28 Oct 2018
Nutrition services

Nutrition services for young people with sensory processing disorders, behavioural difficulties and ASD


Many children with sensory processing disorders and behavioural difficulties struggle with multiple eating and nutritional challenges that can severely impact their overall health and growth. 


A nutritious, balanced diet can make a world of difference in their ability to interact with others, manage their emotions and process information.


We’re a group of experts that can help your child to overcome feeding and nutritional difficulties such as:

– Food selectivity. Some children are sensitive to the taste, smell, colour and texture of some foods. They may limit or totally avoid a type of food or whole food groups. Common dislikes include fruits, vegetables and slippery, soft foods.


– Failing to thrive. There are children who may have difficulty focusing on one task for an extended period of time. It may be hard for them to sit down and eat a meal from start to finish and there’s the risk of these children not taking in enough calories and nutrients.


 – Strong refusal behaviours.  Challenging behaviours such as crying, throwing objects, or other aggressive actions may be presented as a response to routine feeding demands or the sight or smell of non-preferred foods.


These eating issues can result in serious health risks, including nutritional deficiencies and medical complications.

Book your appointment with a dietitian and behavioural expert today.



Irabina is family centred


Our multidisciplinary team includes paediatricians, dietitians, feeding specialists, occupational therapists and behaviour psychologists. We’ll work with your family to customise a treatment plan based on your child’s needs.


As part of our nutrition services, we offer: 

– Individual nutritional assessments for:

children with a limited number of foods in their diet (eg, food selectivity)

children who are failing to thrive (eg, underweight, below average for growth)

children who are formula dependant

– Feeding disorders program

– School, kinder and community outreach services

– Nutrition education workshops for parents and professionals

– Cooking and nutrition classes designed to teach young people the concept of nutrition, portioning, and using kitchen equipment, all of which are useful skills for children to learn at any age.


Click here for more information 


27 Aug 2018
School holiday programs

Irabina Autism Services (“Irabina”) has been providing services to families of children with an ASD for over 45 years. Irabina has a track record in providing prompt, specialised, quality therapeutic intervention and support services.

In addition to our ‘core’ program offered during school terms, Irabina provides a range of school holiday programs.


Mon 14th January – Fri 18th January,  9.30am – 1.30pm

Mon 21st January – Fri 25th January, 9.30am – 1.30pm


NDIS, HCWA, FFS costing: $236 per day

Location: Irabina Bayswater Centre


This program is specifically for children who will be attending a school in 2019. The group will work on the following necessary skills for a smooth transition to a school environment:

 – Pre-literacy skills

 – School routines and rules

 – Playground/social games

 – Play skills

 – Winning/losing

 – Making new friends/social skills

 – Emotional regulation

 – Classroom based skills

 – Problem-solving

 – Pre-writing/handwriting

Tue 15th January –  Fri 18th January, 9am – 11am and 1pm – 3pm

Mon 21st January – Thu 24th January, 9am – 11am and 1pm – 3pm


HCWA and FFS costing: $89.50 per half hour session

Please contact reception for NDIS costing

Location: Irabina Bayswater Centre


The aquatic program:

 – encourages motor development

 – supports effective sensory processing

 – develops water safety awareness and water confidence

 – promotes self-care skills such as tolerating hair and face washing

 – develops basic independent swimming skills with a goal of transitioning into lessons at
community pool

 – develops social interaction, play and communication skills

Tuesday 15th January, 10am – 12.30pm


NDIS, HCWA, FFS costing: $147.50 per session

Suitable Ages: 2 years – 6 years

Location: Irabina Bayswater Centre


Come and have a Beary Good Time!

Bring your teddy bear or favourite stuffed animal to our fun-filled Teddy Bear’s Picnic. The morning will involve an outdoor picnic (weather permitting), art and craft activities, songs and games and story time. The session will be an opportunity for children to further develop receptive and expressive language and fine and gross motor skills, explore basic emotions and increase imagination and pretend play skills.


For this program, children will need to bring:

 –  snack and drink

 – their favourite teddy or stuffed animal

 – a hat and sunscreen

Thursday 17th January, 10am – 12.30pm


NDIS, HCWA, FFS costing: $147.50 per session

Suitable Ages: 3 years – 8 years

Location: Irabina Bayswater Centre


Join us for a fun-filled sports day where children can come dressed as their favourite superhero. Our Superhero Sports Day will encourage children to develop a range of gross motor, coordination, language and social communication skills through play and sports activities. Our fun superhero activities will target core strength, motor planning, spatial and body awareness, listening and turn-taking skills and social participation skills. The program is suitable for pre-school and school-aged children who can follow instructions and/or imitate an adult’s demonstration of actions within a group setting.


