A gap in NDIS funding means many young people with high functioning autism who struggle to master social skills are not getting the support they need.
Pinarc Disability Support chief executive Marianne Hubbard said parents had raised concerns with her about their teenage and young adult children barely leaving the house because of their poor social skills, and few options for them to get assistance.
In response the service has secured separate funding through Health and Community Care to set up a social skills program for young people with high functioning autism.
"Many of these children have dropped out of school but lack the social skills to interact with the community, so they are staying at home," Ms Hubbard said.
"There are a lot of people falling through the gaps who are not eligible for NDIS, so we are putting some HACC funding toward setting up a social skills group for young people with autism who are high functioning."
The program, which will be held weekly, will focus on the interests of its participants and build social skills in to their learning activities.
"They find it really difficult to interact socially, don't read cues, don't understand how to react but might be really interested in gaming and they are quite smart but find it really difficult to live in the world, so the idea of going to a big group is really difficult," Ms Hubbard said.
"They are older and might be dropping out of school because it's too difficult. Parents have got nothing for them so this is about trying to start a connection to the community by building activities they are interested in and social skills to try to help them in to the community."
Ms Hubbard said many people with high functioning autism fell through the NDIS funding gap leaving families with few funded options to support their children. "We held a community forum and one of the things we heard parents say was that there was nothing for them and they couldn't get them out of the house."
Pinarc will also look to support younger children with no NDIS support funding to help build their social skills through access to school holiday programs.
Anyone interested in the program can call Pinarc Disability Support on 5329 1300.
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