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The journey toward the best possible outcome for your child can be confusing and arduous. It can be difficult to know which are the right choices, where to go and who to see. Whilst the team at Minds and Hearts are specialized in autism spectrum conditions (ASC), they also have considerable knowledge, skill and experience in typical children’s development and a whole range of childhood, parenting and family issues. Each team member is well-placed to offer guidance, assistance and support across a broad range of issues, and can incorporate their specialist knowledge of ASC to many unique situations. At Minds & Hearts we follow best practice guidelines and not only keep up with the research on ASC, but also contribute to it. To discover the broad range of clinical services (for e.g. diagnostic assessments, ongoing therapy) we offer, click here: What We Do.
Clinical knowledge and research indicates that Group Therapy can be very helpful for children on the autism spectrum. We offer social skills training in our “Exploring Friendship” groups at 4 different levels for children, 4-6 years, 7-9 years, 10-12 years and 13-15 years. These groups are designed to follow on from each other, each building important skill sets to maximize opportunities for the best social outcomes for your child. Children will learn the meaning of friendship, how to recognize friendship, how to deal with predators (bullies) and how to be a good friend. Friendship skills are the foundation stones for being a in a relationship, and part of a team in a workplace later in life.
We have a completely new group which started in 2011: Girls' Club. It is a group for 7-9 year old girls with Asperger’s syndrome or high functioning autism, designed to assist these girls to gain the skills needed for building a strong positive self-identity and self-esteem.
In the past we have run groups for siblings, aged 8-12 years old. These were developed to assist brothers and sisters of a person with an autism spectrum disorder by providing them with knowledge, understanding and a place to vent their frustrations and find more helpful ways to respond. These are now being conducted at Griffith University, Mount Gravatt campus.
Children vary in their readiness for the group context. Before enrolling in a group, all children are assessed for readiness in an initial interview. If the group is not the best option at that time, an alternative path will be offered.
Each year we offer a number of Information Nights on topics related to raising a child with an autism spectrum condition or being in a relationship with someone on the spectrum. The purpose of these evenings, held on a Tuesday most months of the year, is to provide insights, strategies and access to experts for questions.
Since Asperger’s syndrome in girls and women is still a much misunderstood topic, in 2013 we are running a full day seminar in Sydney, Girls and Women with Asperger’s Syndrome. The event is for parents, teachers, professionals, family members and women themselves with Asperger’s syndrome.
For professionals interested in further training in autism spectrum conditions in children we offer 2 intensive workshops: ASC: Diagnosis & Treatment, Basic Workshop and ASC Diagnosis and Treatment, Advanced Workshop. Each workshop is run by specialists in ASC, focuses on diagnosis and treatment, and provides up-to-date information, skill demonstration, and opportunity for questions. The basic workshop is for new practitioners, and for those with a few years of experience. The advanced workshop is for professionals who are experienced in ASC, but would value the opportunity for further development of these skills through a research update, information about complex and atypical presentations, as well as case discussion.