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Support for living on the spectrum at Autism Open Days

Media release

The challenges faced by children with autism at school will be the focus of two Autism Open Days in Perth and Kalgoorlie, where leading autism researchers from Curtin University and the Telethon Kids Institute will share the latest research with the community.

As the number of people with autism continues to increase with an estimated one in 100 Australians now living on the spectrum, the Curtin Autism Research Group (CARG) invites parents, children and individuals to attend the two free community events.

CARG Director Associate Professor Sonya Girdler, from the School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work at Curtin University, said the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed four out of five children with autism experienced difficulties at school.

“The Autism Open Day offers a fantastic opportunity for adults and children with autism, their families and anyone who is interested in autism research to find out more about this lifelong condition, which affects an estimated 230,000 Australians,” Associate Professor Girdler said.

“Among the information on offer at these free community events includes pathway planning for school leavers with autism, social skills training for teenagers with autism, emotion recognition training computer games, and a peer mentoring program for university students with autism.

“Interested community members will also be able to find out more about CARG’s flagship project, the Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance, a specially designed program to harness the talents of people with autism through training, education and mentoring support to improve their job prospects.”

Associate Professor Girdler said CARG, a multi-disciplinary team of people on the autism spectrum, researchers, students and volunteers from Curtin University, aimed to make tomorrow better for people on the autism spectrum by letting their needs and experience guide the team’s research.

“We know that the number of Australians being diagnosed with autism continues to increase so our team is committed to finding evidence-based and innovative ways to support all individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families, throughout the different stages in their lives,” Associate Professor Girdler said.

Perth’s Autism Open Day, hosted by Curtin University and the Telethon Kids Institute, will be held in the Technology Park Function Centre, 2 Brodie Hall Drive, Bentley, on Sunday, 17 September 2017, from 10am to 3pm.

Kalgoorlie’s Autism Open Day will be held in the Curtin WA School of Mines Graduates Hall, 50 MacDonald Street, Kalgoorlie, on Sunday, 1 October 2017, from 10am to 3pm.

From September 18 to 22, Curtin University will celebrate its Research and Innovation Week 2017. Find out more here.