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The first national helpline for Australians with autism will provide online, digital and phone-based support services to improve the lives of people on the autism spectrum.

What is Autism Connect?

Autism Connect is a free, national autism helpline, providing independent and expert information over phone, email, and webchat.

It supports autistic people, their families and carers, health professionals, researchers, teachers, employers, and the broader community. The helpline is free, evidence-based, and independent.

Autism Connect advisors offer expert advice in many areas, including:

  • exploring autism and autistic identity
  • assessment and diagnosis support
  • school and education
  • the NDIS
  • transition to employment
  • behaviour and communication strategies
  • referrals to services peer support connections,
  • finding autism-friendly places and events, and
  • making environments accessible.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Morrison Government would provide $8.4 million to expand Autism Connect into a national support service.

“From diagnosis through to adulthood, we want to ensure the more than 200,000 Australian people with autism have the right support to meet their needs and participate fully in the community,” Minister Ruston said.

Amaze’s helpline was previously known as the Autism Advisor service. It was only available in Victoria. Due to the positive impact of this service, it has now been funded to be Australia wide and renamed Autism Connect. The Autism Connect service is funded by the Australian Department of Social Services.

“Autism Connect will be the first national helpline for people with autism and provide independent and expert information in a variety of formats, including online as well as phone, email and web-chat services.

The helpline was originally established with government funding as a pilot project in 2018 to service Victoria and will now be delivered nationally by Amaze, a peak autism body, supported by referral partners across Australia.

Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie said there were many myths and misconceptions about autism and confusion about what support is available for autistic Australians.

“Every autistic person is an individual with unique needs for support and Autism Connect will provide specific guidance and information relevant to each person’s situation, query and location,” Ms Sharkie said.

Autism Connect was developed with input from people on the autism spectrum, as well as experts who work in specific areas including special education and early intervention, and will today be nationally launched at a virtual event by Minister Ruston.

How can I access it?

Autism Connect is a national helpline, so you can use it from anywhere in Australia. You can access this service by phone, email or live chat. It is free, confidential and independent. It is available from 8 am to 7 pm, Monday to Friday.

Please note: Autism Connect is not a counselling service and does not provide healthcare referrals. However, they can give information about accessing these services.

If you need immediate support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Parentline on 13 22 89.

Autism Connect

Phone: 1300 308 699
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web Chat: Chat now
Web: amaze.org.au

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