2017 is living up to our expectation that it will be a huge year! Our usual centre-based program is well under way, with the NDIS now facilitating services to several of our children. Working with the NDIS has been somewhat challenging, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to “ease” into the NDIS, as our core program is funded by the Department of Social Services through until the end of 2018.
Our major research projects are progressing well. The ‘Social Participation Study’, comparing outcomes of children receiving ESDM in either autism specific or mainstream playrooms, is in its third year (including a pilot year). This year we are also providing the ESDM to two children with Autism in an external centre (Gowrie Victoria, Docklands). Our other on-going study ‘What Works For Whom?’ is looking at possible predictors, or traits that may help clinicians determine whether a child is likely to respond better to either of two approaches, ESDM or ABA-DTT.
As of this year, we have embarked on another major study, which will evaluate the effectiveness of our home-based program, Autism Playmates, as well as the value of ESDM Parent Coaching as a possible addition to various intervention programs. This study will significantly increase and inform provision of these two services.
We’re also very excited to be starting another major study this year, led by former OTARC Research Fellow, Dr David Trembath, now at Griffith University. This study will follow the trajectories and support needs of children who are not yet speaking when they begin intervention. These children are under-researched, and we are looking forward to the results of this important piece of work.
It’s going to be a challenging and busy year, but we believe that we are well equipped to meet the demands.
Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre (Vic)