Autism in Rural Communities

The Lishman Health Foundation has funded a multi-year research project surveying how therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are reaching families in regional and remote areas, and testing innovative alternative models of intervention. This large scale project, conducted by Curtin University with support from the South West Autism Network (SWAN), has taken the form of a survey to identify what processes families go through to obtain an ASD diagnosis and access services, and how having a child or young person with ASD affects every day family life – measuring stress, quality of life and daily routines.

Alongside the survey, a number of families have participated in a randomised controlled trial of a tablet-based app designed to complement in-person early intervention services. The trial is using both quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the actual and perceived effectiveness of the innovative technology for families in regional areas.

Project Advisory Committee:

Greg Sawyer (Chair)
Professor Torbjorn Falkmer
Associate Professor Reinie Cordier
Dr Sharmila Vaz
Mr Dave Parsons
Ms Annie Cohen
Ms Nick Avery
Ms Heidi Welsh
Dr Peter Heyworth
Ms Dianne Ritson