The Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) at La Trobe University continues to evolve. Our previous coordinator, Ed Duncan, has moved on to work with the NDIA, so we look forward to working with him more in his new role.
We now have many projects under way, actively working to deliver intensive, evidence-based intervention for young children with ASD, as well as trialing and evaluating innovative service delivery models. With the funding from the Department of Social Services (DSS) secured earlier this year, we are researching children’s responses to different treatment programs, as well as investigating the effectiveness of intervention delivered within mainstream early childhood education settings compared to segregated (autism specific) settings.
In addition to our core programs based on site at the Margot Prior Wing, we have also been exploring home-based intervention and parent coaching models. We are currently seeking funds to start a formal trial of these programs, both of which could provide families with increased flexibility and affordability.
In the next couple of months, we will be offering places in our centre-based programs to children for 2017. Places are limited, and sadly many families will not receive one next year. As the National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolled out across Victoria, we hope to be able to offer some services under the scheme, thus increasing our capacity.
Our recent Advanced ESDM Workshop was a success, with participants from Sydney, China and Malaysia attending the 3 days here on site. We continue to train therapists and teachers around the world, including France, Japan, China and Taiwan.
Various other projects are under way and the research and intervention teams thrive on opportunities to innovate. We look forward to meeting with the 5 other ASELCCs around Australia in Sydney later this month, and sharing research findings and ideas.