Welcome to Autism West

itf124004Welcome to Autism West’s website.

We are a family support service and welcome you all to our centre. Pop in for a coffee, browse through our resource centre, or chat to our friendly staff. We welcome any requests or feedback in relation to how we can help support you and your family in your journey with autism.

Autism West is associated with the South West Autism Network (SWAN). SWAN is a not for profit, charitable organisation supporting the families in the south west region of Western Australia living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

We have many activities and programs that are running across 2014. If you require further information or want to register your interest, please contact Gabriella on 6389 1833 or email info@autismwest.org.au.

Silvana Gaglia

News and Announcements

Carer Wellbeing

You are invited to participate in a study investigating methods of improving wellbeing in caregivers.

Feelings of happiness and wellbeing are linked to increased successes in life, such as better job performance and healthier relationships. The current study investigates the benefits of a simple and short program aimed at increasing wellbeing.

Curtin University are asking for individuals who are in both paid support roles and unpaid caring roles to participate in the study. This can include parents and other unpaid care roles for example to a spouse, family member or friend, or working as a paid support worker.

If you are interested in participating, or would like more information, please contact Ainsley Read at ainsley.read@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Click here to view the flyer.

The Dreamhouse

The Dreamhouse

In this refreshing 6 part series narrated by Adam Hills, 3 young adults with intellectual disabilities fly the nest and move into a new home for 10 weeks.

Experiencing life away from parents and learning to live more independently is a dream for all of them. And if it works out, they can stay on and call The Dreamhouse home.

Justin and Sarah have Down’s Syndrome. While Justin is confident and cocky and keen to assert his role as house alpha male, Sarah, is a practising Christian, and more docile and conservative. Kirk, the youngest, is very loud and energetic and hopes to make new friends but his autism means that social relationships can be challenging.

Over 10 weeks these three very different people go on a huge learning curve as they explore how to manage a house and how to live with each other. They party, fight, flirt, and above all grow exponentially in the process, and reveal a vibrant new world that is theirs alone.

The Dreamhouse is life changing for Justin, Sarah and Kirk, and also for their parents who watch their children grow in self confidence and flourish in the most unexpected ways that will affect their lives profoundly. Give people the opportunity and watch them flower.

Bursting with humour, conflict and tenderness. The Dreamhouse provides a bold insight into a world rarely seen before on television.

For more information about The Dreamhouse contact Karen or Brittany at Artemis International on 08 9228 2852.

Watch a sneak peak here!
Find out more at the website
Follow them on Twitter
Like them on Facebook

The Dreamhouse Ad

Employment for People with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

Think of that colleague or employee who always has one eye on Facebook or Twitter, or the one who dominates the office with stories about their week-end. They might be wonderful in customer service, but what about reading cancer screening tests or checking software programmes?

Torbjörn Falkmer, Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University’s School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, believes that interview panels are biased towards the socially confident person who can “connect” with them. Torbjörn is adamant that this bias is a disadvantage to both employers and people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Professor Falkmer believes that there is a “huge untapped resource” in future staff who are on the Autism Spectrum. People with autism find it very difficult to get beyond the interview stage, even when their qualifications and characteristics match the work requirements much better than those who are socially competent.

Professor Falkmer has a vision for the employment of talented software specialists who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has already been instrumental in securing the employment of two staff to assist with data analysis in his research group from the Autism Association WA’s employment program AIM. Together with A/Prof Tele Tan he has plans for a local company, modelled on the successful Danish firm Specialisterne. The Danish company has more than 50 employees and around 75% of these have a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum. Similar to Specialisterne, the plan is to use employee’s strengths to provide services such as software testing, quality control and data entry with a high attention to details and accuracy.

“Where focus on detail and accuracy are critical, in tasks that others may find boring, the employee on the autism spectrum can excel” according to Professor Falkmer.

Professor Falkmer and his research team are developing some tools that can be used in workplaces to improve the transition to employment for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Educational Vocational Assessment Protocol will be a career planning tool aimed specifically at this group. The Integrated Employment Success Tool will provide practical strategies to ensure that employers can retain people with autism in the workplace.

