New autism support service unveiled
9 June 2021 at 6:10 pm
“We want to ensure the more than 200,000 Australian people with autism have the right support to meet their needs and participate fully in the community”
Australia’s first national autism helpline has just been launched, offering help for anyone seeking information, support or guidance about autism.
This free and confidential service has been developed by autism peak body Amaze and can be accessed via phone, email, and webchat service.
Autism Connect is aimed at autistic people of all ages, their family and friends, and anyone supporting an autistic person in education, health or workplace settings.
Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie said there were many myths and misconceptions about autism and confusion about what support was available for autistic Australians.
She said every autistic person was an individual with unique support needs.
“The friendly team at Autism Connect understands this and provides confidential and specific guidance and information relevant to each person’s situation, query, and location,” Sharkie said.
“Amaze has worked collaboratively with the autistic community and stakeholders to develop Autism Connect. Importantly, [it] provides information and guidance based on evidence and research.”
Amaze also has a hub of online resources – Autism Connect: Search – for people who want to search for information about autism.
This hub includes fact sheets, tools, and a local directory for people to locate services and community activities near them.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Morrison government provided $8.4 million to expand Autism Connect into a national support service.
“From diagnosis through to adulthood, we want to ensure the more than 200,000 Australian people with autism have the right support to meet their needs and participate fully in the community,” Ruston said.
You can find out more about Autism Connect and access the email and webchat service here.
You can call Autism Connect on 1300 308 699 on Monday to Friday, between 8am and 7pm local time.