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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

New clinic to support Autism Spectrum Disorder

2014-09-01

Monday, 1 September, 2014

A new clinic providing services specialising in support for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been opened today.

The joint venture between PsychMed SA, Autism SA and the State Government will see increased access to specialist services, including cognitive behavioural therapy, early intervention and treatment on mental health issues for people with autism.

 Disabilities Minister Tony Piccolo said that the incidence of ASD is growing, an ABS survey showing that an estimated 115,400 Australians had autism, a 79% increase in the number of people estimated to have this diagnosis in 2009.

"Autism is characterised by difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviour and sensory sensitivities," Mr Piccolo said.

"The Government was delighted to contribute financially towards this partnership to ensure this excellent new resource would become available.

"The fact that we are here today to open this clinic highlights the strong partnership between the State Government and community organisations like PsychMed and Autism SA."

Autism SA Acting Chief Executive Louise Davies said this was a wonderful opportunity for families and clients who are receiving Autism SA services to access psychological services and to enhance referral pathways in one location.

"This collaboration will support professionals to gain specific knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder by developing training programs," Ms Davies said.

PsychMed's Clive Skeve, who will oversee the clinics operations, said the new venture will provide training and accreditation for up to 60 health professionals every year.

"It will also create a state-wide centre of excellence promoting engagement between the tertiary sector, Autism SA, key stakeholders and consumers, enabling the development and evaluation of new research and approaches to the treatment of Autism Spectrum disorders," Mr Skeve said.

The clinic will be based at Autism SA in Netley.

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