These resources may help parents, teachers, students, and Autistic individuals understand Autism better. We strongly recommend you follow Autistic-led organisations as well as #ActuallyAutistic voices such as Autistic children and adults.
DISCLAIMER: We do not claim to be experts in Autism or related fields. All advice we give is based on our personal experiences. Not all the advice we give for resources will work for all individuals, and we do not take responsibility for this.
Organisations and Advocates:
Yellow Ladybugs: https://www.yellowladybugs.com.au/
Yellow Ladybugs is a volunteer community group that create social events for girls and trans gender diverse (TGD) individuals on the Autism Spectrum. These events give the participants an opportunity to meet and bond, creating a network of friends outside of school. They are passionate about improving the lives and advocating for autistic girls, women and TGD individuals. They uphold the values of "nothing about us, without us". They also run panels and education events for parents and teachers.
The I CAN Network: https://www.icannetwork.com.au/
The I CAN Network is driving a rethink of Autism, from ‘I Can’t’ to ‘I CAN’. They mentor young people on the Autism Spectrum to live life with an ‘I CAN’ attitude. They bring out the ‘awe’ in AWEtism through education, advocacy and providing opportunities. They also build networks across schools, universities, TAFEs, communities, businesses and governments.
If you are looking for support as a parent, Autistic individual, or wish to learn more as a teacher, we recommend you check out their website and Facebook page.
InTune Pathways: https://www.kristyforbes.com/
inTune Pathways is run by Kristy Forbes, a parent to four children. She has an abundance of emotional, practical and lived experience both working with and raising children who are Neurodivergent, specifically Autistic. Kristy has an extensive background in Early Childhood Education and Psychology, Primary and Secondary Teaching and working as an Early Childhood behavioural and family specialist.
She is passionate about radical acceptance - assisting other Autistic and Neurodivergent individuals to find the courage and humility to totally accept, understand and celebrate themselves and neurologies without the need or intention to fix, change or cure. Diagnosed as autistic at age 33 herself, today she is committed to empowering, supporting, educating and advocating for children and adults on the Autism Spectrum with and without a Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) expression, Neurodivergent children, and educators and professionals supporting and caring for children and families with diverse support requirements.
Speaking Insights: https://www.speakinginsights.com.au/
Speaking Insights is run by Daniel and Daryl Giles. Daniel is proudly Autistic, and works tirelessly to advocate for other Autistic and Neurodivergent individuals. He was diagnosed at the age of two and half years old, experienced delays in verbal communication and needed assistance with understanding neurotypical social interactions. Daniel underwent education in both special education and mainstream education settings. He then went on to achieve a Bachelor of Graphic Design (Hons). As an adult he lives independently, works part-time as a graphic designer and photographer, and does a range of volunteer work.
Daryl Giles is Daniel's father, and is inspired by and in awe of Daniel’s self-advocacy work and all that he has achieved. After several years of discussing the possibility of a collaboration with Daniel, Daryl has come on board to present with Daniel and provide a parent’s perspective of Daniel’s life journey from his diagnosis through to the incredible recognition of Daniel’s social justice work when he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2017.
Speaking Insights offer professional development for schools and information settings to help parents come to terms with their children' diagnosis, and strategies surrounding early supports, inclusion, education, independent living, employment and more.
Reframing Autism: https://www.reframingautism.com.au/
Reframing Autism aims to create a world in which the Autistic community is supported by families and allies to achieve genuine acceptance, inclusion, and active citizenship, and in which Autistic culture and identity are celebrated and nurtured. Reframing Autism is a company run by and for Autistic people, and for their families and allies. They combine capacity-building and leadership development with education, research, resource development, mentoring, and support to strengthen the Autistic community. Reframing Autism run events to help educate staff and parents, and provide support for Autistic and Neurodivergent individuals.
