides a friendly and supportive environment in which participants will enjoy movies together and then join in group discussions and activities. Group goals include: making and keeping friends, social interactions, coping with feelings and emotions and understanding the perspectives of others. Bean bags and popcorn included!

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Teen Tech Shed

Tech Shed is a 10-week group for teenagers on the spectrum aged 13-17 years that encourages appropriate socialising around technology while helping them to extend their knowledge of programming, coding and digital media. Sessions are facilitated in a safe and nurturing environment moderated by group mentors who are current students or recent graduates in Creative Industries programs.

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