Formation of the Australian Autism Alliance Announced

Media Release

The enormous potential of autistic Australians is not being realised.

On the eve of International Day of People with a Disability (3 December), a pioneering network of organisations have come together to announce the formation of the Australian Autism Alliance. It brings together autistic people, their parents and carers, service providers and researchers.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out across Australia, "autism and related conditions" is the most common primary disability across the NDIS. The Quarterly Report to the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) by the Disability Reform Council in June 2016 reports that "autism and related conditions" account for 31% of NDIS participants across the country.

Autism diagnoses in Australia continue to grow in 2016

Media Release

The latest national data shows the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to grow at a substantial rate. In June 2016, there were 78,951 autistic children getting Carer Allowance (child) which is an increase of 9.4% from 2015. Another 2,000 children listed autism in their next three disabilities. In June 2015 there were 72,184 children and in June 2004, there were 14,495 children aged 0-15 years getting Carer Allowance (child) with ASD as their first-listed disability.

Just over 6,000 children were diagnosed with autism in the 2015-16 financial year; an average of 16.5 new autistic children each day. Over 2.46% of children aged 10-14 years are autistic.

In 2016, there are 62,609 boys and 16,342 girls. The male to female ratio is 3.8:1. There is serious concern that many girls miss out on diagnoses and on the services and supports that they need.

ASD, early intervention and the NDIS

With a recent video, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released a bit of information about its NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach as it affects autistic children. Regrettably, The NDIS ECEI Approach falls well short of best practice early intervention (EI) for autistic children.

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, a national grass-roots ASD advocacy group known as A4, applauds the NDIA’s intention to help children with disability into EI as quickly as possible. However, A4 is concerned that the NDIS ECEI Approach:

  • avoids diagnoses and does not recognise the distinct nature of ASD and the distinct needs of autistic children;
  • does not provide the impartial and comprehensive advice that parents need so they can make informed choices about EI for their autistic children;

  • rejects expert advice that autistic children need intensive individualised ASD-specific and comprehensive EI; and

  • diverts families from effective (evidence-based best practice) EI for their autistic children.

Reconsider your perception of autism, pleads mother of two autistic children

I am a 43-year-old autistic wife and mother to two beautiful autistic children. Our family is what I like to describe as ‘neurodivergent’: our brain and thought process is different to others based on our genetic make up. So it was with shock and disbelief when I learned that four people from the one family had died on Monday 17 October in Davidson, NSW. 

Stress, despair in care of children with autism

They say that the mother of a child with autism experiences a level of stress comparable to that of a combat soldier.

Grace Fava certainly did.

Her two boys, now aged 15 and 13, were diagnosed with autism at the ages of three and two respectively and the family plunged into near-constant crisis, including a three-year period of faeces smearing and several terrifying occasions when they escaped naked from the windows.

"In the early days it was horrendous," Ms Fava said.

2000 sufferers shut out of NDIS in the ACT

, Social Affairs reporter

The future of the $22 billion Nation­al Disability Insurance Scheme has been thrown into ­crisis after as many as 2000 people with serious mental health conditions and disabilities were shut out of the program in the ACT, the first jurisdiction to fully adopt the new model.

The territory scheme reached its “target” of 5075 clients within hours of full rollout on September 30. Newly eligible people have been turned away and told to wait for a vacancy, which is typically only available when someone in the NDIS dies.

The ACT is a test case for what experts say is likely to happen when the scheme in other states reaches maturity in 2019-20.

letter/email to David Bowen, NDIA CEO, on NDIS Early Intervention

Dear Mr Bowen,

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4), the national grassroots advocacy group for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is alarmed and disappointed by the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA’s) video on Facebook (see https://www.facebook.com/NDISAus/videos/594542027373310/ … a transcript is given below) about how its Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach is meant to work for autistic children. Disappointingly, this video shows that the NDIA continues to ignore/rejects expert advice and the peer reviewed research literature that defines best practice (and evidence-based) early intervention (EI) for autistic children (see http://a4.org.au/node/843).

The NDIA’s video features Michelle and her children (hopefully not their real names). While the following is critical of the video’s content, it is not intended to criticise Michelle who appears to be doing her best for her children. The NDIA is wholly responsible for the content of the video.

Gender stereotypes have made us horrible at recognizing autism in women and girls

In August, the National Autistic Society called on medical professionals to change the way they diagnose women and girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ever since the term autism was first coined by Hans Asperger in 1944, it has remained predominantly, if anecdotally, associated with men and boys. As a result, women with the condition may be being overlooked, even as the public becomes increasingly aware of its existence.

Pages

Subscribe to Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia RSS