Dyslexia Demystified: http://www.dyslexiademystified.org/
Dyslexia Demystified was founded by Jemima Hutton. She was formally diagnosed as being dyslexic when she was 15 years old, but she has always been aware that she saw the world a little differently to most people. Her reading speed is slower than 98% of the population. Throughout her years of schooling she developed many learning strategies to work around her academic difficulties and hatred of reading. She is now studying medicine at University of Queensland. Jemima's aim is to inspire all students, especially those with learning challenges, and to assist staff, students and parents by sharing the wide range of learning strategies which helped her to achieve her goals. Dyslexia Demystified offer mentoring, professional development, information sessions and consultations.
Tim Chan: http://timchan.com
Tim Chan is an Autistic Chinese Australian adult. He was diagnosed with Autism at three years of age, and has been non-speaking after 14 months of age. After picking up a means of communication via partner assisted typing at 9 years old, Tim's eyes became opened to the possibility of connecting with people and with the life he would like to live. He began working on understanding how my challenges can be transformed into capacity and strengths. This journey has been supported and scaffolded by Tim's social network, especially my Mum, Sarah. He has been able to graduate from mainstream schools and is now continuing his education doing a BA focusing on sociology and political science. Tim was given the opportunity to present a TEDTalk when he was 18, and has presented at local and international forums, camps and conferences. Tim is affiliated with several Autism-related organizations including The I CAN Network, Children and Young People with Disability and Reframing Autism. Tim and his mother Sarah published their book "Back from the Brink" in 2019, reflecting on his experiences growing up.
Autism and Neurodiversity Businesses:
Kaiko Fidgets: https://kaikofidgets.com/
Kaiko Fidgets is run by Kai. He is 11 years of age, dyslexic, and Autistic. Kai also struggles with anxiety. He started making his own fidgets when he couldn't find anything age appropriate that we felt comfortable with. Kaiko Fidgets have fidget toys suitable for adults and youth alike whom struggle with fidgeting, anxiety, hair twirling, pen clicking, and more. You can get 10% off products by entering the promo code 'autismactually'.
Stimtastic is Autistic-run, and they support Neurodivergent artists and creators. They have affordable stim toys, chewable jewellery and fidgets for Autistic, SPD, ADHD/ADD, and dyspraxic individuals. Stimtastic celebrates stimming as a natural part of our lives. 10% of proceeds from sales at Stimtastic.co go back to the Autism community in the form of charitable donations and direct giving. All of the stim toys, jewelry and fidgets they carry have been personally selected and tested by Autistic individuals.
Chewigem is non-toxic, stylish, and helps meeting the need to chew. It is also more discreet than some chewing aids available on the market. With a wide range of stylish designs, you'll find a broad range of colours to choose from, and a CHEWIGEM that is sure to suit you in Chewigem's online shop. They are made from a similar material to that of most baby teethers. It should be noted that children with fully developed teeth and aggressive biters will be able to bite through CHEWIGEM eventually, so adult supervision is always recommended. IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS DUE TO THE LONG CORD. Their silicone meets FDA standards and is BPA, PVC, Lead, Latex and Phthalate free.
Sensory Oasis for Kids: https://www.sensoryoasisforkids.com.au/
Sensory Oasis for Kids is run by a Melbourne based mum. Inspired by her three Autistic sons, she decided to start a business providing sensory and educational tools for individuals with differences. Her children are Autistic and Neurodivergent. Sensory Oasis for Kids have products available online and in their Altona North VIC store.
Busimann's Dog Training: facebook.com/BusimannsDogTraining
Yvonne from Busimann's Dog Training is a nationally accredited certificate 3 Professional Dog Trainer and Behaviourist. She has undertaken Clicker Training and Positive Training courses through the Karen Pryor Academy, Susan Friedman Behaviour Works Academy and Illis Behaviour Consulting. Yvonne has been training dogs for 30 years and has been running her dog training business for 15 years. She is a consultant trainer with Whiskey's Wish, a not for profit organisation that assists First Responders and Returned Defence Personnel suffering PTSD with training support for their dogs. Games, play, and fun are important aspects in Yvone's training philosophy.