Building Community for Coast Families Living with Autism

STEPS Autism Treehouse builds community and connects Sunshine Coast families, children and young people living with Autism.

They provide support to the community with access to resources, life skills programs, education and regular social events. STEPS Deputy Chief Executive Officer Kerry Staines said they are focussed on creating opportunities for young people living with autism and their families to enjoy life to the full and develop meaningful connections with their community.

STEPS Autism Treehouse bring amazing people together

STEPS Autism Treehouse bring amazing people together

“I have always held the view that the best way to support families and young people living with autism is by providing the opportunity to connect with others in their community in a safe, and supported way,” Ms Staines said.

“Key to the success of our services is listening to families to understand what their needs are as they navigate school, social situations and relationships, as well as continual changes to technology, awareness, policy and funding.

“We recently increased our service offering to provide support and social groups for teenagers living with autism which has been really popular.

“We’re continuing to listen to the community and constantly evolving and changing our services so that we can fill the gaps and meet the needs of the community,” she said.

STEPS bring a range of health professionals and autism experts to speak at workshops and presentations throughout the year at their educational workshops to help connect families with the latest information. They will be hosting the inaugural STEPS Sunshine Coast Autism Seminar this October with keynote speaker Professor Tony Attwood.

They also have NDIS Support coordination officers to help with NDIS plan management and support for the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg regions.

To find out more get in touch on 07 5409 9014

Welcome to Holland - An Inspirational Poem


This inspirational poem helped STEPS Autism Treehouse Coordinator Claire through the time of her son’s diagnosis.

Welcome to Holland - By Emily Perl Kingsley

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like you’re planning a vacation to Italy. You’re all excited. You get a whole bunch of guidebooks, you learn a few phrases so you can get around, and then it comes time to pack your bags and head for the airport.

Only when you land, the stewardess says, “WELCOME TO HOLLAND.”

You look at one another in disbelief and shock, saying, “HOLLAND? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I SIGNED UP FOR ITALY.”

But they explain that there’s been a change of plan, that you’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.


But stay, you do.

You go out and buy some new guidebooks, you learn some new phrases, and you meet people you never knew existed.

The important thing is that you are not in a bad place filled with despair. You’re simply in a different place than you had planned.

It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy, but after you’ve been there a little while and you have a chance to catch your breath, you begin to discover that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland has Rembrandts.

But everyone else you know is busy coming and going from Italy. They’re all bragging about what a great time they had there, and for the rest of your life, you’ll say, “YES, THAT’S WHAT I HAD PLANNED.”

The pain of that will never go away.

You have to accept that pain, because the loss of that dream, the loss of that plan, is a very, very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to go to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.