Effective Educational Programs for Children with Autism

Left to right: Bernadette Beasley (parent and student in Autism Studies program), Dr James Morton (CEO AEIOU), Honorable John-Paul Langbroek (Minister for Education, Training and Employment), Nicole Vellar (parent), Todd Whitehead (parent and student in Autism Studies program

Parental concerns regarding accessing effective education programs for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were raised with the Queensland Government by Griffith University’s Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE), recently.

ACE student, Bernadette Beasley arranged for herself and Centre researcher Dr Amanda Webster to meet with Minister of Education, Training and Employment, Honourable John-Paul Langbroek, MP.

Dr Webster said the Minister spent over an hour discussing future options with the group.

“The Minister is very interested in the Autism Centre of Excellence’s on-going research and our project in Far North Queensland developing a whole school approach for students with ASD,” she said.

“He is also interested in the current AutismCooperative Research Centre (CRC) initiative.”

The Autism CRC initiative will help researchers at Griffith University lead a national eight-year study of children and adults with autism to study developmental progress of children with autism, including outcomes of interventions.

The research will focus on transitions at different stages; from early childhood, primary and secondary school and into the workforce.

Also attending the meeting with the Minister was a parent of a child with ASD who had difficulty finding an appropriate school program for her son, Ms Nicole Vellar, father of three children with ASD and ACE Masters student, Todd Whitehead and AEIOU CEO and father of a son with ASD, Dr James Morton.

“We were very pleased with the amount of time the Minister spent with us and really appreciate his willingness to spend the time exploring options for students with ASD and their families.” Dr Webster said.

Find out more about the Autism Centre of Excellence.