For this program, children will need to:

– bring a snack and drink

– dress as their favourite superhero

– bring a hat and sunscreen

Mon 21st January – Wed 23rd January, 10am – 12.30pm


NDIS, HCWA, FFS costing: $147.50 per session

Suitable Ages: 3 years – 7 years

Location: Irabina Bayswater Centre


Join us for 2 days of Messy Play with a final third day of Water Play!

This is a sensory program with engaging materials to help children develop:

 – sensory motor skills

 – tactile exploration

 – social communication skills

 – attention and listening skills

 – self-regulation skills


For these days, please bring the following:

 – your child in clothing that you don’t mind getting messy or dirty

 – a snack and a drink

 – a towel

 – extra clothes to change into before going home

 – for Water Play (the third day), please bring your child in bathers, UV protective clothing, a
   hat and sunscreen

Thursday 24th January, 9am – 3.30pm

Hot Shots Tennis Program


NDIS and FFS costing: $80.00 per day per child


 – Morning: Eildon Park Tennis Club

 – Afternoon: Irabina Bayswater Centre


This is a full-day program for children attending mainstream primary school and their siblings
(who must also be attending a mainstream primary school).


This fun and recreational program takes place on Thursday 24 January with morning starting at Eildon Park Tennis Club. There will be 2-hours of tennis coaching provided to the children by a hotshots tennis coach, and this will provide a great opportunity for your child to further develop their gross motor and coordination skills. The hotshots equipment will be utilised for the clinic. This includes modified balls and mini nets, to enable participation for all children at all skill and developmental levels.


We will depart Irabina by bus at approximately 10am and return by around 1pm.

For the afternoon, children will be engaged in social games and activities back at Irabina, such as lego, drama, sports and art and craft activities.


Please note that lunch will be provided. However, children need to bring their own drink bottle and afternoon snack.

Different HCWA, NDIS or FFS pricing for all programs.


Please contact us on 03 9720 1118 to book a place for your child.
16 Jun 2017
Paediatric and assessment clinic

At Irabina, we provide you with the services you need for every stage of your journey. Our paediatric and assessment clinics give you timely access to experts and information about funding sources to help support your individual needs.


A paediatrician is a doctor who manages the health of children, including physical, behaviour and mental health issues. Once you have a referral from a general practitioner, you will be able to visit our onsite paediatrician who has specialised knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and behaviours in young people and is well-equipped to support your family.

During your meeting with our paediatrician you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns and formulate a plan to support your family.


The assessment clinic provides comprehensive, evidence-based assessments for children, young people and young adults who may have ASD.

Your doctor may refer your child to the assessment clinic if delays in the areas of social commu­nication, play or behaviour indicate a possible diagnosis of ASD. You do not need a referral from a paediatrician or general practitioner to attend Irabina; however, children aged under 13 years with a referral are eligible for a Medicare rebate on our assessment fee.

The assessments, which are conducted by clinical psychologists and speech pathologists, are designed to confirm or exclude an ASD diagnosis and identify any other possible neurodevelopmental conditions. A diagnostic assessment takes approximately six hours, which occurs on several days over a period of four to six weeks. This time includes report writing.

Assessments can begin while you are waiting for an appointment with your child’s paediatrician. Our transdisciplinary team is also avail­able to start other assessments such as school funding assess­ments and reports. Please speak to reception or your therapy team if you need further information.


Speak to one of our consultants

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

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.

Need advice… please contact us

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

16 May 2017
Individual therapy services

Our expert therapists offer individual support to help children and young people develop the skills needed in everyday life. Many of our therapists have completed specialised training programs designed to support children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis and their families. This training includes the Early Start Denver Model, DIR Floortime, Irabina’s parenting children with ASD program, and play therapy.

Therapy services can be based at one of our centres, at your home or in a community setting (e.g. childcare or kindergarten). Centre-based services are 50 minutes in duration and home- or community-based sessions are 60 minutes (not including travel time). The frequency of therapy is determined by your family in collaboration with the therapist. As your needs change over time, therapists will work with you to continually assess progress and make recommendations about which services will help continue to achieve the best results.


