The Anne McDonald Centre works with people diagnosed as Autistic

The Centre works with people diagnosed as autistic.

We say ‘people diagnosed as autistic’ rather than ‘autistic people’ because autism is very hard to define and therefore very hard to diagnose.  We don’t doubt that there is a neurological problem  - or a range of different neurological problems – behind their difficulties, but we do not think  that trying to pull everything under one condition is helpful.  The use of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an attempt to address this issue.

People diagnosed with autism cover an enormous range of presentations, from people who have some difficulties in interacting with others freely to people who can't talk, have severe motor movement difficulties, and have significant behaviour problems.

The Centre works with children and adults diagnosed as autistic, but we don’t treat autism as such.  However, very often people with ASD have severe communication impairments, and those we can help. 

Those people diagnosed as autistic who have severe communication impairment are generally described as ‘low functioning’, and may also be classified as intellectually impaired.  Our experience is that these people often have more or less intact language.  Our goal its to enable them to access and express whatever language they have. 

If people diagnosed as autistic do find a means to communicate this often leads to other positive changes, but that’s not the primary reason for intervening.  Everybody has a right to communicate.   

An article on autism and communication can be accessed here.
Empowering People with Autism by Presuming Competence.pdf81.9 KB
Augmenting the Speech of People Diagnosed with Autism.pdf129.64 KB
Anne McDonald Centre. 538 Dandenong Road, Caulfield 3162 Victoria, Australia Ph: 03 9509 6324, Fax: 03 9509 6321
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