Suit - Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist or Psychologist

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1 PART A: POSITION DESCRIPTION Position Title: Early Intervention Specialist Suit - Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist or Psychologist Unit: Reporting to: Location: Position Status: Aspect Building Blocks Early Intervention for Autism Program Manager, Early Intervention (Aspect Building Blocks) Itinerant positions Fixed-term (funding dependant) full-time or part-time Ethos Building Blocks is A comprehensive family centered early intervention service that empowers parents and assists their skills in nurturing their child s development. 1. Position Purpose Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is the country s largest not-for-profit autism specific service provider. Aspect builds confidence and capacity with people who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), their families and communities by providing information, education and other services. The Early Intervention Specialist (EIS) uses a family-centred approach to meet the needs of each child and family; they work in partnership with parents, colleagues and other services to develop and focus on the child s specific goals. They strive to build capacity within the family and the child s additional services in order for them to have the knowledge and abilities to promote each child s ongoing skill development. The EIS provides home and centre-based consultations, therapy services, and preschool/school support to young children with an ASD and their families. The EIS may also provide support to children within the school environment, as part of the Helping children with Autism (HCWA) package funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). The EIS is a member of a transdisciplinary team that includes Special Educators/Teachers, Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and the Program Manager of Aspect Early Intervention. 2. Reporting, Team and Client Relationships This position reports to the Program Manager of Aspect Early Intervention. 1

2 3. Major Challenges and Impact on Change 3.1 To establish effective working relationships with parents, members of the team and other service providers. 3.2 To empower and transfer knowledge and skills to parents, members of the team and other service providers in relation to the key developmental areas of emotional, social, play, communication, pre-academic learning, sensory processing and behavioural needs of young children with an ASD. 3.3 To assist/support families with decisions about schooling options and provide information about otheravailable services they can access. 3.4 Flexibility in providing services to meet the needs of parents in line with the Building Blocks ethos and Aspect values and policy. 3.5 To comply with current FaHCSIA and New South Wales Government guidelines when providing intervention services to families through funded services. 3.6 To effectively manage time in order to provide a quality service as an itinerant worker. 4. Key Responsibilities 1. To implement home-based and centre-based programs targeting the key developmental areas of emotional, social, communication, pre-academic learning and sensory processing skill development utilising play as the medium in ways that are responsive to the changing needs of families and children with an ASD. 1.1 Develop, deliver and evaluate individual and group programs to young children (aged 0-6 years) with an ASD within the home and in the community. 1.2 Ensure that services and programs are in accordance with principles of contemporary evidence based practice regarding early childhood interventions for young children with an ASD. 1.3 Support children s achievement of key developmental and functional outcomes through play and across their everyday routines, places and activities. 1.4 Involve parents in all aspects of each child s program to ensure that their priorities are integrated in the assessment and intervention process, through family-centred practice. This also includes taking cultural and family beliefs into consideration to ensure that all programs build capacity within families so they can foster their child s development after they have completed the Aspect Building Blocks service. 1.5 Involve all other service providers in each child s program to ensure open communication of each child s Individual Education Program in order to ensure generalisation of the child s skills across all settings. 2. Strengthen the capacity of families to support and promote the development of their young child with an ASD through the contribution and development of individual educational programs (IEP). 2.1 Work in home and community environments providing assessments of strengths and needs of children with an ASD as part of a transdisciplinary team responsible for assessment, program development and evaluation of the progress of children enrolled in Aspect BUILDING BLOCKS Recognise families as the primary agents of developmental change in their children and promote and support their participation in all aspects of program development, delivery and evaluation. 2.3 Work in partnership with individual families to ensure that their goals and priorities are 2

3 identified in the development and evaluation of IEPs, that family life is at the centre of interventions and that they play a key role in decisions regarding their children. 2.4 Assist families to understand their children s strengths, abilities and special needs and build their capacity to help their children develop and learn. 2.5 Use of formal, informal and dynamic assessments within the Building Blocks Therapy service (for Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy) for the purposes of developing an IEP for the child with an ASD. 2.6 Contribute to the development, implementation and evaluation of the IEP and subsequent individual program for referred clients. IEP s will include goals and strategies that will be implemented in the home and community and adhere to the Aspect ethos. 2.7 Communicate goals and outcomes to families and other services for each child, through concise written IEPs, progress reviews and reports. This may include therapy-specific assessment reports for Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy. 2.8 Maintain files, notes, statistics and records in relation to client programs in a manner consistent with Aspect Policy on Access to Information, and confidentiality and according to the requirements of funding agencies such as the Department of Education and Training (DET), Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) and Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). 3. Provide consultancy support to team members, families and other professionals as appropriate to optimize outcomes for young children with an ASD and their families. 3.1 Liase and support Aspect staff in assessing and developing programs for individual clients, particularly in domains outside their direct discipline, as part of the IEP process. 3.2 Support team members to assist them to develop transdisciplinary programs for individual clients, as part of the IEP process. 3.3 Include families as members of the team and strengthen their capacity to support the learning and development of their young children with an ASD. 3.4 As part of a multidisciplinary team, support the transition of clients to less specialised educational settings. This is likely to include the provision of direct and indirect training for other professionals. 3.5 Contribute to the development of individual and general preschool programs in consultation with other team members. 4. Participate in Aspect training and publication development as appropriate. 4.1 Contribute to Aspect information and training activities relevant to professional expertise as appropriate. 4.2 Provide current information about ASD, communication, play, self help skills, social skills and sensory interventions to parents, community groups and other professionals. 3