A youth and family service worker is focussed on supporting young people with autism and their families by helping the child generalise the skills learnt at the clinic into their community. The objective will be to ensure that the young person is able to implement these skills in their home, school and out in their broader community.

The youth and family service worker can also assist young people with autism by providing close monitoring and support in the community ensuring that the positive outcomes of therapy are sustained in the long term.

Engaging a youth worker helps provides families with greater assurance that the success had within our programs is carried into their child’s future, by focusing on essential personal independence, social, and vocational skills.


Speech pathologists support people to improve their communication skills. This includes skills such as speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, socialisation, fluency and using voice to communicate. Many of our speech pathologists have completed specialised training programs, including the Early Start Denver Model and DIR Floortime, to help children or young people with ASD communicate to the best of their ability.

Each child or young person will have different goals to support their unique needs. For example, one person may have no spoken language skills and may not appear to respond when spoken to, whereas another person may have good spoken language skills but have difficulty with conversations, making friends, knowing how to interact with others, and explaining feelings.

Children and young people with ASD commonly benefit from learning how to:
– express themselves using gestures, pictures/symbols or words
– pronounce sounds and words clearly
– put words into sentences
– use an appropriate volume, pitch and voice quality
– fluently answer questions, carry on conversations and tell stories
– develop pretend play skills, so they can play with their peers at pre-school and school
– communicate in a socially appropriate manner (this may include asking for help rather than screaming or throwing toys, getting a peer’s attention before talking to them, interrupting appropriately and/or staying on topic).

Speech pathology includes individual therapy, working in small groups as part of an interdisciplinary team and as part of the diagnosis process, and may include giving advice, education and support to families and other professionals in the home, school or workplace.

As part of our feeding clinic, speech pathologists also work with children and young people who experience difficulties swallowing drinks and/or chewing and swallowing food.


Occupational therapists work with children and young people, and their families, to achieve their goals and support them to participate in their everyday activities, referred to here as ‘occupations’. Many of our occupational therapists have completed specialised training programs, including the Early Start Denver Model, to better assist children and young people with ASD.

Many children and young people with ASD have sensory processing difficulties, such as sensitivity to or a strong interest in certain textures, noises and smells. This can impact their ability to participate in many daily occupations.

Daily occupations for young children may include:
– independence skills – dressing, feeding, toileting and sleeping
– play – this may involve motor skills such as running, jumping, hopping, climbing, drawing, writing, cutting, and manipulating toys such as Duplo, wooden blocks and stringing beads
– kindergarten or school activities – playing with others, drawing, painting, taking turns, pretend play, opening their lunch box, putting on and taking off shoes and socks, being organised, imitating actions, lining up, sitting and listening.

Our occupational therapists also provide education and support to other health professionals such as teachers and childcare educators. They can provide individual therapy, and therapy within group programs.


Aquatic occupational therapy is water-based therapy that assists children and young people to develop their motor skills, communication and interaction skills. Young people develop comfort and safety in the water, in an environment that is less noisy and overwhelming than a public pool.

The program runs for 30 minutes once per week, or for an intensive four-day program during school holidays. The program is run by an occupational therapist with an AUSTSWIM certification.


Psychologists are trained to observe people’s behaviours, thoughts and emotions, and how they respond to different situations. Our psychologists give advice and support to families and other professionals and provide individual behaviour management and psychology therapy.

Many of our psychologists have completed specialised training programs, including Applied Behaviour Analysis, the Early Start Denver Model, parenting children with ASD program, and play therapy, to better assist young people with ASD, and their families.

Psychologists can assist with:
– Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis
– intellectual assessments and adaptive functioning assessments
– understanding functions of behaviours
– developing a behaviour management plan with practical strategies
– managing anxiety and emotions
– social skills related to making and keeping friends
– conversation skills
– understanding feelings.

We also provide emotional and educational support for families through services such as parent and sibling counselling.


Behaviour analysts develop and supervise programs for children and young people with ASD. They use their understanding of behaviour principles to help young people learn new skills and reduce unwanted behaviours. This is also known as Applied Behaviour Analysis or ABA. Our behaviour analysts are Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA) or psychologists with a background in behaviour analysis. Our behaviour therapies are administered by qualified behaviour therapists and are closely supervised by our behaviour analysts.

