Autism Spectrum Australia

Autism Spectrum Australia known in short as Aspect is the leading service provider in Australia for autism and other child disabilities.

Autism Spectrum Australia known in short as Aspect is the leading service provider in Australia for autism and other child disabilities. Aspect's specialized, evidence based schools program is currently the largest globally, with extra services which include advice and information; behavior support; diagnostic assessments; adult programs; as well as family and parent support. Autism Spectrum Australia shares evidence-based Aspect research and applied research countrywide.

Autism is basically a lifelong medical disability affecting about 1 in one hundred Australians, or about 230,000 people. The particular word 'spectrum' is reflective of the diverse challenges which people having autism are faced with and the extent to which these people may get affected.

Aspect services offer people having autism with the chance of realizing or achieving their unique full potential, besides offering the much required support to affected families, health carers, patient friends and their colleagues. Autism Spectrum Australia vision is to offer the best possible chances for people having autism and any other kind of disabilities.

History of Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)

Very little was actually known concerning autism during the 1960s, which had just been globally recognized as being a neurological medical condition some twenty years before. There was extremely scarce support or information available in Australia for those families having children on the broad autism spectrum.

Having a daughter suffering from autism, and stressed with the segregation of autism, Andrew and Margaret Vern Barnett in 1966 with 5 other families began The Autistic Children's Association of New South Wales, with the aim of providing schooling and support for their own children.

From the humble beginnings working in a hall that was rented, these parents started to rally together a dedicated assemblage of professionals who at that time were diagnosing cases of autism and getting positive results from several new educational and behavioral approaches that were making their appearance in research literature.

The Autistic Children's Association of New South Wales had by the year 1969, obtained its first funding from the government which was followed by a phase of fast growth during the 1970s which witnessed 5 schools open:

  • Forestville in 1971
  • Annandale in 1974
  • Newcastle in 1977
  • Kingsgrove and Randwick both in 1978.

Momentum continued to gain pace throughout the 1980s and the 90s. Additional schools got established in different places: Terrigal opened 1983; in 1984 Wetherill Park started and in 1986 Illawarra opened. Through the passing and implementation of The Disability Services Act, the government of Australia acknowledged the needs of persons with disabilities.

A change of name to The Autistic Association of NSW in 1984 marked the beginning of a new direction, with the launch of services aiming to support adults having autism, and offering vocational services for those leaving school. In the course of the following 20 years, services were expanded to comprise parental support, advocacy support, early intervention services and school counsellor roles, just to mention to a few.

A special Autism Association of NSW General Meeting on April 6, 2005 approved a name change to become Autism Spectrum Australia or in short ASPECT; and a new constitution. The change of name acknowledged that indeed autism is a range or spectrum and the fact that there numerous diagnoses making up the autism range/spectrum.

Almost 50 years on, Aspect is the one of the biggest disability services providers in the entire country, with 8 schools and numerous services for teenagers, adults, families, children, carers and the professionals, assisting over 10,000 people having autism or other similar disabilities as well as their families each year.

What Remains Important to Aspect

Aspect is passionate about the people, about remaining positive and about what can be possible. Aspect is committed to offering the best chances for people at work, at home, and in the classroom. Autism Spectrum Australia is single-minded in the pursuit of making life better for persons living with autism in Australia and is dedicated to making connections which help in understand better the needs and wants of people.

This commitment goes further than services and well into the relationships with Aspect funders, supporters and sponsors. As an organisation, Autism Spectrum Australia is genuine concerning their ability of making a difference in lives of people and this belief is equally shared by those people who are coming into contact with Aspect. Being honest, sincere and open about what they can perform and what is possible towards building confidence, trust, and belief in its people, its organisation and its future.

Aspect Governance and Structure

Autism Spectrum Australia has been classified by the Australian Tax Office as a Public Benevolent Institution. It is registered as a public company with the Australian Securities & Investment Commission limited by guarantee.

Aspect key accountabilities and strategic direction are overseen by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors background reflects a mixture of welfare, business and academic experience. Most of the Directors are in fact parents of children having autism. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and his senior management coordinate Autism Spectrum Australia operations.

Aspect Strategy, Vision, Values and Mission

The strategic plan of Autism Spectrum Australia drives performance and builds the organization's competitive advantage. The strategy is ordered by the wants and needs of Aspect's stakeholders.

In line with this important strategic focus, Aspect has adopted a 3-year planning process that gets reviewed every year.

Aspect Vision

The vision of Aspect is to offer the best opportunities for persons living with autism or any other type of disabilities.

Aspect Mission

The mission of Aspect is to deliver individual-centered medical solutions through the provision of responsive, flexible and evidence-informed services.

Aspect Values

Aspect is passionate concerning people, concerning being positive and concerning what's possible.

Becoming an Aspect member

Autism Spectrum Australia membership is not required for you to access any services or information provided by the organisation. Nevertheless your membership provides much needed continuing support. In return you become a part of the family of Aspect family, and you will be provided with regular updates in relation to the organisation and activities.

You could join Aspect as an Individual Member or even as a Joint Member. Joint Membership caters to two people who are living or using the same address.

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