4 4. Maintain own professional development 4.1 Participate in Aspect training and development activities to keep knowledge and skills related to ASD s up to date. 4.2 Participate in approved research projects as appropriate. 4.3 Develop own goals through personal work plan through as part of Support and Supervision. 4.4 Access Aspect s Support and Supervision program through allocated lead practitioner. 4.5 Access professional development outside of Aspect as appropriate. 5. Documentation, Policies and Procedures 5.1 To keep and maintain client records according to appropriate ethical and professional standards, particularly in accordance with the policies of Autism Spectrum Australia. 5.2 To become familiar with, and provide services in accordance with, the policies of Aspect. 5.3 To write reports for parents and other professionals when required. 5.4 To participate in regular Early Intervention team and cluster meetings. 5.5 To maintain billing records and submit on time to allocated lead practitioner. 6. Work, Health & Safety Report unsafe conditions or practices, and make suggestions to their manager on improving work health & safety at Aspect. Take reasonable care of the health and safety of themselves and others, and cooperate in their efforts to comply with work health & safety requirements, (Part 2, Division 4 of the Act), and must : o take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety o take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons o comply, so far as the worker is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the person conducting the business or undertaking to allow the person to comply with this act o cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the person conducting the business or undertaking relating to the health or safety at the workplace that has been notified to workers Participate in the staff consultation process about work health & safety matters as provided under the Act (Part 5, Division 1 of the Act), contributing as required to decisions affecting their health, safety and welfare. PART B: SELECTION CRITERIA 1. Qualifications Will have a relevant tertiary qualification in: Occupational Therapy or Speech Pathology or Psychologist 4

5 Eligibility for registration with their appropriate professional organisation. Evidence of relevant accreditation. 2. Knowledge, Skills and/or Experience Experience and skills in Occupational Therapy/Speech Pathology/Psychology. Experience in working with young children with a disability. Experience delivering early intervention programs to children under 6 years who have an ASD or similar disabilities. Experience with family-centred practice. Experience in or understanding of the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) initiative implemented by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). A strong understanding of collaborative work with other professionals and agencies. A strong Autism Spectrum Disorder knowledge base. Excellent communication, documentation and negotiation skills. Ability to work as an itinerant worker. Team player who is able to communicate with team members well without direct contact on a regular basis. 3. Competencies Collaboration Working effectively with others in the organisation to accomplish goals and to obtain information. Sensitivity Taking actions that indicate a consideration for the feelings and needs of others; being aware of the impact of one s own behaviour on others. Planning and organising Establishing a course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a specific goal; planning appropriate allocation of resources. Motivational fit The extent to which job activities and responsibilities, the organisation s mode of operation and values, and the community we serve are consistent with the type of environment that provides personal satisfaction, the degree to which work itself is personally satisfying. Technical/Professional knowledge Having achieved a satisfactory level of technical and professional skills/knowledge in job-related areas; keeping abreast of current developments and trends in areas of expertise. Tolerance for stress Maintaining stable performance under pressure and/or opposition (such as time pressure or job ambiguity); relieving stress in a manner that is acceptable to the person, others and the organisation. 5

6 PART C: KEY SELECTION CRITERIA KSC1: Degree in Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy or Early Childhood or Special Education. KSC2: Current driver s licence. KSC 3: Experience delivering early intervention programs to children under 6 years who have Autism or similar disabilities. KSC 4: Experience with family-centred practice. KSC 5: Experience in or understanding of the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) initiative implemented by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). KSC 6: A strong understanding of collaborative work with other professionals and agencies. KSC 7: A strong Autism Spectrum Disorder knowledge base. KSC 8: Flexibility to work across Building Blocks service programs. KSC 9: Excellent communication, documentation and negotiation skills. KSC 10: Ability to plan and carry out relevant professional development. PART D: SIGN OFF Position Prepared by: Rachel Kerslake Date: Position Approved by: Mark Schlosser Date: 6

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