AEIOU Foundation for Children with Autism
AEIOU Foundation: Creating a lifetime of opportunities for children with autism
AEIOU Foundation is Australia’s largest provider of autism-specific early intervention. With nine centres across Queensland and South Australia, our specialist team is committed to making a difference, delivering early intervention along with practical and caring support.
Autism is a lifelong neurological developmental disorder, characterised by difficulties in social communication and interaction, along with restricted repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities. Autism isn’t rare, with 1 in 100 Australians diagnosed with the condition, and boys four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.
AEIOU’s program helps children aged 2 – 6 years to develop essential life skills, fostering greater independence, confidence and inclusion.
Our evidence-based program meets the Australian Guidelines for Good Practice, and is delivered by a transdisciplinary team comprised of behaviour therapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and skilled educators. With a high staff-to-child ratio, we support the individual needs of each child. Our full-time service operates 48 weeks of the year, with centres open from 7am – 5pm daily. Children receive a minimum of 20 hours of intensive therapy each week, and the structure of the program ensures families can access specialised care in an environment that suits their child’s needs outside of intensive therapy and education times.
At AEIOU, Parents and carers are involved in their child’s program and are also provided with regular training to acquire skills and tools to achieve therapy goals in the home and broader community.
The outcomes of the AEIOU program have been evaluated, finding improvements in autism symptoms, and an increase in communication and daily living skills (Paynter, Scott, Beamish, Duhig, & Heussler, 2012). AEIOU continues to conduct research to further investigate and improve our outcomes. Our more recent research has also found promising results in terms of increases in everyday life skills (Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales), particularly around communication, decreases in autism symptoms (Social Communication Questionnaire), and increases in cognitive skills (Vivanti, Paynter, et al, 2014).
Young children with autism who receive the recommended early intervention have a much greater chance, later in life, of living independently, securing employment and developing meaningful and lasting friendships and relationships with long-term research showing benefits for children as they grow and develop (Howlin, 1997).
If you feel your child isn’t developing typically, speak with a trusted professional about the possibility of an autism diagnosis. AEIOU has a video series, Autism: The Early Years which is designed to provide useful information and practical advice for families seeking help through this period.
To find out more about how we can support you and your child, visit aeiou.org.au or phone 1300 273 435.