Griffith University made an essential and substantial contribution to the development of a new national guideline, helping autistic children and their families access high-quality support.
Autism is diagnosed in more than one per cent of the population and while all autistic children have great strengths, many also experience substantial challenges.
The new guideline provides a framework for selecting and delivering support that is most appropriate for each child and family.
Deputy Research Director at Griffith Hopkins Centre and Menzies Health Institute, Associate Professor David Trembath said the Guideline contains 84 recommendations for practitioners to follow ensuring reliable services which suit each individual.
“For the first time, families of children with autism will have a clear description of what is and what is not safe and effective clinical practice, and a roadmap to empower their choices,” Professor Trembath said.
“For far too long in Australia we have accepted inconsistent and sub-standard approaches to supporting autistic children and their families.
“This guideline enables practitioners and organisations that provide and fund services to know exactly what high-quality support looks like.
“It will help practitioners to work with children and families to set goals, select and deliver the most appropriate therapies and support, and monitor outcomes to ensure they are as positive as possible.”
The recommendations are backed by evidence synthesised from 49 systematic reviews as well as extensive community consultation.
While focused on practitioners, the guideline is also valuable to autistic individuals, organisations providing training, governments, and other policy-makers.
Griffith University staff from across disciplines played a leading role in the development of the Guideline, which included people with both professional and lived expertise.
“This project is a good example of the Griffith Inclusive Futures team working together to tackle huge challenges to bring about meaningful change,” Professor Trembath said.
“The Guideline is now available, and the Griffith University team has turned its attention to supporting its use in clinical practice.”