DONATE TODAY: SUPPORT CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY IN QUEENSLAND
A boy is sitting in a tree in a park

Support for autism and sensory disorders

Many families will see behaviours relating to ASD before receiving a formal diagnosis. Families will often be seeking services to help their child but also support the whole family.

Sensory processing disorder is strongly linked to an ASD diagnosis but can exist separately. It is a condition where an individual has difficulty receiving and responding to information that comes in through their senses. This may mean they misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as sound, touch and movement.

Support from Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists is particularly helpful for children and young people with these conditions. Physiotherapists and Social Workers also have an important role to play as part of your multidisciplinary team.

Diagnosing ASD

To be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) you will be assessed across two domains: 1) Social communication and social interaction; and 2) Repetitive or restricted behaviour, interests or activities.

The criteria for diagnosis provides for three severity levels (1 to 3) to reflect the impact on daily life. These ratings can vary across a persons life.

Why Montrose?

Your choice of support provider is important. As a parent or a referrer, you want to ensure that the service provider has the knowledge and experience necessary to support you on your journey through key life transitions.

Montrose has significant experience working with children and young adults with ASD and sensory processing disorder.  Your Montrose therapist is part of a multidisciplinary team including Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists and Social Workers. As a parent of a child with disability, you can find yourself working with many specialists for support. Having all these specialists working in one organisation can mean a more collaborative approach to achieving your goals.

Newly diagnosed with autism or sensory processing disorder

An autism diagnosis may come after what feels like a lengthy period of assessment and discussion with health professionals. Many children are not diagnosed until early schooling or later. Some adults are diagnosed in later life.

Montrose is here to help you navigate through the early days of diagnosis, whenever it is received. For younger children, we’ll focus on early goals that can make a real difference in your child’s quality of life. Your Montrose multidisciplinary team includes Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists and Social Workers. This means that additional supports can be accessed quickly and easily.

a young girl looks at a toy

What supports are available?

Improving communication skills

Children with ASD can face challenges in communicating their feelings and needs. Parents, carers, teachers and others may similarly feel it is difficult to connect and make themselves understood. Montrose Speech Pathologists can provide significant assistance in developing language and communication skills including using Assistive Technology.


Emotional regulation

Communication and cognition differences with ASD children can lead to frustration and outbursts. Montrose therapists can support behaviour interventions to reduce or eliminate harmful behaviours or those that interfere with learning. Social work support can also assist.


Supporting parenting

Understandably parents can feel challenged by a diagnosis. You may be unsure how to interact with your child, communicate and help manage their emotions. We understand this and Montrose therapists will work with your family to feel confident in interacting with your infant, engaging them with play and reading their cues.


Considering sensory needs

Montrose therapists are experienced in identifying sensory needs. Some children need a lot of stimulation to be able to focus on a task, others can quickly become overwhelmed by stimulation. Getting this balance right is important especially in school or in the community.

Early Years support for autism and sensory processing disorder

Early years support revolves around supporting the whole family, encouraging play, building connections to others, emotional regulation and developing language and communication skills.

Most families will be looking to access NDIS support including early intervention support.

Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists can all have an important role to play at this time.

A boy with glassess is playing with toy bricks

Montrose supports for early years

Improving communication skills

Supporting communication is central to working with children with ASD. Your Speech Pathologist may focus on goals such as increasing word frequency / sentence length and conversational speech. Your Occupational Therapist could be looking at sensory regulation, fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Together, they will work on group social skills and other identified goals.


Identifying Assistive Technology needs

A wide range of Assistive Technology can be accessed under the NDIS, privately and other funding sources. For example, children who struggle with writing using pen and paper can explore a wide range of alternative assistive technology options such as small and large keyboards, note takers.  We can advise on specialised software offering various supportive features and functions. Some children will benefit from the use of alternative/augmentative communication, known as AAC. 


Making social connections

Children with ASD can be confused and upset by the difficulties they may experiencing in connecting with others. Supporting them to understand “playground” norms and how to play and interact can be a significant help.


Everyday life skills

Support can be provided for motor skills such as getting dressed, playing games, and using the toilet.


Working on sensory goals

Montrose therapists are experienced in identifying sensory needs. Some children need a lot of stimulation to be able to focus on a task, others can quickly become overwhelmed by stimulation. Getting this balance right is important especially in school or in the community.

Support for school-aged children with autism

Starting kindy and prep is a step up for all children. For children with ASD, it can be quite overwhelming and distressing. Parents may be unsure how to support their child to succeed. For some families, it is only at this stage that they seek or receive a formal diagnosis of ASD.

Montrose therapists can help families understand what to expect and work collaboratively with other therapists to achieve age-appropriate goals. Support can also be provided to access NDIS funding.

 

Two children are playing with spinners - they are laughing

Starting and succeeding at School

Starting school is a big milestone but it can also present new challenges as children experience a new environment.  School routines, expectations, teachers etc also change over the school year and we understand that change can cause significant anxiety.  Your Montrose therapist can support you to work through this and set children with autism up for the best start at school and for ongoing participation. School is also full of sensory stimulation and help from a therapist to make adjustments can mean children with ASD can learn and be comfortable.

