New library resources to help assess autism

SUPPORT MATERIAL: Youth and outreach services librarian Katey Allwell launched the Central Northern Regional Library’s Autism Spectrum Disorder collection in Tamworth yesterday. Photo: Barry Smith 041115BSB02
SUPPORT MATERIAL: Youth and outreach services librarian Katey Allwell launched the Central Northern Regional Library’s Autism Spectrum Disorder collection in Tamworth yesterday. Photo: Barry Smith 041115BSB02

TAMWORTH families with children on the autism spectrum now have access to new special resources and materials as the Central Northern Regional Library (CNRL) launched a new collection at Tamworth City Library yesterday.

A range of toys and learning materials can be loaned by parents to assess the needs of their child.

The collection was purchased after the CNRL received an $18,000 New Early Childhood Inclusion Grant.

Youth and outreach services librarian Katey Allwell said the collection would be another way to support social inclusion for children with disabilities and their families.

“Putting together the collection was guided by community consultation to make sure the specific needs of the children could be met,” Ms Allwell said.

“The material can be borrowed by educators and families to find out their child’s needs without incurring expense. The program was modelled on what Inverell library has done with great success.” 

Autism spectrum disorder collections will be located across the region at all CNRL branches, including Barraba, Bingara, Boggabri, Kootingal, Manilla, Nundle, Quirindi, South Tamworth, Tamworth CIty, Uralla, Walcha, Warialda, Werris Creek and Wee Waa.

Tamworth regional councillor Helen Tickle was present at the launch and said the resources would be of great benefit to the smaller outlying regions that might not have had access to similar resources previously.

Autism spectrum disorders are developmental disabilities that affect social interactions.

Common difficulties faced by people on the autism spectrum include language problems, recognising emotions, as well as limited interests and repetitive behaviour.

Currently autism spectrum disorder diagnoses favour males four to one, however female cases are on the rise.

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