Professor Falkmer will be speaking about his research to create employment pathways for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Pathways12 Conference Dec 3-5 in Perth. www.pathways12.org.au/

Media contact: Pauline Pannell Disability Officer, University of Western Australia T: 0864887864 E: pauline.pannell@uwa.edu.au

Click here for a printout of this information.

Planning for employment for adolescents with high functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome

What are we doing?
Megan Hatfield from Curtin University, is part of a team that is developing a tool that will assist adolescents with high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome to plan what they will do when they leave school. In the long term, they anticipate this will lead to an improvement in the employment rate of people with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Who can participate?
They are looking for people who:

  • Have high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome (including PDD-NOS), and
  • Are in years 9-12 at high school or left high school in the last 5 years

They are also looking for the parents/carers of these adolescents/young adults, and the professionals who work with them (i.e. teachers, therapists, career guidance officers, disability employment service providers, etc.)

What does it involve?
They are asking you to complete an anonymous survey (15 minutes long). You can also participate in a year long study in 2015.

More information
Please read the information sheets for further information about this study before completing the survey. If you have any questions or would like some more information, please contact Megan on 0402 200 636 or megan.hatfield@curtin.edu.au

Click here to view the Information Form for Education and Health Professionals.
Click here to view the Information Form for Parents, Teens and Young Adults.

To complete the survey, please click on the links below:
For parents and carers
For adolescents or young adults with high functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome (Recommended that this is completed with support from someone like a parent, teacher or support worker)
For professionals

Stepping Stones Triple P Parent Discussion Group

Curtin University is seeking parents of children with a disability aged between 3-8 years of age to participate in a brief 2 hour Stepping Stones Triple P Parent Discussion Group focused on teaching parents how to prevent and manage child disobedience.

What is the research about?
Stepping Stones Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is a parenting program designed to help parents who have a child with a disability best support their child’s development and manage behaviour problems. The current research will trial the effectiveness of a new Stepping Stones Triple P Discussion Group Program. This program consists of a single 2-hour session and is run by an accredited Triple P group facilitator. This session will specifically address the issue of how to manage child disobedience. The program will use a mix of video demonstrations, discussion, practice and home based activities. The program is free and parents will receive a free Stepping Stones Triple P – A Guide to Disruptive Behaviour booklet.

Specific topics of discussion will include:

  • Common forms of disobedience
  • Identifying parenting traps
  • Reasons why children are disobedient
  • How to prevent disobedience
  • How to teach children to follow instructions
  • Setting management plans

What will the research involve?
To be eligible for the research, your child must be between 3 to 8 years of age, have a diagnosed disability, such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, or intellectual disability. You will attend a 2 hour parent discussion group located at Curtin University, Bentley. You will also need to complete a booklet of questions about parenting styles, parenting confidence and child behaviours, at two points in time. These questionnaires may take approximately 90 minutes to complete. You will be placed in a random draw to win one of three $50 Coles/Myer shopping vouchers.

Why might I want to participate?
Stepping Stones Triple P has been shown to help parents manage a range of parenting difficulties that they are experiencing with their children with disabilities. Research has shown that parents who use Stepping Stones Triple P are less stressed and depressed. Children’s behaviour improves and parents report to feel better and more confident managing their children’s behaviour. Hundreds of clinical trials demonstrate that Triple P strategies work for most families. Being part of a group also provides the opportunity to connect with other parents and share experiences.

Participation is Voluntary
Participation is completely voluntary and you can withdraw from the study at any time without prejudice.

If you have any further questions or would like to take part in this research please contact Karla Cloke on 9266 3436 or via email: karla.cloke@postgrad.curtin.edu.au.

Click here for the Flyer.

Abilities Careers Expo

The Abilities Careers EXPO provides information to all students, schools and families on employment, further education and options beyond school, click here for further information, for students with disability.

Autism West will have a booth at the event!

Click here to see the flyer.


Drawtism is a fun guessing word game which gives players an insight, just for a moment, into the communication challenges faced by people with autism. If you’ve ever played Pictionary, you might remember a time when no matter what you drew, your team just couldn’t guess what you were trying to communicate…. Frustrating, right? That’s how the Drawtism concept came about!

