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Unique collaboration to put the needs of children first

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Goodstart Early Learning teachers will become autism champions under a unique partnership and collaboration with the Autism Association of WA (AAWA).

The aim of the project is to upskill Goodstart teachers and educators to ensure they have the capability to work with confidence with all children, and particularly those who may have or be progressing towards an autism diagnosis. 

The training program consists of three intensive training days, followed by six months of specialist consultation, reflection and support facilitated by AAWA.

Goodstart WA state manager Todd Dawson said the state jumped at the chance to be part of this unique partnership focusing on further ways to support children and families across the Goodstart Early Learning network in WA.

“The training will allow our teachers and educators to extend the options in early learning and care for children who may have autism, and their families, or those going through the diagnosis process,” Mr Dawson said.

“It will also provide parents with confidence in transitioning their children into a Goodstart Early Learning environment, where the centre team has a rich understanding of the needs of their child and the support required for the family.”

Tasha Alach, director of therapy and clinical services from AAWA, said the organisation was excited to be creating the opportunity to expand autism awareness across Goodstart in Western Australia.

“This leading initiative will create enhanced inclusion of children with autism and related disabilities across mainstream day care,” Ms Alach said.

“This partnership will also support early identification of autism and support for parents to link into diagnostic and intervention pathways.  We are really looking forward to the future opportunities this strong partnership will create for children with autism and their families. “

Across Goodstart WA, 26 autism champions have been selected, with two representatives from 13 centres.  The program is due to start in May 2019.
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