Locals can consider supporting children with autism by making a tax-deductible donation to the AEIOU Foundation before 30 June.
Bundaberg is home to on of AEIOU's 11 centres across Australia that provides specialist early intervention services for autistic children aged 2-6 years old.
Donations will go towards funding essential resources like educational, communication and play equipment for AEIOU’s evidence-based autism early intervention and early education program, which new research has shown has a significantly positive impact on children's learning and development.
AEIOU has been supporting children and families through its services for 18 years, helping thousands of autistic children live fulfilling lives.
Yara Morales and her twin daughters Pietra and Malu are just one family who have experienced the life-changing benefits of AEIOU's service first-hand.
Yara said that before coming to AEIOU both girls struggled in mainstream childcare but now their lives had changed incredibly.
“I see the way the team at AEIOU is with the children, it is completely different,” she said.
“Not only does the team help the girls, they help me.
“When I found out the girls have autism, I thought, ‘Oh, what can I do? What will their life be like?’, but they are learning so much because of AEIOU.
“I am so proud of them.”
The foundation recently released details from a ground-breaking research project, which revealed key insights into the developmental gains children made while attending AEIOU.
Boasting a digital data library of over 900 children with autism aged two to six, AEIOU has the largest data set of its kind in the country.
This real world data shows:
- On average, children are diagnosed at two years and 11 months old.
- One in three families at AEIOU is culturally and linguistically diverse.
- Almost 8% of the cohort identify as First Nations Australians.
- Around half of all families (47%) come to AEIOU after attempts at mainstream childcare.
- Only 17% of children are toilet trained when they start at AEIOU and on leaving the service, 81% of children are fully toilet trained.
AEIOU CEO Alan Smith said the data demonstrated the significant positive impact of the organisation's services, allowing people to donate with the confidence that their contributions are making an incredible life-changing difference to the lives of autistic children.
“We knew our service made a life-changing difference to children in our care, but it’s fulfilling to see the evidence in black and white and to demonstrate this to the world with compelling real-life data,” Alan said.
For more information on donating to the campaign visit AEIOU’s website here.