Marymead Autism Centre

The Marymead Autism Centre is located at Marymead’s Yarralumla ACT site and provides services and support to individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In August 2016, Marymead merged with ‘Autism Asperger ACT’ (AAACT), a local not for profit organisation that dated back to the late 1970’s.

Autism Centre brochure Autism Centre brochure (2621 KB)

What is Autism?


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong development disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and the world around them. It is a spectrum condition, which means that while all people with autism share certain areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in different ways.

A prevalence study by the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2007 concluded that one in 160 Australian children aged between six and 12 years old have an Autism Spectrum Disorder – equating to over 10,000 Australian children. However, more recent studies suggest this figure could in fact be around one in 100 children (Centres of Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). This means that the condition is now more common than cerebral palsy, diabetes, deafness, blindness and leukaemia combined.

ASD - Frequently Asked Questions ASD - Frequently Asked Questions (356 KB)


Our Services

To access our services, please contact Marymead Intake team on 6162 5859 or email us at

Information and Referrals

Contact us to learn about getting an autism diagnosis, the NDIS and other autism specific information and referrals to services, events and activities in the Canberra area. Email us your enquiries at or call 6162 5800.

NDIS Pre-Planning

The Marymead Autism Centre can provide pre-planning support to assist you prepare and plan for access to the NDIS for ACT residents. We can help with the Access Request form, assist with developing your goals and attend the NDIS planning meeting with you for support.

NDIS Support Coordination

If you already have an NDIS plan, we can help you to understand the plan and implement it by providing autism-specific support coordination services. We are NDIS registered in ACT and NSW for support coordination.

Support for Your NDIS Review

Do you have an NDIS review coming up? Contact us to help you prepare for your review. For existing clients, please get in touch with your Support Coordinator (if you haven’t been contacted already). For new clients, please contact the Marymead Intake Team on 6162 5859. In the meantime, please contact your therapists and providers ASAP so that they can produce progress reports in time to take to your NDIS review.

NDIS Plan Management

The Marymead Autism Centre can provide plan management services. A plan manager takes care of paying the invoices from providers. Plan management funding is provided in some NDIS plans, the NDIS item is “Improved Life Choices”.

Autism Community Awareness and Training

We can deliver general autism awareness training to your organisation and we can also tailor specific training suited to your needs to build your capacity in understanding autism. Contact us at to arrange a consultation and discussion about your training needs.

Marymead Autism Centre Library

We have an excellent collection of autism spectrum specific material available for loan to help you increase your understanding of the autism spectrum. We have text books, fiction, children’s literature, board games, DVDs and more available. Please make an appointment with the Autism Centre for access to the library. Books can be returned at the main Marymead reception desk.

Marymead Autism Centre Newsletter

Keep up to date on what is happening in the Marymead Autism Centre such as workshops, support groups, social groups and access days. The newsletter also has information on what’s happening in and around Canberra that might be useful for people on the autism spectrum.

Subscribe to the Marymead Autism Centre mailing list by filling out the email field below.


Early Days Workshops

Marymead Autism Centre has registered Early Days facilitators to run Early Days workshops. Early Days workshops are for parents, family and carers of children 6 years and under with an autism diagnosis or currently going through the assessment and diagnosis process.

The next Early Days workshop is "My Child and Autism" and will be held on Friday 23 February, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. The workshop will be held at Marymead, Yarralumla. Please register your attendance online. There is no cost to attend the workshop.

This workshop will cover the following topics:
• understanding autism
• what autism looks like for your child and your family
• how you can make a difference
• navigating the NDIS.


Support Groups

The Canberra Autism Women’s Group

Facilitated by Jeanette Purkis, the group offers support to women on the autism spectrum and mothers of daughters on the autism spectrum. The discussion group meets on the first Thursday of the month from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm in the Orpheus Room at the Hellenic Club in Woden. No bookings required.

