Posted August 01, 2019 17:01:47 A Catholic church in western Australia wants to find a way to teach more autism counselling and rehabilitation courses in hospitals, while also helping families with children with autism.
The Sisters of Mercy Health Services has a new Autism Service Provider (ASP) in every hospital in Western Australia, providing a range of services to parents, families and people with autism including autism services, support groups, counsellors and education and training.
In a submission to the Victorian Government’s inquiry into autism, the Sisters of Justice said the current structure of autism services in the Catholic health system was failing many families and their children.
“We know that autism is a complex illness, which affects many individuals in our society, including those who are in care,” said Sister Angela Stokes, who is responsible for Autism Services.
“It is not a simple disorder, but an array of issues that need to be addressed to make sure we provide the best possible care to all people with ASD.”
The submission called for a more diverse range of service providers to help those who have autism in their community.
“The health system in Western Australian needs to be able to provide services to people with all their unique needs, regardless of the particular diagnosis they may have,” Sister Stokes said.
The submission also said the Victorian government had not given sufficient priority to improving access to autism services.
“There are currently very few autism services provided in Western Victoria, especially in remote areas, and we are seeing this situation deteriorate,” she said.
“Services such as those provided by the Sisters are needed to provide support and services to those in need.”
These services must also be affordable to the taxpayer and able to address needs in the community that the NHS can’t address in a timely and cost effective manner.”‘
We can’t have a crisis of our own’The submission said the Catholic Church should focus more on its mission to help people with intellectual disabilities and autism.”
Autism can affect people in many ways and this can lead to a variety of challenges,” Sister Spokes said in her submission.”
Many people have difficulties relating to the way their brain works, their emotions and their communication.
“As a result, people with mental illness, including people with learning disabilities, are more likely to be diagnosed with autism.”
The Sisters say the current Autism Service Providers (ASPs) in the Victorian system have provided more than 10,000 services, but have no trained staff to help with support for families with autism and a lack of funding for mental health services.
The submissions were released on Wednesday in response to questions from the Victorian Parliament’s Disability Legislation Committee.
The Victorian Government has been criticised for its handling of the coronavirus crisis, and has been forced to announce it will no longer fund an ASP.
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