Helping give a voice to children living with autism

Published on
3 May 2019

Aurora Energy is helping give Tasmanian children living with autism a voice, thanks to its Community Grants Program.

Giant Steps Tasmania in Deloraine, a school dedicated to individuals with autism, recently received a $5,000 grant from Aurora Energy to purchase brand new iPads and specialised Proloquo2go apps for its Voices across the Spectrum program.

Proloquo2Go is a symbol-based communication app that gives a voice to those who have difficulty communicating. It is a powerful tool for expressing themselves and increasing their communication skills and language development.

Giant Steps Tasmania Principal Tim Chugg said the power of being able to communicate is taken for granted by most people, but not so by some people with autism.

“Some of our students are non-verbal which means that they talk very little, if at all,” Mr Chugg said.

“For a student to be able to ask to go outside and play, to say they are hungry or even to say ‘hello’ to people is empowering and they are more able to develop relationships with others if they can communicate.

“We find that students who are able to use their iPads to communicate their thoughts and feelings, giving them an actual voice – sometimes for the first time in their life – have fewer incidents of behaviours that can disrupt their learning.”

Aurora Energy CEO Rebecca Kardos said the energy retailer was proud to provide a way to help break down barriers for non-verbal members of the Tasmanian community.

“Our Community Grants Program is specifically designed to help organisations, like Giant Steps Tasmania, to invest in practical solutions,” Ms Kardos said.

“Being able to contribute to this wonderful program ensures that every student at Giant Steps living with autism has a voice.”