Queensland schools are resourced to provide additional support for students with disabilities. Your therapist can help engage with your school to facilitate meeting your needs and suggest necessary accommodations.


Collaborating with school staff to set up goals and measure outcomes

Your Montrose therapist can work with your teacher through meetings, education and training to help them understand your support needs in the classroom. Montrose also provides support at school through the Specialist Disability Support in Schools (SDSS) Program.


Improving communication and social skills

Supporting communication at school is a common goal for children with autism. Your Speech Pathologist may focus on goals such as increasing word frequency / sentence length and conversational speech. Your Occupational Therapist could be looking at sensory regulation, fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Together, they will work on group social skills and other identified goals.


Changing Assistive Technology needs

Participation at school will often be improved through the use of  alternative/augmentative communication, known as AAC. This could be “no-tech” such as sign language, “low-tech” such as PODD books or cue cards, or “high-tech” such as interactive communication boards or a speech generating device.


Making social connections

Children with ASD can be confused and upset by the difficulties they may experiencing in connecting with others. Supporting them to understand ‘playground norms’ and how to play and interact can be a significant help.


Working on motor skills

Children living with ASD sometimes need support with exercise and can be less physically active than other kids their age. While children with ASD mostly have challenges with their social communication skills and sensory behaviours, they may also have motor skill difficulties, poor motor planning and/or poor coordination. Support can be provided for motor skills including those required for playground games and school sport. Enhanced participation in these areas can boost selfesteem as well as physical development.


Working on sensory goals

Montrose therapists are experienced in identifying sensory needs. Some children need a lot of stimulation to be able to focus on a task, others can quickly become overwhelmed by stimulation. Getting this balance right is important especially in school or in the community. The Montrose Team can also work with your school to advise on the environmental factors that contribute to sensory issues.

Supporting Nathan

Nathan is on the Autism Spectrum, so he can have some difficulty communicating. He has found the best way to express himself is through his art!

Read more about Nathan here. 

A boy with a blue rainbow Tshirt

Support for older children and young adults with autism

Many parents are concerned about the next steps after school for their child. As with all times of transition, it can be an uncertain period as new support needs emerge and young people consider new goals as an adult. This can also be an exciting time to develop independence.

Support at this time in life is likely to work on building connections to others, emotional regulation, and adjusting language and communication skills to new settings. Anxiety can be a significant issue for people with autism – help with setting routines from an Occupational Therapist and additional Social Work support can help.

A young man with autsim is looking at the camera - he is in a garden

What support is there for older children and young adults with autism

Continued support at school

Assistive Technology needs can change as students move through High School toward further education or the workplace. Support from Montrose therapists can assist you in keeping up with peers with communication and social skills.


Support with physical development

Children living with ASD may continue to get less active as they get older, and consequently miss out on valuable opportunities for social interaction, like playing sport with their peers.


Developing goals

Your Montrose therapist can help you develop and work on goals for post-school. This might be how to access further education, prepare for employment or develop life skills


Supporting independence

As you grow older you might like to catch your own transport, move out of home, holiday independently from your family and pursue a job. The team at Montrose can help you develop new skills to cope with new situations and new groups of people.


Developing new interests and hobbies

Once you leave school you may have more time for extra interests and hobbies. Hobbies are a great way to meet new people and learn new life skills. Our Lifestyle & Leisure group run day programs to help you be active, learn new skills and have fun.


Connecting with the community

Having a connection to your local community is important in feeling valued and contributing to society. This can be particularly important at times of change and transition such as moving from school to further education or moving into the workplace. Support is available from Montrose to connect and engage with new people.


Short and Medium Term Accommodation

Our Getaway on the Gold Coast provides Short and Medium Term Accommodation with en-suite private rooms and 24 hour support. The team support short periods of respite, time away from home, supported holidays and longer stays where required.

Elizabeth and Magenta explain how Short Term Accommodation helps with achieving their independent living goals.

Support for adults with autism

As an adult with ASD, it may feel like there is less support available as you move from school into other settings. Montrose therapists understand this is an important period of transition and can provide support with managing anxiety, social connections, understanding workplaces, relationships and difficulties with routines and sleep.

We also recognise that some people are not diagnosed with autism until later in life. Therapy and Social Work can still provide benefits in understanding the diagnosis and providing support to manage communication and connections.

A lady with red hair is doing a jigsaw

What support is there for adults with autism?

Developing communication skills

Becoming an adult usually brings greater responsibilities to communicate for yourself – this could include with medical services, employers and friends. We can continue to advise on communication techniques and strategies and support alternative communication methods (AAC) where required.


Supporting independence

As you grow older you might like to catch your own transport, move out of home, holiday independently from your family and pursue a job. The team at Montrose can help you develop new skills, overcome accessibility barriers and work with other organisations who may not be as aware of autism to get the support you need.


Building social connections

Having a connection to your local community is important to feeling valued and contributing to society. Additional supports can be useful as you move from university to the workplace or into new accommodation in a different area.


Contact us

Please select your enquiry type*
(Choose all that apply)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.