Australia’s first national autism helpline to help over 200,000 with autism
Over 200,000 Australians living with autism will benefit from Autism Connect: Australia’s national autism helpline. Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT are the first states and territories in Australia to have access to Autism Connect, which will be rolled out nationally by May 2021.
Autism Connect is a free telephone helpline, email and webchat service, developed by Amaze and funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It provides information, advice, and referrals to support autistic people of all ages, their families and support networks.
The service provides guidance on assessment and diagnosis, approaches schools to provide the right adjustments, supports NDIS applications, and much more.
Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie said a key benefit of Autism Connect is its independence and credibility. All information provided is derived from research and the service never promotes a particular service or therapy. Instead, Autism Connect provides options from which people can make their own decisions to suit their needs.
“Autism presents differently in every person and there are many ‘snake oil peddlers’ who promise cures and sell unproven treatments that can be emotionally and financially harmful,” Sharkie said.
Sharkie said Autism Connect will make a really positive difference to the lives of autistic people across Australia by providing a deep resource of information and advice on all things autism.
“Amaze is really excited to be delivering Autism Connect in Victoria and partnering with other organisations to deliver this vital resource across other states and territories. It builds on our strong 53-year heritage of developing and delivering vital information and support to the autistic Community,” Sharkie added.
Autism Connect replaces and expands Amaze’s successful Autism Advisor Helpline, which operated for more than 12 years to support parents of autistic children access information and advice after diagnosis. Today, Autism Connect will operate nationally for autistic people of all ages with extended hours, webchat and email options to offer greater access and flexibility.
Autism Connect is now available in Victoria, Tasmania, and the ACT.