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Early Learning Centre for autism benefits WA parents

Iluka mother Melanie Green says her sons Toby (3) and Ollie (2) have improved considerably since enrolling them at Bedford’s Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre.

Managed by MercyCare and the Autism Association of Western Australia and sponsored by the Government, the long day care centre looks after 20 children aged 0-6 years.

The service provide has a team of speech pathologists, occupational therapists, early childhood teachers, primary teachers, psychologists and childcare educators who has extensive experience.

According to Green, those who work at the centre understand her kids and helped her understand their behaviour.

“It’s the best thing I have done for them, and I only wish there could be more childcare centres like it in WA,” she said.

Green had felt hesitant at first to return to work and leave her children at a normal day care centre. She changed her mind later on after having her kids try Bedford’s Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre, saying that the team at the centre is amazing and supportive not just of the kids, but also of the parents.

Before attending the centre, two-year-old Ollie who was diagnosed with autism last year, used to be uneasy around strangers. Green said that soon after he was enrolled, he was excited to go to the centre.

Meanwhile, her three-year-old son Toby was prone to screaming and anxiety. Green said that he gets upset by noises and uncertainty.

She said that picture scheduling, which she attributed to the Care Centre, had helped her give Toby predictability regarding his schedule. She shows pictures of getting up, eating breakfast and getting in the car to Toby so that he can know what will happen in the day and for him to remain calm.

MercyCare CEO Chris Hall said that Bedford is one of only six centres in Australia which gives support to children and parents during a critical time of their child’s development.

WA Chief Executive Officer Joan McKenna-Kerr said that each child is evaluated by a specialist team who will develop a personalised program with the help of the family to target communication, behaviour, cognitive skill development, play, school readiness, independence, social skills, and other issues.

For more information on enrolment and attendance, email [email protected] or call 63805504.





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