Kymberly Martin

Autism Queensland’s successful move to remote services

Autism Queensland is getting a good response from clients following its move to remote services with video conferencing, telephone support, and if required, face to face services with limited numbers and additional hygiene procedures available. There is no change in processes and people wishing to access services should still follow the same procedure by registering through the website, the organisation told F2L.

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The change has been warmly welcomed by 21 year old Kate Pringle, who is on the spectrum and has intellectual impairment and has taken to the online environment enthusiastically.

Kate has a very good bond with her speech therapist and was excited to see her on the screen, her mother Nicola Pringle said. “Her therapist, Rhona Newell, kept the online session the same as what they would do face-to-face and Kate was really engaged the whole time.”

Although she said it has been difficult to explain to Kate why she can’t do her normal activities or go anywhere.

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“It’s been challenging to find replacement things for her to do while at the same time limiting her screen time, which is the default thing for her. The teletherapy is using screens in a positive and interactive way, rather than Kate being passive she is engaging and continuing to develop her skills.

“Teletherapy with Autism Queensland is the only out-of-home activity that she has been able to continue remotely,” she said.

Autism Queensland CEO Pam Macrossan said transitioning services online meant it could provide support to people around Queensland no matter their location.

“Our therapists and teachers are using video conferencing platforms flexibly and interactively so participants aren’t expected to be sitting in front of a computer for extended periods of time. Group programs especially will be delivered via a combination of individual/parent training, interactive games (online and in person with a support person), video modelling and by direct live teaching,” she said.

Autism Queensland’s school holiday group therapy programs, Fun, Friends and Feelings (for 5-7 years) and Cool Conversations (8-12 & 13-16 years) will be delivered via video conferencing until April 17.

Other popular young adult programs including Teen Tech Shed, Studio G, The Hangout and PEERS for Young Adults will return after the school holidays in a new remote delivery format.

For individuals and families seeking more information and contact details for their local Autism Queensland service visit: www.autismqld.com.au

 Image: Kate Pringle and Rhona Newell

 

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