Autism Queensland provides speech pathology and occupational therapy services for people of all ages from our centres in Brisbane at Sunnybank Hills and Brighton as well as from Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay and Cairns.
They are also available via telepractice if required. Individual speech pathology is also available in Inverell in NSW. (Read more about our Inverell service.) Limited psychology services are currently available in Cairns and Mackay.
Our therapists have a broad range of experience, skills and additional certifications to best cater to the individual needs of the person accessing their services. They use a strengths-based, client and family-centred approach and deliver evidence-based interventions in line with current research. They work alongside our specialist teachers and regularly share knowledge and expertise. All therapists access regular clinical supervision from senior professionals in their disciplines and participate in a range of continuing professional learning activities throughout the year.
The Research and Development team, led by Dr Jill Ashburner, provides our therapists with access to the most current information concerning evidence-based approaches, ensuring the delivery of high quality, evidence-informed assessment and interventions to the individuals who access our services.
Speech pathologists play a key role in helping individuals who have difficulties with communication. They can also assist those people who have difficulty with mealtimes, including sensitivities to foods and drinks, or safely swallowing food and drink.
Communication and social interaction challenges are an integral part of the autism diagnosis and many people on the autism spectrum can benefit greatly from further developing their skills in these areas.
For young children, speech pathology (also referred to as speech therapy) is recommended as early as possible to achieve maximum results. Older children and adults, including those who have not previously accessed intervention, can also benefit greatly.
Autism Queensland’s speech pathologists deliver assessment and therapy for all ages, in the clinic, at home, and in the community. Some of the skill areas in which they can provide assistance include:
- Language (using and understanding language)
- Speech (the articulation of spoken words)
- Social Interaction (skills needed to communicate successfully with others)
- Mealtime (mealtime strategies, fussy eaters and restricted diets, safety in swallowing)
- Literacy (spelling and reading)
- Play Skills
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Systems.
When helping very young children, our speech pathologists work with the child and their parents, individually, and as a member of a multidisciplinary team in early childhood intervention group programs.
Older children may receive support from a speech pathologist to support academic and social communication development. Adults accessing a speech pathologist can work together to improve participation in life activities at home, work, and in the community.
Occupational therapy facilitates the development, improvement or maintenance of skills. Occupational therapists provide alternative ways of performing a task; or modifies the environment to enable an individual to participate in their everyday life activities.
Autism Queensland’s occupational therapists can work together with individuals of all ages to support independence and help them reach their potential.
Areas we can assist with include:
- Daily living such as self-care activities (e.g., dressing, toileting, eating, grooming etc.)
- Household and community access (e.g. using public transport, money handling, shopping, food preparation and other household tasks etc)
- Work, employment or volunteer opportunities
- Understanding and managing sensory processing
- Emotional regulation, stress management and calming techniques
- Play skills and leisure
- Social participation (e.g., forming friendships and relationships, interacting with others such as classmates or work colleagues)
- Motor skills such as gross motor and coordination
- School-based skills (e.g., attention, organisation, handwriting/ typing, cutting, numeracy/literacy)
- Positive behaviour support.
When helping very young children, our occupational therapists work with the child and their parents, individually, and as part of a transdisciplinary team in early childhood intervention group programs.
Please note: Due to high demand Autism Queensland is temporarily unable to accept requests for psychology services in Brisbane.
Limited services are currently available in Mackay and Cairns.
- If this is an emergency please call 000.
- You can also contact the Mental health access line on 1300 64 2255 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636;
- To find a psychologist, please refer to the Australian Psychological Society search finder.
Autism Queensland’s psychologists can support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families in many ways including:
- Psychometric assessments – cognitive assessments, learning disorders, emotional and social difficulties, behavioural difficulties
- Increasing individuals’ understanding and ability to manage their emotions
- Supporting individuals and families in positive behaviour support for intense and/or challenging behaviours
- Social skills training
- Difficulties with relationships
- Conflict resolution
- Mental health disorders such as anxiety, ODC, depression, ADHD through the model of CBT (Cognitive behaviour therapy) and other interventions
- Transitioning through different life stages
- School refusal
- Emotional regulation (e.g. anxiety, anger management issues)
- Family issues
- Problems adjusting to life changes
- Emotional regulation, stress management and calming techniques.
Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
The ESDM is an early intervention model for children under 5 years designed to target the key features of autism involving intensive teaching within a play-based curriculum. Read more.
All therapy services are available on a fee-for-service basis and travel fees may apply for services delivered outside Autism Queensland’s centres. Funding packages (NDIS, HCWA) may be utilised to cover costs.