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Hi - Just wanted to let people know as I have had a few messages (not that I mind, but I thought since it seemed a popular topic to post for others) reagrding the questions - special needs in Australia? and also how does it affect your PR? We have 3 children - one with language delay, one with Autism and the other (so far) seems neuro typical! I cannot help the people with regards to the question about how it affects your PR as we were already PR's when they were born and so the children are Australian citizens. Sorry maybe somebody else has answers about this??? But as for info on special needs in Aus specifically Autism I am pleased to suggest a few books, websites and schools (all in WA as we are here, but I know the East coast is just as well sourced.) great websites for info are the following: www.autismactionplan.com.au (I actually know the mom who made this site and she is just amazing.) www.sensoryconnections.com.au (this is our therapist we use - it is an American therapy called D.I.R or nicknamed Floortime - great therapy - have seen so much progress.) There is an O.T. in Pietermartizburg (Amanda Heinz Kuhn) who came out in Feb to the Floortime training here in Perth (I did a parent presentation as part of it) and she is trying to organise some parent/ professional training in SA for next year. A great website for games with your special kids is www.do2learn.com they have games and songs you can play together - depending on your child's computer skills. Recommended books include: Ten things every child with Autism wish you knew (fantastic read, especially for parents of newly diagnosed kids.) Other good ones are "Daniel isn't talking", "The boy who loved windows" and "A friend like Henry" which I am currently reading. As for services, Australia is great - I suppose this is where PR really helps! There are three service providers you can choose from once your child is officially diagnosed. (You need all 3 professionals to agree on the diagnosis - developmental paediatrician, speech pathologist and psychologist.) Then you get allocated times and case managers and this runs with the school terms. (This is government funded.)There are also loads of private speech and O.T. services available. As for schools there are special needs schools as well as Autism units attached to mainstream schools. You also get the advantage of having an aide if you decide to send your child to a mainstream school, but usually you do not get more than 0.6 percent and also you don't get to choose the aide. (Education assistants as they are called.) If you have any other questions I will try to answer them just PM me and I will be in touch. Hope that helps clear the fog a little! Good luck, Maggie.

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