Our behaviour analysts develop programs for children and young people that are delivered individually or within small groups. Individual and small-group programs run for 3 hours. Families are strongly encouraged to have behaviour interventions provided across a range of settings including at the centre as well as at home or other community settings (e.g. childcare or kindergarten).

Our behaviour analysts design programs based on the family and young person’s goals. This may include focussing on:
– behaviour and coping skills
– communication skills
– social skills
– academic skills
– daily living skills
– self-regulation and understanding emotions.


The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is an early intervention program designed for children with ASD. The program is a set of strategies linked to typical skills used in an early learning centre or at home.

We provide individual ESDM therapy, which is tailored to your specific lifestyle and required skill development. The strategies are best applied to everyday activities, such as when children are playing, having their meals, getting dressed, and interacting with other people.

ESDM aims to reduce the symptoms of ASD across all developmental areas, using teaching strategies that involve:
– positive interactions with others
– shared engagement with real-life materials and activities
– adult responsivity and sensitivity to child cues
– a focus on verbal and non-verbal communication
– naturalistic applied behavioural analytic strategies
– sensitivity to normal developmental sequence
– deep parental involvement
– focus on interpersonal exchange and positive affect
– shared engagement with joint activities
– language and communication taught inside a positive, affect-based relationship.

ESDM is an individual therapy that can be delivered at the centre, or at your child’s home or early learning centre.

Recommended age: 12 months to 5 years

Need advice… please contact us

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

16 May 2017
Comprehensive developmental services

The groups range in intensity (i.e. how many hours an individual should attend each week) and activity type. Young people are grouped according to their individual learning needs and goals.


Behaviour and developmental program

Our behaviour intervention programs are developed and supervised by a psychologist or behaviour analyst and are based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis (ABA). ABA applies an understanding of behavioural principles to help young people learn new skills and to decrease unwanted behaviours.

An ABA program may help young people develop new skills in many areas, including:
– behaviour and coping skills
– communication skills
– self-regulation and understanding emotions
– social skills
– academic skills
– daily living


Program duration: 3 hours per session, up to 10 sessions per week


Global Learning and Development Program

The Global Learning and Development Program (GLaD) supports research evidence that shows therapy outcomes improve when children have more intensive hours of therapy per week. This program also supports the key elements that have been identified as important in approaches to teaching and learning for children with ASD.


GLaD incorporates teaching practices and curric­ulum from both the Early Start Denver Model (EDSM) and behaviour intervention models. The program is developed and staffed by a transdisciplinary team that may include an educator, behaviour thera­pist, psychologist, occupational therapist and speech pathologist.


The team develop goals based on a child’s developmental profile as well as staff observations about learning styles, participation in group settings, play skills and ability to adapt to new environments. Progress is regularly assessed and individual goals are monitored, reviewed and updated in consultation with the child’s family.


Program duration: 4 hours per session, up to 5 sessions per week
Recommended age: 18 months to school age


Transdisciplinary early intervention groups

Our transdisciplinary early intervention groups are run by educators, psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and behaviour therapists. These groups provide a less intensive support option and are ideal to assist young children to develop skills that enable them to participate in mainstream activities such as childcare, kindergarten and getting ready for school.


Our transdisciplinary early intervention groups support young children in developing skills including:
– listening to and following instructions
– early social skills such as sharing, taking turns and playing
– following group routines
– transitioning between activities or play spaces
– working with peers
– communicating in a social context
– gross and fine motor skills.


Children participate in early intervention groups for 2.5 hours per week. The groups are staffed by a mixed clinical team and children are grouped with others who have similar needs and goals.


Program duration: 2.5 hours per session, children may attend more than one session
Recommended age: 3 years to school age

15 May 2017
Behaviour clinic

We offer a range of world-class behaviour services to help children and young people meet developmental milestones and participate in their communities. These programs are not limited to children and young people with ASD.


Severe behaviour program

This program focuses on finding treatment to reduce dangerous or disruptive behaviours and increase appropriate behaviours. After a clinical behaviour assessment, your therapist will learn the reason for the young person’s challenging behaviour and the best treatment.


There are several treatment options to reduce challenging behaviour and increase appropriate behaviours. Treatments are matched to the goals of young person and their family. The process will focus on reinforcing positive behaviours to replace the disruptive ones.


Parents and carers are also encouraged to participate in our parent training programs to learn skills to keep the child, their siblings and themselves safe.


