When you or your family member receives a diagnosis, you will need to get your team together to support you through the diagnosis and beyond. There is a lot of assistance out there if you know where to start looking. The following professions and services are ones that are commonly consulted following a diagnosis. Please note that this list is indicative only, refer to your primary health care provider for your individual needs.

Autism NT can assist you with general advice and a list of local providers if needed.

Support Why
General Practitioner (GP) Having a stable, ASD aware, GP is important as the co-ordinator of your long term treatment plan. They can connect you with the appropriate specialists and Medicare subsidies.
Paediatrician A paediatrician is a medical doctor with special training and skills in the diseases and illnesses that affect babies and children, and also in how babies, children and teenagers grow and develop.

Paediatricians know a lot about the many different conditions and illness that can affect children’s health, welfare, behaviour and education. They also understand how different illnesses and conditions relate to each other. [1]

Occupational Therapist (OT) Occupational therapists are university-trained health professionals who help people improve their ability to do the everyday things that they want or need to do. Occupational therapists help people to:

  • improve their ability to look after themselves – for example, eat, dress, or complete personal hygiene tasks
  • take part in tasks at work, school or preschool
  • enjoy leisure activities.

OTs consider all areas of your child’s development, including thinking, speech, language, gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Occupational therapists also look at your child’s environment, including physical, social or legislative barriers that can make life hard for your child, and try to find ways of improving the environment or working around these barriers. [1]

Speech Therapist/Pathologist A speech pathologist is a university-trained health professional who works with anyone who has trouble communicating. This could be trouble with:

  • speech
  • language, including reading and writing
  • fluency – for example, stuttering
  • voice

Speech pathologists help people find the best way to communicate to meet their needs. This could include signs, symbols, gestures and other forms of assisted communication.   Speech pathologists also help people who have trouble swallowing food and drink. [1]

Psychologist Psychologists are university-trained health professionals who have studied human behaviour and are experts in the way people think and behave. Psychologists work in lots of different areas. Most psychologists work directly with people when they’re upset or troubled – for example, if someone has anxiety or depression. Psychologists can often help people find better ways of coping or managing parts of their lives.

Psychologists also work in research, training and education. Psychologists don’t prescribe drugs to help people feel better. They work on changing thoughts, behaviour and emotions using different therapies and approaches.

You’re most likely to see a psychologist if you or your child needs:

  • counselling to help with life’s problems, such as grief, trauma or relationship issues
  • educational and developmental support to help with learning difficulties, disorders such as ADHD or difficult behaviour, or with developing social skills
  • help to deal with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress [1]
Autism NT Autism NT is the peak body for Autism in the NT. It provides a safe non-judgemental space for families with a diagnosis or a suspected diagnosis of ASD. Experienced staff can help you to navigate your way through diagnosis, available services and to just to lend a sympathetic ear when needed. There is a large resource library within the Autism NT office containing books, DVDs, games, iPads, occupational therapy and educational tools. Autism NT provides its members access to social groups, educational forums, social skill therapy groups, support groups for adults, carers and teachers.

p. 8948 4424
e. autismnt@autismnt.org.au

Autism NT Support Groups Support groups are a great way of meeting other families and individuals who are sharing a similar journey to yourself. You can learn from others experiences and share results of therapies, education resources, employment support etc.

p. 8948 4424
e. autismnt@autismnt.org.au

NT Department of Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder Services Education Advisors ASD, assist school staff develop support strategies that meet the needs of individuals with the aim of maximising the educational outcomes for students with ASD. Queries or initial contact can be made through the Senior Advisor: ASD on 8944 9341 or
e: Sesupport.det@nt.gov.au.
Autism Advisor Program Early intervention funding and advice for families of children aged 0-7 years with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum.
Ph: 8947 4800 or
e: twachtel@autismsa.org.au
Dietician Dietitians have qualifications and skills to give you expert nutrition and dietary advice. Many persons diagnosed with ASD have responded positively to changes within their diet.
Carers NT Provides services such as counselling, advice, advocacy, education and training to improve the lives of Carers.
Contact them on 1800 242 636 or (08) 8948 4877 or visit their website http://www.carersnt.asn.au/
Carpentaria Disability Services For support and help with early intervention services, respite and accommodation.
Ph. 8945 4977
Disability Legislation The rights of people with disability are protected by legislation at both the Northern Territory (NT) and Commonwealth level. The legislation strives to ensure people with disability have the same rights to equality before the law as other people in the community by protecting them from discrimination and from breaches of their human rights.

For more details on NT and Commonwealth disability services and discrimination legislation including:

  • Disability Services 2012 Act
  • Ant-Discrimination Act
  • Adult Guardianship Act
  • Carers Recognition Act
  • Disability Discrimination Act
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Act
  • Australian Human Rights Commission

Refer to the below link:

health.nt.gov.au/Aged_and_Disability/Office_of_Disability/Legislation

Northern Territory Crisis Assessment Telephone Triage and Liaison Service (NTCATT) NT CATT is a free and confidential 24-hour hotline for mental health inquiries from anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or concerned about someone’s wellbeing. Calls to the hotline are received by qualified members of the Top End Mental Health Service who can provide support and link callers with appropriate services. Call – 1800 682 288 (1800 NTCATT)
Family & friends Having a diagnosis of ASD can feel lonely journey at times, it is vital for your self-care and for fuller inclusion of the ASD individual within their community to actively maintain relationships with family and friends. For tips about how to tell your loved ones about a diagnosis see the following links:

Amaze

www.amaze.org.au/uploads/2011/08/Fact-Sheet-Sharing-the-Diagnosis-of-Autism-Spectrum-Disorder-Aug-20112

Raising Children Network raisingchildren.net.au/articles/autism_spectrum_disorder_family_friends


[1] Source www.raisingchildren.net.au