A new piece of the puzzle
A new piece of the puzzle
08 Apr 2009
VIDEO NEWS RELEASE: A $4 million dollar autism specific childcare centre is set to open at La Trobe University next year, bringing it to the forefront of autism research in Australia.
La Trobe University has been chosen by the Federal Government as the site of a $4 million dollar Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre. The Centre will be co-located with the existing childcare facility on the Bundoora campus in Melbourne.
This new centre is terribly important to us at La Trobe because now we have an autism specific childcare and early learning centre at the same place where we also have a community based learning centre as well as an autism research centre on the same campus. So this means that we can research programs, we can roll out evidence based programs to make sure we have the best possible practise for young children with autism and their families.
Plans for the centre were unveiled on 2nd April, World Autism Day, along with two other centres in South Australia and New South Wales. The new centre will begin operating in June 2010, and will provide 20 full-time places for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
If I can just say, congratulations to everyone at La Trobe who have been involved in thinking about having a specific centre for early learning for children with autism spectrum disorders. A lot of the leadership has come from La Trobe University and this new centre will really be at the cutting edge, joining research, training with the staff, and working closely with the royal children’s hospital, so a very exciting announcement today.
The autism facility will add a perspective to our operation that is much needed in the community. It supports families in a holistic way, and also will support children in mainstream facilities.
La Trobe University is well established as being at the forefront of autism research through the work of the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre. It is the hope that children in the new facility will benefit directly from this research.
Our focus within our research centre is really studying the early signs of autism when children are very young, so that we can have children identified much earlier than is currently the case. Having an autism specific service centre on campus means that we can research the outcomes on children from being diagnosed early to then receiving early intervention in their early and most critical years, so we’re going to be very interested in researching the quality of the programs that we’re rolling out for these children and the developmental outcomes.