Brief behaviour intervention

The brief behaviour intervention program coaches parents to identify effective behaviour interventions for specific challenging behaviours, and successfully apply these interventions in home and community settings.


This 10-week program consists of weekly 2-hour sessions with a psychologist or board certified behaviour analyst. Both the parent and the child are required at all sessions, which can take place in the clinic, home or community, depending on where the challenging behaviour is most prevalent.


During these sessions, the therapist will rarely work directly with the child; the aim is to help parents solve difficult situations and teach them how to implement specific intervention strategies.


Program duration: 2 hours per session (× 10 sessions)


Toileting program

This program is modelled on evidence-based treatments. The program encourages regular trips to the bathroom, followed by reinforcement for using the bathroom following a set schedule. Two toilet training programs are available.


The 3-day brief behaviour intervention program focuses primarily on teaching you the procedures and strategies you need to successfully toilet train your child.


The 2-week intensive program focuses on enuresis. During this program your child will attend the clinic for 10 days and work through intervention procedures with a therapist, focusing on consistency and reinforcement. Parents are typically involved in the treatment towards the end of the program. A further 2-week program is available that focuses on encopresis.


Parent training programs

We offer a range of programs to provide parents, carers and those who work with challenging behaviours with the right strategies to de-escalate situations, create safe situations and promote positive behaviours. 


Behaviour management 

This program helps the parents of children with ASD manage behaviours such as tantrums, emotional regulation difficulties, non-compliance, difficulties with transitions and physical aggression.


This program runs for 16 sessions and is based on applied behaviour principles. Parents meet with a psychologist or board certified behaviour analyst to learn strategies they can use at home to reduce challenging behaviours and are given homework tasks to complete between sessions.


Safety and Behaviour Response Program (SABR)

The Safety and Behaviour Response Program is designed to show you ways in which to de-escalate a situation and to develop the skills to manage problem behaviour when it occurs. The SABR will demonstrate ways in which to safely mauver an individual who is displaying problem behaviours and ways to keep both you and your young person safe. This program is suitable for parents, carers and professionals working with young people with ASD.


The personal protective procedures highlight ways to protect yourself from injury and to transition the child or young person that are safe for their joints, and ways to use your own body to move the young person safely.


 Please note that these behaviour programs are modelled on the Marcus Autism Center evidence based programs.

15 May 2017
Feeding clinic

The feeding clinic is one of only a few facilities in Australia to offer intensive treatments for children with feeding disorders. Regardless of whether an individual has ASD or a related disorder, the feeding clinic provides assessment and behaviour treatment for children, young people and young adults.


This program assists children with severe food refusal and/or food selectivity. The program is designed to support children with or without a diagnosis, as well as young people with related disorders.

A feeding disorder can have a huge impact on a child’s ability to function and participate fully in the home, school and other social settings which, in turn, can lead to deficits in physical, social and psychosocial development. Feeding disorders can also place huge stress on the family and limit their opportunities for social outings and engagements with friends and family.


Common signs and symptoms of a feeding disorder include:

– poor weight gain
– meal time tantrums, or meal times exceeding 40 minutes
– distress, anxiety and an unwillingness to try new foods
– feeding tube dependence
– bottle or formula dependence
– inability or refusal to feed oneself
– extreme pickiness (eating fewer than 12 foods).


Our transdisciplinary team work with your child and family to carry out an assessment and behaviour intervention program that focuses on increasing the range of foods in a child’s diet and the amount of food accepted orally (for instance, for children who are tube dependent).


Program duration: 8 weeks intensive, then weekly as long as required

This program offers an intensive medical and behaviour intervention for children and young people with significant feeding difficulties. It includes intensive feeding sessions, sensorimotor training, psychosocial family support, parent training, and medical and nutritional monitoring.


This program is suitable for children who are eating more than 12 items of food but continue to present behavioural difficulties during meal time and require intensive daily therapy without 24-hour medical supervision.


A clinical specialist oversees the feeding process and additional clinical specialists are engaged (e.g. dietitian, psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, board certified behaviour analyst) as required.


