Embarking on the Autism Journey
The Occupational Therapy role in navigating the early phases of identification, diagnosis and service provision for ASD
Life is a complex journey filled with all sorts of unique experiences, relationships, strengths and struggles. This is true for both individual’s with neurotypical or neurodiverse development. However, we know that for many neurodiverse individuals and their families, the journey of observing their child’s challenges or “differences”, learning about autism and accessing/navigating service pathways for diagnostic assessment, diagnosis and related support services can be a challenging and stressful experience, that is highly influenced by personal, cultural, and environmental factors.
Occupational therapists have a unique role in supporting children and their families to gain an understanding of the individual’s abilities and difficulties in participating in daily occupations, activities and routines, across environments Information gathering using an occupational performance perspective can be highly effective in contributing to a diagnostic formulation, as well as supporting families to understand, accept and navigate the implications of a potential ASD diagnosis for their child.
This workshop will explore the Occupational Therapy role in the early phases of identification, diagnosis and service provision for ASD from the perspective of information gathering to support diagnostic assessment, as well as supporting families embarking on this journey.
This workshop will provide participants with:
- Where/how to starting the journey as a clinician
- An overview of the ASD DSM-V diagnostic criteria and the National Guidelines for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism
- An overview of the occupational therapy role in gathering diagnostic information/observations
- An understanding of ASD from a participation and occupational performance perspective
- Opening the road map with families
- Introducing the concept of ASD with families (ie having those difficult conversations)
- Supporting a referral for a diagnosis
- Unpacking a diagnosis/non-diagnosis with families – what it means for their child/family
- Navigating support services
- Supporting families to create functional therapy goals, including autism specific goal setting tools
- Supporting families to make informed decisions with regard to the best evidence-based intervention approaches for their child/family
- Supporting the occupational roles of a parent as they embark on the journey of raising an autistic child
This workshop is suitable for occupational therapists.
About the Presenter
Charmaine Bernie Charmaine is an Occupational Therapist, lecturer and researcher with 20 years’ experience across community and hospital settings in Australia, and overseas. She has specialised in paediatric assessment and intervention, and is currently completing her PhD on pathways to autism diagnosis with the University of Melbourne.
Transport: Victoria Park Function Centre is well serviced by public transport.
- Bus – 450m from Inner Northern Busway (Herston bus stop).
- Rail – 2km (approx 30 min walk) from Fortitude Valley Railway Station. Information re timetables can be obtained from Translink on 13 12 30 or www.translink.com.au .
- Airport – Victoria Park Function Centre is a short commute from Brisbane airport. Approximately 15kms (30 mins). It maybe possible to do an early fly in on the first day of the workshop and out on the final day of the workshop. Approximate taxi fare $40-50.
Parking: Parking at Victoria Park Function Centre is free of charge. There are 250 complimentary car parks available to guests.
Accommodation: Victoria Park Function Centre is a short commute from many accommodation options within the Brisbane CBD and Southbank Precincts. Accommodation Suggestions