Autism Awareness Month: How Mable can support

Two women talking together over coffee.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the uniqueness of those who live with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and empower them to live fully. April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day and over the entire month, awareness of autism is promoted to dispel myths and encourage compassion and kindness.

Mable provides a way for people on the autism spectrum — or their supporters — to connect with independent support workers, who can deliver support in many different ways, from companionship and helping to increase independence.

The need for autism support continues to grow, with thousands of people posting jobs for autism-related support on the Mable platform since last year.

Find autism support through Mable

Children and adults with autism can access a range of supports through Mable. Assistance through an independent support worker on Mable can be in many forms:

  • Being driven to/from appointments
  • Companionship, such as taking a walk, going to the movies, going shopping, attending support groups, or simply getting a coffee
  • Guidance with studying, tutoring or other educational
  • Engagement in sporting or extra-curricular activities
  • Practising daily living skills such as cooking or cleaning, managing their computer
  • Applying for university or a new job
  • Using public transport or participating in community activities.

Why choose independent support workers on Mable?

Freedom of choice and control

Through Mable, you have the freedom to select the independent support worker you want in your home, the hours you want them to work with you and how much you want to pay. When you sign up as a client on the Mable platform, you get to read support worker profiles, choose the one who seems like a great fit and then organise a free-of-cost meet-and-greet (by phone, video chat or in person).

As you go along, you can build a great team of supports through Mable to suit your needs.

Specially trained support workers

On Mable, independent support workers who provide support to people with autism are equipped to do so in meaningful ways. Through our Learning Hub, support workers on the Mable platform can take a comprehensive and fully subsidised Autism 101 training course. The course covers how autistic people process information and understand the world and provides proven practical strategies to assist them in providing support.

How Mable clients are finding their lives improving through autism support

Shaun, a 37-year-old Brisbane client, is diagnosed with Level 2 autism and experiences challenges around executive function. His support workers help him organise his activities, assists with cooking, cleaning and running errands, and participating in a gym program.

Shaun says the support he receives around meal preparation is vital. “My cooking skills are pretty limited to basic foods but with a support worker, I have a much healthier experience all round.”

When Shaun travelled to Melbourne, he connected with a local support worker he found on Mable, who kept Shaun entertained during the lockdown and also accompanied him to exercise in the park.

“I felt very safe with Jarrod,” Shaun explained. “We were able to work out in the parks because the gyms were closed and Jarrod showed me how to do a whole routine using a Theraband.”

Another client, Kathy Divine, who is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome runs a YouTube channel, Ask the Aspie. Through Mable, she was able to connect with an independent support worker who could teach her how to edit videos and also develop design skills for the magazine she runs, Australian Vegans Journal.

Kathy has built a support team through Mable, who help her with cleaning, transport and social and community participation. She says that thanks to receiving the right support, she feels confident when out into the community, which is important in achieving her work goals.

For Annabel, mum to high-schooler Henry who is diagnosed with autism, finding the right support has been life changing for her son. Henry had been experiencing a great deal of challenges in the public school system, so Annabel decided to home-school him instead. This meant there weren’t enough opportunities to socialise and Henry spent a lot of time alone.

After discovering Mable, Annabel was able to connect with support worker Darryl, an older gentleman whose own grandsons live with autism. Darryl takes Henry fishing and bushwalking, teaches him various practical skills like woodworking and using garden tools and has been instrumental in helping Henry to regain his trust in adults aside from family and friends.

“Over time, Darryl learnt Henry’s behavioural signals and knows when he can push him or when to back off,” Annabel says. “He latched on to Henry’s interests quickly, and keeps him engaged over the two-to-three-hour sessions they have together.”

Autism: the positives and the myths

Myth: Girls aren’t autistic. This is simply not true. Boys are likelier to get diagnosed with autism, but that doesn’t mean it’s more prevalent among boys.

Myth: Those with autism are non-verbal. There are so many people with autism who are extremely verbal. Some people use different communication techniques such as sign language and picture exchange communication system.

Myth: Socially active people don’t have autism. Autism is a spectrum, so people with autism can have several personality types. Some are quiet, some aren’t. Some are shy, others social.

People with autism tend to:

  • Have an amazing ability to remember facts
  • Be visual thinkers
  • Pay close attention to details that others might miss
  • Be forthright and honest
  • Be focussed and creative.

Want to find out more? Check out these great resources on Autism Awareness Centre and CBC.