Program duration: 2 weeks
Recommended age: 8 months to 21 years

We work to evaluate the factors contributing to feeding problems, such as difficulty with swallowing or feeding motor function, and develop treatment plans to support the development of these skills. Treatment plans often include a range of services focused on:

– occupational therapy: reducing hypersensitivity to gagging or textures while building skills related to chewing and self-feeding

– speech pathology: working with difficulties around swallowing food and drink safely, or chewing and swallowing

– psychology: using behaviour analysis or related techniques to design a structure to help children and parents during mealtimes.

– dietitian: ensuring that children receive a balanced nutrition, informing adjustments to their dietary schedule. The dietician provides services such as individual consultation, nutritional assessments, school and community outreach, and nutrition workshops.


These services are usually offered in conjunction with the intensive feeding program. Regular individual appointments may continue as long as required.

Find out how the Irabina feeding clinic has changed the lives of our families.


Nick’s Feeding story

Madeline’s Feeding story

15 May 2017
Specialist programs

Specialist group programs help children and young people to build skills in specific areas.


Social skills group

This group enables primary school-aged children to improve their social communication and thinking skills using various approaches such as role-modelling, scenario discussions, team-based activities and social games.


The groups are capped at a maximum of 6 children and are run by a speech pathologist and other support staff as required. Children must have conversational language skills to participate in a social skills group.


Program duration: 1 hour

Recommended school age: Prep to Year 6


Handwriting group

This group develops children’s handwriting through a developmental and multisensory approach. The group uses a range of media and materials that support different styles of learning.


This group targets:

– fine motor skills and pencil grasp development

– letter and number recognition

– letter and number formation

– letter sizing

– body awareness

– social skills.

Program duration: 1 hour (× 10 sessions)

Recommended school age: Prep to Year 2


Self-regulation group

This group provides practical tools to support children with self-regulation difficulties. The aim is to explore the strategies children can use to improve self-awareness and self-regulation.


This group is ideal for children attending Year 1 or above in mainstream primary school, with sufficient language to engage in conversations and a basic understanding of emotions. This group will target:

– developing and expanding understanding of emotions

– learning about body speeds

– identifying body speeds

– exploring methods to change body speeds

– regulating body speeds through sensory methods

– body awareness

– social skills.


Program duration:1 hour (× 10 sessions)

Recommended school age: Year 1 to 6


Aquatic occupational therapy group

This group extends the skills of children who have had individual sessions but are not yet ready for mainstream swimming group lessons. The group serves as a stepping stone for children with ASD to transition into mainstream swimming groups.


The group is held once per week at a local community pool. It is run by an occupational therapist with AUSTSWIM certification and additional support/clinical staff. Groups have a maximum of 5 children.


Program duration: 45 minutes

Recommended age: 4 years to 9 years (note: children will be referred by their occupational therapist for this program and acceptance is dependent on the child meeting minimum skill requirements)

15 May 2017
Recreational programs

Recreational programs are just as important as clinical therapy for young people’s development.



This group focuses on beginner basketball skills including dribbling, passing, shooting and being part of a team. Activ­ities also support the development of core strength, coordination, and spatial and body awareness.


To participate, children must be able to follow instructions and/or imitate an adult’s demonstration of actions within a local small-group setting.


The program is run by an occupational therapist and additional support/clinical staff as required.


Program duration: 45 minutes per week

Recommended school age: Pre-school to Year 6



This program gives families the chance to involve their child with ASD and themselves in a footy program that supports their child’s individual needs. Parental involvement is required for this program.


This program is run by qualified coaches and staff members and includes weekly training on Saturdays from 9.00am to 10.30am at the Benedikt Reserve in Bayswater.


Program duration: 1.5 hours per week (× 10 sessions)

Recommended age: 4 years to 12 years


Primary school social club

This club gives children the chance to have positive social interactions, make new friends, engage in a range of recreational activities and, most importantly, have a lot of fun!


This club is designed for children with ASD or social communication difficulties attending a mainstream primary school.


Activities include:

– sports

– Lego and team projects

– games

– music and drama

– art and craft activities.


Program duration: 1.5 hours per week

Recommended school age: Years 3 to 6


Adolescent youth club

This club is a space for high school students to come together. Two groups are available for young people aged 13 to 15 years or 16 to 18 years to experience a positive social environ­ment and further develop their social skills. The structure of each session is guided by the group’s interests, and often include team games, cooking, movie nights, art activities and more.


This club is run by staff with training and experience in working with adolescents with ASD and/or social communication difficulties.


Program duration: 1.5 hours per week

Recommended age: 13 years to 18 years