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Thursday, April 22, 2021

AEIOU: Canberra’s first early-learning autism hub

Specialising in autism-specific early intervention programs for children aged two to six, AEIOU Foundation is set to open its first centre in the Canberra Region this July.

AEIOU’s Canberra Region Centre is made possible due a partnership with the John James Foundation, which is funding the construction of the purpose-built centre that forms part of the broader John James Village precinct. 

As a registered NDIS provider, AEIOU provides specialised childcare and therapy support to more than 300 children in Queensland and South Australia, with the Canberra Region Centre marking 11 centres for the not-for-profit organisation.

AEIOU Canberra Region Manager, Enia Alberto, says as World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April approaches, it’s important to celebrate children diagnosed with autism.

“They should be celebrated and enjoyed like every other child for their diversity and strengths,” she says.

“The important thing about autism is to embrace it and learn with it. It’s not something to be changed.”

World Autism Awareness Day recognises those living with autism as well as those who love and support them.

According to AEIOU, autism affects one in 100 people in Australia. While there is no known cause and no cure, research shows early intervention makes a difference to a child’s development, leading to improved outcomes for children with autism.

Ms Alberto says while there are common characteristics of autism, it affects every child differently, so early intervention and individual support for the child’s needs are core values of AEIOU.

“The idea of the centre is to help children to lead their best life and to reach their potential. The program is tailored to the children,” she says. 

For those interested in learning the evidence behind AEIOU strategies and learning strategies to support children they care for at home or in a clinical setting, two free, tailored workshops will be hosted on two Tuesdays in April. 

Topics covered will include looking at functions of behaviour and the evidence behind AEIOU strategies, and identifying how play relates to communication, social, gross motor skills and more.

Ms Alberto says she is excited for the opening and the organisation is looking for potential employees to make a difference in a child’s life.

“The centre will be opening in the beginning of July for the children, however, we are reaching out for potential employees and for those who have passion in the special needs field,” she says.

Located in Garran, the new AEIOU centre will deliver early intervention for up to 40 children per year with capacity for research and training.

For more information, visit aeiou.org.au or call 1300 273 435.

Free workshops

AEIOU will hold free workshops for interested families and allied health professionals:

  • Tuesday 13 April 6.15pm: Understanding Behaviour
  • Tuesday 27 April 6.15pm: Play: It’s More than Fun and Games

Register via aeiou.org.au/community

This article was created in partnership with AEIOU Foundation. For more information on sponsored partnerships, click here.

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