The following provides information for parents wanting to learn about autism, developmental delay diagnosis, intervention therapies and funding.

Early Childhood Intervention Service

Early Childhood Intervention Programs is a State Government initiative available to all families where their child has two or more delays. It provides a variety of services to support children and their families. Programs vary and can include small group sessions, individual sessions from a range of professionals, kinder/childcare visits and support, home visits, parent education and assistance with funding.

It is strongly advised that you contact ECIS Central Intake in your region as soon as possible as there are waitlists for this service. Families can be in ECIS programs and still participate in other interventions and therapies, such as those purchased through FaHCSIA funding. For more information, please visit the website.

ECIS Central Intake

Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) has a regional central point of entry to provide families with easy and timely access to services.

Central Intake gathers information and determines whether the child meets eligibility criteria for ECIS. In the first instance referrals for ECIS must go to Central Intake, who will work with the family to identify concerns, to plan next steps and to make a referral to an ECIS agency. The website provides more comprehensive information.

North Eastern Victoria – 1300 662 655
North Western Victoria – (03) 9304 0775
South Eastern Victoria – 1300 720 151
South Western Victoria – (03) 9291 6500

ASD Specific Early Intervention Therapies

There is a large body of literature that has found that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder largely benefits from “Early Intervention Therapies”. Treatments can vary from one type of therapy or to a combination of therapies; in a individual or/and group setting, in order to meet a child’s individual needs. There are a large number of treatments that are currently used for children on the autism spectrum. For the majority of interventions, further research is required to ascertain their effectiveness.

A highly useful study was conducted by Prior and Roberts (2006) at The University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney. Follow this link to download the study.

It should be noted that not all research on therapies can be confirmed and therapy claims cannot always be substantiated. Parents should always exercise caution in their judgement of such claims – if it sounds too good, it probably is.

Behavioural Interventions

Behavioural interventions aim to teach and increase targeted positive behaviours and reduce or eliminate inappropriate or non-adaptive behaviours in children. They are founded on the premise that most human behaviour is learned through the interaction between an individual and his or her environment.

Some of the therapies and programs include:

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
Discrete Trial Training
Lovaas Program

Therapy Based Interventions

Therapy based interventions typically focus on communication and social skill development or sensory motor development. These interventions are likely to be used in conjunction with other interventions.

Some of the therapies and programs include:

Speech Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Sensory Integration Therapy
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Combined Interventions

These programs combine the positive aspects of several intervention therapies to present a holistic, all inclusive approach.

Some of the therapies and programs include:

Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) Occupational Therapy
Learning Experiences – An Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Parents (LEAP)
The Hanen Program (More than Words)

Developmental Interventions

Developmental interventions focus on harnessing the deficiencies in a child’s development. That is teaching aspects of life that are not innate to them or they simply don’t know.
Some of the therapies and programs include:

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
Greenspan’s DIR – “Floortime”

Biologically Based Interventions

There is currently no medical treatment for the core features of autism. Medications are used to treat co-morbidity, such as anxiety and/or ADHD. Symptoms most responsive to medication include hyperactivity, impulsivity, aggression, anxiety, self-injurious and obsessive/compulsive behaviours.

For more detailed information about Early Intervention Therapy, two useful websites are:



We have compiled a list of some services that may benefit you and your child. We hope that this document helps you initially, please contact us should you require any further information.

Reading Materials

Below is a list of references for books, dvds and websites. The On Track-shop stocks some of these titles; for more information contact the office.

Apps for Iphones and Ipads

Little Star Story Apps ( allows you and your child to create personalised social stories. The apps can be purchased on iTunes and downloaded on both iPhones and iPads. More information can be found on their website.

The Learning App Guide to Autism and Education, created by speech pathologist Bronwyn Sutton, may also be useful for parents and children. Please visit the website for additional information.