Increase Disability Support Pension now to deal with COVID-19

Media Release

People with disability who receive the Disability Support Pension (DSP) urgently need access to the increased Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight, consistent with the Jobseeker Payment and other payments recently announced.

People with disability who are in receipt of DSP are experiencing and facing additional, unforeseen costs in this time of crisis, which is causing significant levels of distress and anxiety, and only serving to further entrench DSP recipients into poverty.

Tasmanian mother of children with autism faces continuing ban from school grounds

Annah Fromberg

One month into the school year, Melinda Walkden's two children, who have autism, are yet to start primary school.

Key points

  • Melinda Walkden was issued with a trespass order in 2018 over claims she abused her daughter's teachers
  • Her autistic daughter had been put in an open cardboard box enclosure in her classroom in 2017
  • The Education Department wants to transfer her two children to a new school but won't lift the trespass order

Report: We look after our own mob

World first research report on Australia's First Peoples experiences of autism

Positive Partnerships is proud to have collaborated with Macquarie University on a new research report titled 'We Look After Our Own Mob: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Experiences of Autism'. On Tuesday 18th February this report was launched at the State Library of New South Wales by the Honourable Linda Burney MP, NSW Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians.

The report shares dialogue and insights from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families on how they feel about the state of autism-related services in their communities, as well as what changes are needed to enable autistic children to feel secure, safe and supported at school. Focus too is placed on how we can all best honour the rights of autistic children to maintain authentic connection to their culture and community.

Submission to Disability Royal Commission on Education of autistic students

On 3/2/2020, A4 sent its belated submission responding to the Disability Royal Commission's (DRC) Issues Paper on Education of students with disability. The submission was due in December, but A4 has limited resources to do this type of work. Hopefully, the DRC will consider A4's submission.

The submission makes the following suggestions to the Royal Commission.

Children's access to disability funding depending on where they live dubbed 'developmental apartheid'

Children with developmental delays such as autism have become the victims of postcode discrimination, with some in poorer suburbs waiting hundreds of days for the crucial diagnosis often needed to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Key points:

  • ABC investigation finds children with disabilities in poorer areas are facing longer wait times
  • One child waited 697 days to be seen, with another on the list for 640 days before being assessed
  • Parents have described the stress their families have endured while they wait

Children with autism in WA 'languishing' in mental health wards, youth advocates say

Rhiannon Shine

Children with autism are languishing in mental health wards for "months", leaving others stuck on emergency departments for days waiting for an admission, according to Western Australia's chief mental health advocate.

Key points:

  • Ms Colvin has written to the State Government calling for urgent action
  • She says one child had to wait up to five days to access urgent mental health care
  • The Government says hospital discharge delays are due to the transition to the NDIS

Early Treatment for Autism Is Critical, New Report Says

Perri Klass, M.D.

Experts urge early identification and referral for treatment, even if a formal diagnosis has not been confirmed.

In December, the American Academy of Pediatrics put out a new clinical report on autism, an extensive document with an enormous list of references, summarizing 12 years of intense research and clinical activity. During this time, the diagnostic categories changed — Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, diagnostic categories that once included many children, are no longer used, and we now consider all these children (and adults) to have autism spectrum disorder, or A.S.D.

TIME 2019 Person of the Year: Greta Thunberg

Charlotte Alter, Suyin Haynes and Justin Worland

Greta Thunberg sits in silence in the cabin of the boat that will take her across the Atlantic Ocean. Inside, there’s a cow skull hanging on the wall, a faded globe, a child’s yellow raincoat. Outside, it’s a tempest: rain pelts the boat, ice coats the decks, and the sea batters the vessel that will take this slight girl, her father and a few companions from Virginia to Portugal. For a moment, it’s as if Thunberg were the eye of a hurricane, a pool of resolve at the center of swirling chaos. In here, she speaks quietly. Out there, the entire natural world seems to amplify her small voice, screaming along with her.

“We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow,” she says, tugging on the sleeve of her blue sweatshirt. “That is all we are saying.”

The Senate: Select Committee on Autism

Media Release

5 December 2019

A new Senate Select Committee on Autism has been established. The committee is made up of politicians who will look into the services, support and life outcomes for autistic people in Australia.

What will the committee look into?

The committee will look at a wide range of issues relating to autism – including diagnosis, education, health including mental health, employment, justice and rights, and housing.

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