Girls with ASD support group

Girls with ASD support group

Supporting the unique socio-emotional needs of girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Program details

Tuesday group, 4pm (for girls who participated in this program earlier this year)
Thursday group, 4pm (for girls who are new to this program)
Online via Zoom

About the program

This is a 10-week support group for girls with ASD aged between 11-16 where girls can explore a range of topics, such as:

  • Self-identity/ About Me
  • Self-concept
  • Resilience
  • Managing stress and anxiety
  • Communication skills
  • Relationships
  • Conflict resolution and problem-solving
  • Creating a toolbox of strategies

Participants will be split into smaller groups based on age and needs.

The groups are structured to allow girls opportunities to bring their own topics of conversation and to provide the time and space to contribute to decision-making in the group.

Parents are invited to join a support group facilitated by provisional psychologists. The support group provides opportunities to network with other parents. Presentations are prepared based on parents' needs and interests.

Pre and post program information will be gathered to support the development of the program and monitor progress over time.

Why is this program for girls only?

Autism has been traditionally diagnosed at a ratio of 1 girl to 3 or 4 boys. However, there is growing evidence that girls present with autism differently to boys and therefore are often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

There is also growing evidence that ASD girls have different socio-emotional needs to ASD boys, and require different intervention strategies. A recent study by Wator and Paradis (to be published in 2020) has revealed that parents of girls with autism feel that groups specifically for girls were much needed.

This program was specifically designed to respond to the unique needs of ASD girls in mind and is based on the most recent research into the autism of girls.

Program background

This program has been designed with the support of different resources such as

  • The ASD Girls’ Wellbeing Toolkit - An evidence-based programme promoting Mental, Physical and Emotional Health (Rae & Such, 2019)
  • The School Years/Adolescence - Assessing and Promoting Resilience (Daniel & Wassell, 2002).
  • TalkAbout for Teenagers - Developing Social and Emotional Communication Skills (Kelly Sains, 2018).
  • Parental perceptions of girls with ASD diagnosis process (Wator & Paradis, 2019. Monash University. In writing.)