Autism Connect, a free national autism helpline, is now available across every state and territory in Australia. The official national launch was celebrated in an online event on Tuesday 8 June. The event was hosted by author Clem Bastow, who interviewed disability advocate William Ward-Boas and Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie about the benefits of this evidenced-based, national autism helpline.
Autism Connect has been developed by Amaze, an autism peak body which has been supporting autistic people and their families for over 50 years. The helpline supports autistic people, their families and carers, health professionals, researchers, teachers, employers and the broader community. Advisors provide expert advice on all things related to autism, including:
- exploring autism and autistic identity
- assessment and diagnosis support
- school and education
- the NDIS
- transition to employment
- behaviour and communication strategies
- referrals to services and peer support connections
- finding autism-friendly places and events, and
- making environments accessible.
Alisha Rotella, who is autistic and an occupational therapist, contacted Autism Connect for advice on supporting her autistic clients. “The person I spoke to was autistic. I love that we have autism advocates within this great service. It was so wonderful to have someone who had all the information, I wasn’t spending hours on Google trying to piece it together myself. It saved a lot of time and I got some really good information.”
For those who prefer to search for information themselves, Autism Connect has a self-search information directory, providing a curated list of autism resources, as well as groups and services available in your local area. These resources and local services are available to search online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Contact Autism Connect
This free, confidential service is available by phone, email, or live webchat and is open 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Autism Connect is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services