Autism Spectrum


leaving school and leading your own life

Managing Crises 


Well, here’s hoping you don’t have a major crisis as your son or daughter progresses through these transition years. Fingers crossed.

… but we may as well be realistic and at least provide some ideas of where to go and what to do if you do.

Many things can go wrong for young people during their teenage and young adult years.

Not all families will be affected by aggressive behaviour or the ravages of mental health issues, but some of us definitely will.

And what about we parents, when things get tough with us?


Here are some things that support workers have said to us:


‘This can be when crises of family resilience take place. Families just get exhausted after coping for so long.’


‘There are lots of family crises happening out there and lots of help is needed…’


‘Families have issues and they don’t know about the funding available… there is funding there but no-one has told them about it.


‘Mental health – issue of going into psych unit and doctors thinking the issue is caused by the autism spectrum when it’s not, there’s more going on. It can be hard for explaining the issues the young person has.


‘Behaviour is a barrier to independence and it can be addressed.’



Parents and families – where to find help

If things are getting too much for you, it’s always best to ask for help as early as you can.

You need a good GP who can help you find counselling and can help with medical management.

Don’t forget that carers can access counselling services through Carers NSW , find out more information here.

You might benefit from a Mental Health Care Plan to help fund talking therapies, chat to your GP about this.

You can find a list of all NSW Health services by clicking here.

If you’re in an NDIS area, then your NDIS worker can help with finding respite.

See our section on Funding to make sure you are getting all the financial and respite help possible.

Call the Helplines mentioned – the telephone support people are trained to help you and they want to help get you back on your feet.

You don’t need to be totally desperate to call, it’s fine to call for a chat to help pick you up when times are tough.


Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)

For behavioural issues, the best approach is to use a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) approach.

The main Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) website has a good section on PBS:

Main Positive Behaviour Support

Why do challenging behaviours happen? 

Questions to ask a PBS provider 

Aspect runs workshops and is able to provide funded and private services in some areas of NSW and Victoria. Read more here.

To find other providers, chat to your local ADHC office to see who they can recommend and what funded support may be available.

There are some other ideas on groups that may provide PBS on the Aspect website here:

Who can help? 


How to access emergency mental health help

If you find yourself in an emergency situation where you are concerned for you or your child’s well being, call your nearest hospital or community health centre.

Ask to be put in touch with your local Crisis Assessment or Acute Treatment team.

You can also turn up at your local hospital’s emergency department to seek help.

If you can’t find the number or don’t know what to do, call Lifeline:

Lifeline 13 11 14




Find a comprehensive list of Australian help lines on the beyond blue website here. 

Lifeline 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467



Mental Health Line

You can call for advice and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week across NSW.



ADHC Family Support Services in NSW

If your son or daughter is under 18 years of age there are several intensive family support options offered by ADHC.

See the relevant web page here.


Jenee Mobile – helping to avoid crisis

Jenee Mobile is a not for profit telecom business which can provide adapted mobile phones for people with special needs.

There is a 24/7 help service available. If young people find themselves in difficulty of any sort they can hit the Help button on the phone. This will connect them to someone who is able to assist them.

There is also a GPS locator service, should your young person become lost.

Jenee Mobile website