Pre School Services (3 & 4 year olds)
The early years are critical for forming a myraid of skills and meeting developmental milestones that assist with further development in the schooling years. In recent years, the importance of Early Childhood Intervention has been emphasised for children with disabilities and particularly those with ASD.
Autism Advisory Adelaide provides preschool-aged services for young children to bridge the gap that typically widens when a student on the Autism Spectrum starts to engage with the wider community and school for the first time. These are typically delivered under the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) stream of the NDIS.
Communication & Social
Preschool-aged children with Autism will often have goals around receptive communication (understanding others) and/or expressive communication (having others understand them). We can work with your preschool aged child to develop these skills in conjunction with turn taking, play skills, emotional regulation, joint attention and other basic interpersonal skills. We can also assist with setting up basic visual support Communication Systems.
Self-Help/Adaptive/Personal Care Skills
Transitioning successfully to school or preschool is an important milestone for young children. Children may need assistance with learning basic academic skills, establishing successful routines, employing strategies to assist with challenges in Executive Function, structuring the home environment to support with behaviour and sensory regulation, learning how to dress and personal hygiene (such as toileting). Autism Advisory can assist with the above, in conjunction with transition supports such as site visits, visuals preparation and individualised reports for staff.
Sensory differences in on the Autism Spectrum can be a significant barrier to a child's comfort day to day. We can assist with both helping you understand these differences, and how to adapt or modify the environment to make it more suitable and comforting. Individualised reports outlining sensory regulation strategies (varying from simple, to more complex fine and gross motor programs) can also be created in conjunction with others in the child's network.
Assessments can provide important information about your child's skill gaps, potential areas for development, as well as outlining their strengths and sensitivities. We use a range of both formal (standardised) assessments, as well as more informal checklists or questionnaires to guide therapy. Some of the more popular assessments are the Vineland, and The Sensory Profile. We will talk to you about which options may be best suited to your child.
Some examples of how we have supported children with Autism this age group in the recently;
Thomas* was a 4 year old attending his local child care centre in the Preschool room. He was non-verbal, and was having increasing meltdowns due to not being able to communicate his needs and thoughts to others. We were able to assist Thomas by setting up a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) book. He now uses the book with ease and his meltdowns have reduced as a consequence of having those around him understand his communicative messages.
Abby* was a 3-year-old child with Global Developmental Delay. She showed significant resistance to therapy in the past and due to her disinterest in her peers, was not having the opportunity to develop much-needed skills for school. We were able to assist Abby by working with materials linked to her special interests. Abby is now enjoying therapy and her language (expressive and receptive) has grown significantly.
Charlie* was a 4-year-old child who had not yet started school. His parents and teachers were concerned about him not following the rules at his recent transition visit to school, and his parents worried that the school was no longer going to be the best option for him. We were able to support Charlie by working on cognitive skills (eg numbers, shapes, colours), teaching him the routines and structures in place at school and work with his teachers to find ways to accommodate for his needs in class. Charlie transitioned successfully and is now enjoying his first year of school.
*Names changed for privacy