High needs autistic children in Logan are set to benefit following the announcement of a new early intervention facility at Griffith University.

The AEIOU Centre at Griffith’s Logan campus will help service an unmet and vital need for early intervention, as well as offer support services to children with autism.

It follows the announcement of an initial $1m funding from the Queensland Government and a further $1m funding to come from the coalition government’s National Stronger Regions Fund.

State-of-the-art facility

Run by the AEIOU Foundation on Griffith’s Logan campus, the new state-of-the-art, best practice centre will feature classrooms, a motor-skill therapy room, a playground, modern staff and parent facilities and will cater for up to 40 placements at a time.

The centre will be the second of such facilities to be hosted at Griffith, with the first one being the flagship AEIOU Centre at the Nathan campus, which opened in 2005 offering early intervention and support services to children with autism.

“The AEIOU Centre at Logan is set to be a wonderful partnership between Griffith and the AEIOU Foundation, not only in addressing this increasingly diagnosed condition, but also to further deepen our community relationships within Logan and to work with the disadvantaged groups that we see in this area,” says Professor Lesley Chenoweth from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland.

“Alongside our collective impact project Logan Together, which is fostering greater community partnerships within the area, the new autism centre will also provide great research opportunities for Griffith for both our academics and students.

“We also look forward, to offering a range of education opportunities for early childhood and education students, as well as other allied health professionals, which will be in line with the most up-to-date early intervention strategy for autistic children,” says Professor Chenoweth.

AEIOU Foundation Chairman and Founder Dr James Morton says the investment will provide children and their families with access to an affordable and effective evidence-based early intervention program.

“The population of greater Logan includes approximately 40,000 children aged 0-8 years. Taking into account research which shows 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with autism, at least 400 children in this area will now have the opportunity to participate in high quality early intervention,” Dr Morton says.

“Being a part of the Meadowbrook Health and Knowledge Precinct at Logan, AEIOU will align with health and education bodies, including Griffith University, to generate research, which will lead the way in autism studies.”

“Through this centre, we will provide knowledge and tools to educators in mainstream settings, which will assist children and families to integrate in the community and transition to their next education setting,” Dr Morton says.

AEIOU is one of Australia’s largest providers of early intervention for childrenaged 2-6 years with autism. With an evidence-based program underpinned by a transdisciplinary team of therapists and educators,AEIOU also provides supports for families and the wider community.