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See how centre's changing lives of children with autism

Posted: 7am 02 Oct 2021

The AEIOU Foundation in Bald Hills is opening its doors to parents and carers interested in autism-specific early intervention therapy and care for children aged two to six.

An online tour of the Attunga St centre is being launched on Wednesday and families can a arrange walk-through, COVID-19 permitting.

Alan Smith, CEO of AEIOU, said it offers those with a new or suspected autism diagnosis for their child a chance to connect with therapists and specialists in one place.

“I encourage anyone interested in learning about autism-specific early intervention therapy to visit our centres this October,” he said.

Lasting impact

“We have been overwhelmed by the response to open days and it really highlights the demand that exists for autism-specific early intervention,” Mr Smith said.

Open days are usually held during the year but due to COVID-19 constraints, this has not been possible for 18 months.

Gemma and Lee Haskings, parents to Ethan, 4, (pictured above) said the AEIOU Foundation has made a lasting impact on their family.

“Ethan can now say the words every parent wants to hear: “I love you”,” Gemma said. “AEIOU has been like a ‘one stop wonder’ for us.

So proud

“Ethan began his journey in January and we are so proud with the progress he has made with speech and independent living skills.

“The contrast between the start of the year to now could not be any greater.”

Gemma said their life with Ethan was a daily challenge.

“Ethan was non-verbal, having regular tantrums, and developing much more slowly compared to his peers – it was agonising to watch and especially frustrating for him.”

'We needed help'

“Lee and I felt like the only people in the entire world who could understand Ethan. We had our own way of communicating with him, but we knew it wasn’t enough.

“We needed help. We needed speech pathologists, occupational therapists, behaviour therapists and on top of that, day care.”

Gemma, bringing all of Ethan’s therapy to one place has been a game changer.

'I love you'

“To hear those three little words: “I love you” and watch Ethan playing and having conversations with his brother is further from where we thought we’d be. I don’t feel worried about the future anymore.”

Parents can register for the online tour of the Bald Hills centre and workshop at aeiou.org.au

To arrange a visit, phone 3889 7751 or email baldhills@aeiou.org.au. The Bald Hills centre is open Monday–Friday 7am-5pm.

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