Anita Aherne, founder of Kids on the Spectrum – Australian Autism Directory, is a multi-award winning entrepreneur for the following categories in our 2020 AusMumpreneur VIC-TAS Awards

  • Gold winner – Big Idea
  • Gold winner – Making a Difference (Community)

Kids on the Spectrum is Australia’s only autism directory listing autism friendly and autism aware services, businesses, products and events.

Their aim is to help parents and carers locate the vast amount of resources available. It was difficult finding all of these services in one spot and it was important to change that.

Kids on the Spectrum is also excited to be able to support small business who offer inclusive resources, giving them a platform to reach parents and consumers of their products and services.

When did you start your business?

We launched Dec 2019.

What was the inspiration behind starting this business?

As a parent of an autistic child I found the process of locating services for my child time consuming and frustrating. I decided to change that narrative for all carers of autistic kids by creating this free national online directory.

What are you most excited about in your business?

I am most excited about making a positive impact in the lives of parents and carers. I am also excited about reforming the way we talk about autism and supporting those businesses who are inclusive.

What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?

Understanding the technical side of web page design. Being the first autism directory we had no inspiration or guidance. We had to design it, build it and learn what makes a truly accessible site. We are still improving our site to this day.

What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?

Don’t over think it. You often find obstacles before they even exist. Trust your gut and just go for it! If you have a passion for it and stay authentic you will succeed.

Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?

I wanted coverage for my business, plus I wanted to prove myself worthy. I had self-doubt and thought I needed a bit of a push and motivation.

What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?

The connections I made. There are some very talented women out there who are more than willing to share their business success secrets. They are generous and the community as a whole want to build each other up.

What surprised you most about the awards?

The willingness to build each other up, and the willingness to share information with each other. It is a very empowering space.

How did the awards help you in your business?

I gained clients, friends and of course, some great strategies to build my business further.

What advice would you give to others mums thinking about entering the awards?

Just do it, you will learn so much about your businesses and how to move forward in a positive way.

What has been the best thing about starting your own business?

The feeling of fulfillment in helping others, knowing you are involved in a project bigger than yourself. I also love the fact that my children see me making a positive contribution to the disability sector.

What’s happening next in your business?

We are getting noticed by main stream media which is great, it means more carers can locate us. It also means we have an opportunity to generate more income to give back the autism sector!

What are your big plans for the future?

We are hoping to expand our income so we can start employment opportunities for carers. Giving them the opportunity to return to flexible work hours so they can continue to support their disabled children.

To learn more about Australian Autism Directory managed by neurodiverse parents, please visit the website, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.


The 2021 Global Business Mothers Awards recognise the best and brightest mothers in business globally, acknowledging success in business & innovation.

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