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Plain language summary

This Guideline explains to practitioners how to work with autistic children and their families in ways that are safe, effective, and desirable. This is a summary of the key messages.

Section 1: Guiding Principles

Practitioners should work in partnership with children and families, individualise supports, and respect the children’s human rights. Practitioners should be ethical, have appropriate qualifications, and use evidence to guide decisions. They should help children and families be confident in themselves, and to access the supports they need when they need them.

Section 2: Goal Setting

Practitioners should help children and families select goals that are helpful and meaningful to them. Goals should also consider each child’s family, and where the child and family live, learn, and play. Goals should be written down and understood by everyone.

Section 3: Selecting and planning supports

Practitioners should help children and families choose supports that are safe, effective, and desirable. Supports can help children develop new skills, help people around the child develop new skills, and help create more accessible and enjoyable environments. Practitioners who plan supports should be properly qualified and have relevant knowledge, skills, supervision, and experience. If a practitioner does not have these things, they should refer the child and family to other people who do.

Section 4: Delivering supports

Practitioners should help children and families make decisions about how supports are delivered. This includes choosing who will be involved, how and where they are delivered, and how much support is appropriate. Where another person helps deliver supports, they should be appropriate and supervised. Supports should be coordinated, to maximise benefits and minimise burden for children and families.

Section 5: Outcomes, quality, and safeguarding

Practitioners should work in ways that maximise benefits and minimise risks for children and their families. They should have a plan and processes in place to make sure the supports they provide are safe, of high quality, and desirable to children and families. Practitioners should monitor progress, and work with the child and family to make adjustments and stop when support is no longer needed and/or desired. They should respect each child and family for who they are, what they want, and what they need to uphold their human rights.