With 1 in 100 Australians being diagnosed with autism, it’s never been more important to raise crucial funds for families impacted by autism. So this June, it’s time to get creative, entertain your guests and sharpen your pencils to make a difference!

Click here view the website for Drawtism.

Race Around Rottnest

Registrations for the 2014 Race Around Rottnest are OPEN!

Make the most of the early bird entry fees. Save the date and let your mates know.
We look forward to seeing you all there!

Entertainment™ Book Fundraising

Entertainment™ Memberships are packed with hundreds of up to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers for the best local restaurants, cafés, attractions, hotel accommodation, travel and much more!

Available as a traditional Entertainment™ Book OR the new Entertainment™ Digital Membership for your Apple or Android device, your Membership gives you over $20,000 worth of valuable offers valid through to 1 June 2015!

Order your new 2014/2015 Perth Entertainment™ Membership from Autism West Support Inc and 20% of your Membership purchase goes towards our fund-raising!

Click here to find out more.
Click here to order now!

Please remember to reference Autism West Support Inc when registering your 2014/2015 Entertainment™ Membership.

Autism Research @ Curtin Uni

Curtin University currently is in need of people with High Functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, one study focuses on 13 to 17 years old while the other focuses on 18 to 35 year old. There is also another study which is looking for parents of young adults (18-30) with High Functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome.
Curtin University are looking for people with high functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, aged between 18 to 35 years who are willing to participate in this study. They are researching balance and how each of us process information, what we see and what we feel to control our balance.

Participates are rewarded with a free movie tickets at the end of the session!

Click here to view the Curtin Autism Research Poster
Curtin University are looking for teenagers with high functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, aged between 13 to 17 years who are willing to participate in this study. They are looking at the way teenagers’ eyes move when looking at faces and finding hidden shapes. You can help them learn more about the way teenagers’ eyes move by participating in this study. The results will be combined with teenagers without high functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome to compare the performance and eye movements of the two groups. This technology has been used by many researchers, without any known side effects.

Participates are rewarded with 2 free movie tickets at the end of the session!

Click here to view the Curtin Autism Research Poster
Click here to view the Parent Information Sheet
Click here to view the Teenagers Information Sheet
What is it like becoming an adult if you have autism?

Becoming an adult can be an exciting, but challenging time. This research project aims to find out what it is like becoming an adult if you have high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. They would like to find out about your experience as your son or daughter becomes an adult.

For this study they are looking for parents of young people (aged 18‐30) with high functioning autism spectrum disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome.

If you decide to take part, you will be asked to take part in a group discussion with other parents of young people with autism. There will be two parts of the group discussions. The first being an opportunity to raise and discuss issues. While the second being an opportunity to rank the importance of these issues. The groups will run for about two hours at a place that is convenient to you (for example, Autism Association of WA, Autism West or Curtin University).

This is an opportunity for them to find out your opinions and everyone’s viewpoint is valuable.

As a token of their appreciation for participating in this study they would like to give you two adult cinema tickets and to reimburse your travel expenses.

Click here to view the Curtin Autism Research Group Study 1 Flyer

CSMP – Curtin Specialist Mentoring Program

Jointly funded by Autism West and Curtin University to help support students on the Autism Spectrum to realise their life potential.
Click here to view the flyer for CSMP.

Job Vacancy @ Autism West

For all the details on Job Vacancies please click here.

Autism and Asperger’s ECU Research Project

The project explores the link between self esteem, school experience, mental health and depression of teenagers with Autism and Asperger’s Disorder. It also asks you about services you may have used or are using.
Teenagers must have a diagnosis of Autism or Asperger’s Disorder
Teenagers are between the ages of 12 and 17 years old
Teenagers and mothers must be willing to participate in 30-40 minutes of questionnaires.
Click here to view the flyer for the ECU Research Project.

TOBY Playpad

TOBY Playpad is a revolutionary evidence based iPad app that was designed to support the learning needs of children with an ASD. TOBY teaches parents and carers to immediately implement therapy in the home using both on and off iPad activities. It is ideal for children on wait lists or as a tool for home practice. Autism West has partnered with Curtin and Deakin Universities to create the TOBY Playpad (TOBY).

Click here for more details.
Toby Playpad website
Click here for the information booklet

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