Autism is a lifelong disability. There is no cure and no known cause. Autism is indiscriminate in who it affects – there is no link to social economic or geographical distinctions.

It is estimated that 1 in 100 children have ASD, and that number is considerably higher in boys, 1 in 86, with the number consistently increasing.

However, the Autism Spectrum Disorder is just that – a spectrum. With the right intensity of early intervention, a child can move through the spectrum, with a small percentage of children losing their diagnosis after they fail to meet the criteria any longer.

CAN will assist family’s find the therapies that will work for their family, gain a better understanding of how much therapy they should be getting, and how much it should cost.

Often therapy is available to country families on an outreach basis, with many of the day to day therapies conducted in the home. However, many families are never told about these services, nor do they know where to find them.

Whilst these can be extremely effective, they can also be extremely expensive.

Costs incurred may include travel and accommodation to visit program centre, training for family members and other therapists, cost of therapist’s to come to house, additional childcare and resources.

One of the most beneficial parts of a program such as this is that the travel is minimised on a daily basis. There should be very little need for some remote families to drive to therapists, when the session will quite often be for much less time that the travel to and from the provider.

Due to the fact that much of the therapy can be conducted in-home and can be done by family members, the child is much more likely to improve quickly as the therapy will be built into everyday activities.

ADVOCACY & INFORMATION

CAN aims to help families in rural NSW work their way through the maze that is ASD. We also have regular dialogue and meetings with those working in and around the autism policy environment.

CAN will present to both State and Federal Governments information about how they can better assist children with ASD and their families.

Working alongside Autism Awareness Australia, CAN presented a series of policy discussion points to the Coalition in the lead up to the 2013 Federal Election.