Australian-first National Guideline to better support autistic children

Autistic children and their families will be better supported with Australia’s first national practice guidelines to promote the early development of autistic children, their participation in childhood activities and their overall wellbeing.

The National Guideline for supporting the learning, participation, and wellbeing of autistic children and their families has been developed by the Commonwealth-funded Autism CRC in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s framework for best practice guidelines.

Autistic children deserve a childhood full of love, family, fun, learning and personal discovery. They should be safe, have their rights respected, and be supported. Many autistic children experience challenges to their learning, participation, and wellbeing.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Guideline will help practitioners better understand what early supports may be needed to create a positive and bright future for autistic children and tailor their support.

Around 1 in 70 Australians have been diagnosed with autism.

The recent announcement of $2 million in Commonwealth funding to the Autism CRC and commencement of work on the National Autism Strategy will also support the implementation of this Guideline.

“Our Government has a clear and dedicated vision to improve the lives of all autistic people,” Minister Rishworth said.

“By working closely with the autism community and making sure their voices are at the centre of policy making, we are committed to improving research and supports and to ensure no one gets left behind.

“This Guideline is an important step, outlining 84 recommendations to support consistent, effective and efficient delivery of evidence-based supports for autistic children up to 12 years of age. The evidence-based and inclusive development of this Guideline is a demonstration of how the Government will develop its National Autism Strategy.”

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said the Guideline was developed by Autism CRC in line with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s framework for best practice guidelines.

“The Guideline will help practitioners in the development and delivery of evidence-based supports,” Minister Butler said.

“This Guideline was developed with practitioners and researchers alongside autistic adults and their families, bringing together clinical evidence and lived experience.”

Of the 84 Recommendations, each include a set of Good Practice Points covering:

  • the guiding principles for the provision of supports for autistic children and their families;
  • setting appropriate goals for supports;
  • selecting and planning supports;
  • the delivery of supports; and
  • monitoring, reviewing and safeguarding outcomes and quality. 

For more information about the Guideline, visit