Marlene Blair with her son Drouin. Photo: Andrew Perryman.

MARLENE Blair and her son Drouin will attend an autism forum in Bendigo next week to learn more about career options and pathways in the city.

Drouin is 11 years old and yet to start high school, but his pathway into work is likely to be different from many other students.

He was diagnosed with autism at three years old and, according to his mother, his care regime is starting to fall into place.

Ms Blair said appointments with specialists such as speech therapists were hard to come by in Bendigo.

The family moved here eight years ago and would love to stay, so Ms Blair is doing research on her son’s career opportunities early.

Drouin already has his own ideas – he wants to be an actor.

Ms Blair has already accessed information for Drouin from advocacy and support organisation Amaze.

Amaze is one of 10 advisors on a state government plan to address support to autistic people and is bringing next Wednesday’s forum to Bendigo.

The Victorian Autism Plan was developed in response to a parliamentary inquiry that highlighted the challenges faced by autistic people and their families in Victoria, and made 101 recommendations to improve services to autistic people.

Amaze chief executive Fiona Sharkie said Bendigo-specific information would be available for families, educators and potential employers.

Topics covered will include education, employment and navigating the NDIS.

The forum is free and will run from 9am to 3.30pm at the Bendigo Town Hall.

To register, go to www.amaze.org.au