Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Funding for autism early intervention research

Joint Media Release with:

  • Parliamentary to the Minister for Education, Scott Ryan

The Abbott Government announced today it will provide research funding for a pilot study on the transition of children with autism to primary school.

The Federal Minister with responsibility for disability, Senator Mitch Fifield, joined Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Senator Scott Ryan, to visit the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) at La Trobe University in Bundoora to make the announcement today.

The Senators announced $278,000 has been allocated to research body Autism Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to conduct the study, of which the La Trobe ASELCC is a member.

Minister Fifield said that the funding was in addition to $16 million funding for Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres (ASELCCs) announced in March this year by the Abbott Government.

“This is timely research that will evaluate the transition of children with autism from early intervention settings to primary school,” Minister Fifield said.

“It will provide valuable insight into what makes a successful transition to school for children with autism.”

“The pilot is part of a larger project to evaluate early intervention outcomes for children with autism and will lay the ground work to develop evidence-based guidelines for best practice,” Minister Fifield said.

Senator Scott Ryan said the Abbott Government is committed to improving the lives of children with disability and their families.

“Early intervention has a critical role in helping children with disability develop their capacity and readiness for school,” Senator Ryan said.

“That’s why the Abbott Government has committed to funding this research, which will help to improve our knowledge and understanding of how we can help children with autism to reach their full potential as they move into school.”

“It’s great that local kids with autism in Bundoora and the surrounding area will have the opportunity to take part in this pilot,” Senator Ryan said.