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Autism Queensland News


An innovative resource that will empower autistic people to describe their sensory worlds to others was launched on Friday by Autism Queensland.

The My Sensory Experiences Tool (MYSET), is the culmination of many years of research led by Dr Jill Ashburner, Autism Queensland’s Manager Research and Development in collaboration with a diverse team of researchers and autistic consultants.

MYSET revolutionises sensory processing support by embracing a neurodiversity-affirming approach that recognises individuals as experts in their own experiences and embraces sensory differences as integral aspects of identity.

It can be used in schools, individual therapy, positive behaviour support planning, mental health support planning, supported accommodation and employment services.

Through visual card sorting and collaborative development of strategy and support plans, the tool supports engagement, advocacy, and meaningful participation in daily life.

Dr Ashburner (pictured lleft) said it was crucial autistic people were provided with the opportunity to share their sensory experiences.

“Communication of sensory experiences is particularly challenging because sensory processing is an abstract concept, and the perspective of the autistic child or adult is less commonly considered,” said Dr Ashburner.

“Information about sensory processing is typically gathered through parent, caregiver and teacher questionnaires, but it is crucial we listen to the voice of autistic people to get a better understanding their sensory experiences.”

MYSET is suitable for a diverse range of neurodivergent children and adults regardless of age, ability, and communication skills. Children as young as five years have been involved in using the My Sensory Experiences Tool with the support of a parent.  People with mild intellectual disability have also successfully used the tool.

For young children or people with cognitive or communication challenges that prevent them from using My Sensory Experiences, proxy reporting versions are available. These can be completed by caregivers who know the person well.

MYSET embraces the strengths of autistic people in processing pictures as compared to words, by combining visual cues with simple text on cards to support them in sharing their everyday sensory experiences.

“At the core of MYSET is a profound acknowledgment of the uniqueness and complexity of sensory experiences,” said Dr Ashburner.

Autism Queensland CEO Pam Macrossan said MYSET had the potential to be a game-changer for professionals and caregivers alike.

“Occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists, teachers and other professionals supporting autistic and neurodivergent people will find MYSET invaluable in tailoring strategies and support plans,” said Ms Macrossan.

“It is our hope that MYSET engages autistic people to share strategies that may assist them manage their everyday sensory challenges, as well as advocate for supports and accommodations.”

Read more about the tool at here.

MYSET is available for sale through the AQ website.

Media enquiries: 07 3540 8669.

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