Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Inaugural World Autism Awareness Day

Bill Shorten, today commemorates the first World Autism Awareness Day by launching an Autism Early Intervention Outcomes Unit (AEIOU) in Brisbane with Queensland Disability Services Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr.

“It is timely that the centre is opened today, on a day where we are reminded that between one in 100 and one in 160 children has autism,” Mr Shorten said.

“The Australian Government recognises the considerable support and services children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) need, and the Helping Children with Autism package aims to fill those gaps.

“We’ve committed $190.7 million in new funding over five years to this package, to assist children with ASD to reach their full potential,” Mr Shorten said.

The early intervention and support components of the package will provide:

  • a national education and support program for families and carers of children aged 0 to 6 with ASD
  • additional funding to ensure greater access to a range of early intervention services, including:
    • Childhood Autism Advisors located across Australia to assist families and carers to find the best services available to meet the particular needs of their child. Prior to the appointment of the Childhood Autism Advisors, existing autism stakeholder groups will be provided with funding to support families
    • New playgroups across Australia specifically for children with ASD
    • Access for eligible children to packages of individual assistance to support the provision of structured and intensive early intervention services, including one-on-one intensive activities, behavioural therapies and tailored group and individual programs.

For more information about the Helping Children with Autism package, go to Helping Children with Autism or call 1800 289 177 or TTY 1800 260 402.