Susanne Nelson and Associates

Autism Spectrum Disorders


What does an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) mean to Susanne Nelson & Associates?

There is so much information about ASDs on the Internet today and numerous books and resources available for parents, professionals and others wanting to learn more on this area.  It can be a very overwhelming experience for those families who have just been told their child has an “Autism Spectrum Disorder”.  Finding professionals and support people who really understand ASDs is one of the most important first steps in yours and your child’s journey.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders and working with individuals with an ASD is Susanne’s passion and has been since she was a 19 year-old, when she first met a young single mother with three children who all had an ASD.  Susanne continues to hold this passion and commitment in assisting children and their families to see ASDs as a gift and a special difference, rather than a disability or disorder of impairment.


SNAA's therapy focus for a child with an ASD

Along with Susanne, the SNAA Therapists always see and treat your child as a “child” first.  They focus on learning about your child’s learning profile, which includes their interests, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses and all areas of their development.

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At SNAA, the Therapist’s initial focus is to build the rapport and therapeutic relationship with your child to help them learn more about how they interpret and process this world.  With your support and knowledge of your child, SNAA’s

Therapists then use this information to assist the adults surrounding your child to understand his/ her needs, wants and personality.

At the core of the SNAA Therapy model is to ensure the SNAA Therapists are always addressing and monitoring the below three areas:

  1. Your child’s self esteem
  2. How calm they are
  3. Their sense of security in their educational / home environment

We recognise that children with an ASD can present uniquely and do not necessarily behave the same way or demonstrate the same skills as what has been written in the text books and articles about children with an ASD.

We see and believe in the potential that every child has and work hard with you, your family and the educational staff surrounding your special boy or girl in assisting them to fulfil their potential.


Skill development for children with an ASD

The SNAA Therapists pride themselves in having and maintaining a high sound knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders.  We understand the difficulties your child may have in the following areas of their development:

  • Social and emotional skills
  • Language and the social use of language
  • Flexible thinking and adaptive behaviours
  • Sensory processing
  • Routines, rituals and self care activities
  • Play and motor skills

With this knowledge and understanding of how having an ASD can impact on your child’s development and their roles as a child, sibling, student, friend, etc, we strive to assist you and those surrounding your child to understand and appreciate the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what to do’!  Examples include learning how to teach your child to:

  • girl exclamationsGreet someone appropriately
  • Sit quietly in a classroom setting to listen to a teacher and participate in the curriculum
  • Have a go at a boring, hard or non-preferred task
  • Cope when change occurs and learning that something different can be a good thing
  • Share or wait for a turn when playing with a friend/ sibling
  • Know how to enter or exit play appropriately with a group of peers/ friends
  • How to cope when expectations are not met or when they don’t get their own way
  • Be independent in their self care activities
  • Know what to do when something doesn’t feel, move, smell, taste, see or hear the right way
  • Articulate their emotions and thoughts to another person
  • Calm their bodies down when stressed


Further Information

For diagnostic criteria (information regarding the new DSM V criteria for ASD) and Autism information for theory, definitions and support, please refer to the below links:

Amaze –

Diagnosis of ASDs –

Latrobe University –