Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) face many challenges throughout their life. Many day to day tasks that other children take for granted are overwhelming and considerably more difficult for children with ASD due to the different ways they process sensory information, social interactions and make sense of the world. These difficulties can impact on every aspect of their life and their development.
Kids Are Kids! is a not for profit therapy provider that has been supporting children with disabilities and developmental needs, including ASD, for 21 years. Kids Are Kids! is currently developing a new program to support children with ASD and their families to have more skills and opportunities to address the factors that impact on nutrition, fitness, general health and wellbeing. The new group program, called ActiveAte, is due to be launched in February 2019 and is the first of its kind in Australia.
The program will be heavily subsidised for families due to a grant Kids Are Kids! received from the Helen Leech Endowment Trust through Perpetual Trustees IMPACT Program which will make it accessible to more families. Families can also use NDIS or other individualised funding. “Kids Are Kids! works hard to make sure all of our services are accessible to all families regardless of economic circumstances, and we are very excited that the ActiveAte program will be affordable and meet the needs of so many families” said Executive Officer, Teresa Barrie.
The ActiveAte program aims to make physical activity and exercise fun, which is especially relevant when so many children with ASD prefer sedentary activities such as screen based games. It also addresses issues around eating and nutrition that are significant for so many children with ASD due to their sensory processing difficulties. “The biggest challenge in designing the program is to ensure it is relevant to the challenges faced by families, yet also gives them the tools they need to make enough positive changes to improve health and wellbeing in a limited time frame. We are currently looking at how best to measure these outcomes in a meaningful way and also contribute to the limited research in this area” said Executive Officer, Lisa Hoffman.
Kids Are Kids! has an experienced team of Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Clinical Psychologists and the program development is incorporating all of their collective expertise and the evidence based practice in each of the disciplines. “This is a great opportunity to involve all of our team, and also include some dietetic expertise as well” reported Senior Occupational Therapist and ActiveAte Program Coordinator, Sarah Browning.
If you would like to register your interest or to find out more about the ActiveAte Program please call 9313 6566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kids Are Kids! thank Perpetual Trustees and the Helen Leech Endowment Trust for making the ActiveAte program possible.