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How does Tipping address the needs of people with autism?

What is the autism spectrum?The Tipping Foundation offers a variety of tailored support to people across the autism spectrum, designed to help develop new skills, expand social horizons, find appropriate work and education, and live more independent lives. Tipping’s support is based on the appointment of a ‘key worker’, who will act as a mentor and support worker to help each person define their own goals and live and develop to the fullest of their abilities.

Clients usually come to us with an NDIS plan after a formal planning session with NDIS personnel. Each NDIS plan includes allocated funding amounts and broad goals for the coming year. Our key worker will help to evaluate what is possible – through Tipping and with our clinical partners – to realise specific goals and aims in skills development, behaviour, and social and community participation. A more detailed support plan will then be drawn up with the client and their family, Tipping managers and clinical specialists (e.g. occupational therapists and speech pathologists) to deliver customised services that improve life skills, minimise behaviours of concern, and optimise social connections.

What support does Tipping provide to people with autism?

Tipping’s support is based on the individual NDIS plan developed for each person who is eligible for funding from the National Disability Insurance Agency. The NDIS is premised on support customised to people’s unique needs and goals, and services eligible for funding include: assistance at home, assistive technologies, social and community activities, life skills, job-seeking, transport, and supported living arrangements.

Tipping offers a rich variety of support to people with autism, provided in their homes or the community, to realise their goals in skills development, education, employment, and community participation. As well as residential accommodation in 40 homes managed by highly skilled support staff, Tipping offers the following specialised services for people with autism:

Much of our support will be provided through a ‘key worker’ who is familiar with you and your family, and provides one-on-one support designed to help you achieve specific goals or milestones – be it shopping independently, crossing a road, or learning a new skill. Our key workers will also take you to medical appointments and clinical specialists, and provide respite at home when your usual caregivers are out. Key workers can also take you to school classes, community groups, job placements, or even on short holidays – depending on your specific goals and NDIS plans.

Are Tipping’s services available to young children with autism?

The benefits of intervening early and carefully in the treatment of children with autism are widely documented. Specialist providers such as Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) provide a range of tailored early intervention programs for children up to 8 years of age, which combine structured play and social learning with speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioural support and other services. The adaptability (‘plasticity’) of a younger child’s brain makes it vital to deliver these therapies early on, when neural pathways can be ‘rerouted’ and poor behaviours ‘retrained’.

After 40 years of working with people with autism, Tipping has strong and mutually supportive relationships with Aspect and a number of Melbourne-based clinical specialists who provide early childhood intervention services. We regularly recommend specialist providers to families and incorporate their services into our younger clients’ support plans.

Do we offer services for adolescents with autism?

Adolescence is a stressful time for all young people, but for a teenager on the autism spectrum this transition can be particularly challenging and isolating. The need for calm support, steady routines, and tolerant, non-judgmental home environments is never greater – and supportive respite and tailored day programs can make a world of difference to the families of young people with autism.

Tipping also works with a number of schools that welcome high-functioning adolescents, or young people who have previously dropped out of school, to join their classes. We will help organise the logistics and support required to start studying or to return to school to complete your education. We can also provide support to young adults who want to develop job-ready skills, seek specialist employment support, or revisit their resumés or interview skills in order to find a permanent job.

In 2013 Tipping opened a new respite facility in northern Melbourne designed specially to support young people aged between 12 and 24 who have autism or display complex behaviours of concern. Our acclaimed Epping House was built by the Victorian Government and has five beds and extensive respite facilities, as well as an activities room, an outdoor recreation area, and a barbecue and veggie patch. Please call our Northwest Office on (03) 9487 8100 to find out more.

Associated support:

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) – Australia’s largest service provider for people with autism offers information, diagnoses, behavioural support, parent and family support, and adult programs: 1800 277 328