[singlepic id=426 w=320 h=240 float=left] Minister for Disability Services and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today presented local families with a new autism guide at Autism Qld Centre in Edmonton.

Mr Pitt said My child has autism – information for Queensland families is an important new resource for families of children with autism aged up to eight years.

“The guide provides practical information about autism, from getting a diagnosis through to accessing early intervention services, attending child care and kindergarten and starting school,” he said.

“It also includes tips for parents about things they can do to support their child’s development as well as links to a range of websites about autism, parenting and education services.

“When they get the right supports and services early in their life, children with autism have a greater chance of improved participation in family, school and community life. 
“This guide will help to link families to supports and services and will be widely distributed through parent groups, kindergartens, disability and community health service providers.

“It’s also available online and, importantly, it has the endorsement of peak autism service providers the AEIOU Foundation and Autism Queensland.”

Mr Pitt said the Bligh Government’s $4.3 million-a-year Autism Early Intervention Initiative supports around 470 Queensland children throughout the State.

He said the State Government was also investing in more autism early intervention services in Far North Queensland.

“We contributed $46,750 towards the construction of new classrooms at this centre in 2009,” he said.

“I also want to acknowledge the contribution of the Cairns building industry for its generosity in delivering $250,000 in materials and labour to the school.

Mr Pitt said a re-elected Bligh Government will deliver almost $50 million for new initiatives in state schools to enable students with a disability access to a first class education.

“This includes a $32 million special school for up to 125 students here in Cairns.

“We will also invest $1.6million to create a Centre of Excellence in Autism Spectrum Disorder which will act as a hub of expertise in the educational needs of students with ASD,” Mr Pitt said.