16 May 2017
Family-focused programs

Parents, family members or carers of someone who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may feel overwhelmed by the complexities of their care and support. The following programs are designed to assist family members and carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing.


This group focuses on encouraging parent–child interaction while improving the play skills essential for development. Children with ASD often have poor play skills and limited interest in interacting with others and may need more support to learn these skills.

You will learn how to interact with your child and help them develop their play skills. The group is run by therapists who are skilled in child development and play-based approaches.

Parents will also have an opportunity to interact with other parents. This group gives both parents and children access to peer support.

Program duration: 1.5 hours per session
Recommended age: 12 months to 4 years


This group is for families for whom English is their second language and who have children up to 5 years of age with ASD. Parents and children attend together and speak in their preferred language.

The program includes discussions with parents while the children are supported to play. Families also come togeth­er for circle time where music and songs are used to engage children and their parents.

The goals of this program are:
– boosting parent–child attachment
– supporting parents
– learning language through play
– play development
– group participation
– peer support for parents.

Please note that these groups are offered based on demand. If you would like to attend a group in your preferred language, please contact reception to show your interest.

Program duration: 1.5 hours per session
Recommended age: 3 to 5 years


Parents and carers of children with ASD may seek the support of a mental health social worker for a range of different reasons, including:
– NDIS pre-planning support
– advocacy support
– carer and parent counselling
– interpersonal and relationship difficulties
– family and sibling support
– parenting education and support
– carer group therapy and support.

Parents and carers can access mental health social work services at Irabina through the following Medicare plans:
– Better Access to Mental Health Care
– Chronic Disease Management (Enhanced Primary Care)
– Improved Daily Living
– Capacity Building.

Social work services can also be accessed using NDIS funding under parent/carer training items, or by private fee-for-service. Please speak to our Funding Officer for further information.


Our sibling support program focuses on normalising the experiences and feelings of children growing up with a sibling with ASD.

The program is designed to be fun and engaging and provides opportunities for open discussions about the good and the challenging parts about having a sibling with ASD. Through games, activities and conversation children and young people will gain important insights, and develop skills and strategies to cope when difficult situations arise.

This program caters for the needs of the individual participants and their families. Please speak to your therapists about when the most appropriate program is scheduled.

Book a time with our intake team


Learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals, book an initial consultation at your local Irabina centre.