Date published: 
31 October 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

A new service run by the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth will see clinicians and researchers working side by side to provide cutting-edge interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

For children with autism and their families, it offers new hope and support through holistic care and access to the best and latest evidence-based therapies available anywhere in the world.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, an estimated one in 150 Australians - or 164,000 - had autism in 2015.

Autism is a complex condition with a wide spectrum of symptoms and degrees of severity.

Officially launched today, CliniKids is a state of the art clinic specifically designed to meet the needs of children with autism and developmental delay, and is the first facility of its kind in Australia.

CliniKids will be staffed by a team of clinicians including speech pathologists, occupational therapists and clinical psychologists, who will work with families to provide individualised therapy to children with autism and developmental delay.

A $600,000 Morrison Government investment has helped the Telethon Kids Institute fund the unique fit out, which was designed to take into account sensory needs, and creates a welcoming space for children as young as six months old and their parents.

The clinical team will also collaborate closely with the Telethon Kids’ world-leading autism research team, headed by Professor Andrew Whitehouse, to ensure children receive the latest innovative, evidence-based care.

Linking clinicians, patients and researchers is the way to fast track new and better health care.

Member for Curtin, Celia Hammond MP, welcomed the launch of the facility and the Government investment, saying the Telethon Kids Institute was “one of the largest and most successful medical research institutes in Australia,” and that it would “make a significant difference to the health, development and lives of children and young people who need it most.” 

“Research has shown the earlier therapy starts, the better the results, and this new service will go a long way to offering support for children with autism and their families,” Hammond said.

The Government’s support for this project reflects our deep commitment to medical research, and ensuring it is translated into clinical practice.

Through the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), and the $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund, we are bringing together researchers, clinicians and - where appropriate - entrepreneurs.

This allows our brilliant researchers, such as Professor Whitehouse, to apply their findings to improve, protect and save lives.

The Government is also providing hundreds of millions of dollars for clinical trials, including new infrastructure to ensure children and adults from rural areas can take part in trials.

As an example, under the “patients” stream of the MRFF 10-year plan, we have committed $614 million for Clinical Trials for Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Needs.

Health and medical research is one of the four pillars of the Morrison Government’s Long-Term National Health Plan.

The 2019–20 Federal Budget provided a record total of $9 billion over the next 10 years to support Australia’s health and medical research sector, the future of Australian medicine, and to improve medical services and treatments for Australian families when they need it most.