ASD Carer Support Groups

Connect with other parents and carers of children and young adults on the autism spectrum. Evening support groups on the south side will be held on the second Thursday of the month at Marymead (Rheinbeger Centre, Corner Loch and Weston Streets, Yarralumla). Daytime support groups on the north side will be held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at Carers ACT (2/80 Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt). A representative from Marymead Autism Centre and Carers ACT will be in attendance at both groups.

Men's Autism Support Group

This group is for young men, men on the autism spectrum and fathers of children on the autism spectrum. Meet and discuss issues with other men on the autism spectrum while offering each other support. The group is facilitated by a representative from Marymead. These meetings will be held on the 4th Thursday of each month. This group is held at Marymead, Rheinberger Centre, Yarralumla.

SibworkS - A Siblings Program for Siblings

A six week program at the Cook Community Hub. This program is for siblings (8 to 13 years) living with a brother or sister on the Autism Spectrum. Support for siblings helps them feel less isolated and to be more able to manage any challenges they face. They will feel more important in the family and be less likely to develop their own health problems down the track. Support in fact, contributes to siblings being able to gain inspiration, competence and independence leading to improved self esteem. This program is funded for individuals who do NOT have a NDIS package.

Support Group for Grandparents

This group provides education and support for grandparents of individuals on the autism spectrum. The group meets on the first Thursday of the month from 7:00pm to 8:30 pm at Marymead (Rheinberger Centre, corner of Loch & Weston Streets, Yarralumla). The first meeting will be on Thursday 5 April.

Support Group for Partners

This group is for people living with a partner on the autism spectrum. The group meet every third Thursday of the month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at Marymead (Rheinberger Centre, corner of Loch & Weston Streets, Yarralumla). The first meeting will be on Thursday 19 April 2018.


Social Groups

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons is a role-playing game that encourages teamwork, collaboration, problem solving and develops social skills in a fun and engaging way. Teens and young adults on the autism spectrum can come along once a week during school terms. We currently have 3 weekly Dungeons & Dragons groups running on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Cooking Connections @ Kids Pantry

Marymead Autism Centre and Kids Pantry (7 Geils Court, Deakin) have joined to develop a cooking program for young adults (16 years +). The Cooking Connections program teaches basic cooking skills, kitchen hygiene and meal preparation. The program is held on Fridays (during school terms) from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. The cost per session is $20 which includes the food you take away for lunch.

Play and Stay

Play and Stay is a board game session where parents stay and play with their children (7 - 14 years), where they are encouraged to facilitate social interactions between their children and the other participants. Cost is $5 per child or $15 per family for the 2 hour session. The session will be held on the third Saturday of the month at Looking For Gamers, 3/3 Primmer Ct, Kambah.

LEGO® Builders Group

The LEGO® Builders Group is for children aged between 5 and 12 on the autism spectrum and their siblings. Kids can come along and enjoy building something new or from the instructions while developing their problem solving, fine motor and social skills. Parents are invited to participate or to stay and have a cup of tea and a chat to other parents. The group runs from 10:00 am to 11:30 am across two locations, Southern Cross Club, Woden (1st Sunday of the month) and Marymead, Yarralumla (3rd Sunday of the month).


Access Days

Marymead Autism Centre is grateful for the business in the Canberra community who have embraced inclusive practices and have agreed to hold Access Days. Guests on the Autism Spectrum, along with their families and friends, can enjoy early entry to activities before they open to the general public. Depending on the activity, some modifications will be made to accommodate people on the autism spectrum. To assist the community in building their capacity to accommodate people on the autism spectrum, the Marymead Autism Centre also provides training to staff on ‘Understanding the Autism Spectrum’.

The next scheduled Access Days are:

• Flip Out (Sunday 18 February at 8:00 am)
• National Zoo and Aquarium (Sunday 25 February at 8:45 am)
• Inflatable World (Friday 2 March at 3:30 pm)
• Rock Climbing (Saturday 17 March at 9:00 am)