Every year, on April 2, the world marks World Autism Awareness Day.
But autistic advocacy groups, such as Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), have been calling for organisations and governments to move away from the word ‘awareness’ to ‘understanding’ or ‘acceptance’ because language – and specifically how we use language to talk about autism and autistic people – is so important.
For eight-year-old Oscar, an Autism diagnosis has had no impact on him living his life his way. Since June 2021, he’s been receiving speech pathology and occupational therapy services from our Melrose Park office in Adelaide, South Australia.
His mother, Emma, describes their relationship with The Benevolent Society and how Oscar's therapies have enabled him to grow in all areas.
“I feel really lucky that even though we have only been here for a year, it's been a time where everything has been consistent and communicated well and supported,” Emma says. “I've seen a huge step forward with Oscar. Just having the consistency and knowing, okay, I've been taught this skill. I can take that and actually put it into my life here.”
Together, with their therapists – Speech Pathologist Rose and Occupational Therapist Pat – the family formulated therapy goals to target specific areas.
“Over time we've been working on social communication skills, and I've just seen such a growth in his self-awareness of these skills during interactions with myself and with his family,” Rose says.
Pat adds: “A lot of the work that we have done with Oscar has been around working on routines and social emotional learning. We've seen massive progression already with him, and that's seen through his engagement in therapy sessions, but also how he's tracking along in school and at home.”
Oscar and his Occupational Therapist, Pat.
Emma says the process was seamless and that our therapists are readily available. “The fact that I can send an email to Rose, or I can quickly call Patrick and he'll call me straight back, so that communication, that open line of communication is huge.”
A Holistic Approach
Emma appreciates the holistic approach The Benevolent Society takes when it comes to her son’s development.
“It's not just about this skill or that skill, or this area necessarily,” she says. “I think you have a place where you can come and feel welcome.
Speech Therapist Rose, with Oscar and his mum Emma.
“We're really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Oscar. I think being here in The Benevolent Society and being supported by our awesome speechie and our wonderful OT, it really is paving the pathway forward for Oscar.”
While Oscar is reaping the benefits of therapy, our staff also enjoy seeing the positive impact they make in their clients’ lives.
“I just love that I can help people,” Rose says. “The fact that I can make a difference in their lives and help with their communication is extremely rewarding.”
If you would like to learn more about the disability services we provide as well as to make a referral, click here. Or you can call 1800 236 762 to speak to a friendly staff member who is ready to answer your questions.