National Disability Insurance Scheme builds on Helping Children with Autism success

As Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) celebrates its 10th anniversary, providers and families are looking to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to continue the important work started by the program.

HCWA was introduced by the Australian Government in 2008 to help families access crucial early intervention services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Since its introduction, HCWA has helped almost 53,000 children and their families with more than $550 million in early intervention services including social learning intervention, behaviour management, occupational therapy, speech pathology and cognitive and learning skills.

Adults on the autism spectrum prescribed mental health drugs without diagnoses

Lachlan Gilbert

Off-label prescribing of psychotropic drugs to adults on the autism spectrum could be exposing individuals to harm.

Adults on the autism spectrum are being prescribed mental health drugs in instances where there is limited supporting evidence to do so.

This was one of the findings of a UNSW-led study that looked at the use of psychotropic medication – or medication for mental health problems – by adults on the autism spectrum.

Disability Groups Cautious Over NDIS Independent Assessment Pilot

Luke Michael

Disability advocates say they will be closely watching an independent assessments trial to ensure it achieves its stated aims of fairer access and planning decisions for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants, rather than reducing access to the scheme.

The National Disability Insurance Agency last week announced an independent assessment pilot aimed at improving the consistency, accuracy and reliability of NDIA decision-making.

'Atrocious': People locked out, tied up and left to fester - and nothing police can do

Harriet Alexander

The young man was kept in a garage thick with blowflies and the smell of faeces, feeding on meals left at an outdoor table where the dog also helped itself.

Neighbours observed him wandering the backyard for hours in a state of distress, slapping his face, biting himself, crying and banging on the back door to his family home. He had autism and an intellectual disability.

DAD... a film about autism and fatherhood

Available to watch online now!

DAD... a film about autism and fatherhood is now available to watch online! We're thrilled to share our short documentary with you all! We hope it helps dads (and mums) navigating the world of autism and parenting. Whether you're new to this or have been in it for a while, there are so many powerful messages from these twelve incredible dads that you need to hear. So please watch, share, send us your reviews... and most importantly remember, you are part of a bigger “fraternity of parents who are wonderful”

NDIS is an illusion for people with Complex Needs

Luke Michael

Many National Disability Insurance Scheme recipients with complex and challenging support needs are not seeing the benefits the NDIS is meant to deliver, Victoria’s Public Advocate says.

A new report from the Office of the Public Advocate said a poor quality of services under the NDIS was impacting on the human rights of people with disability, and significantly compromising their ability to achieve chosen life goals.

Public Advocate Dr Colleen Pearce said for many, the choice and control promised by the NDIS was an illusion.

Disability carer recorded saying 'I just wanna f***ing beat these kids without risk'

Alison Branley

An audio recording has exposed the shocking verbal abuse of a 14-year-old severely autistic boy by the people who were supposed to be caring for him.

Warning: this story contains disturbing content and coarse language

Key points:

  • Two disability carers recorded verbally abusing autistic boy
  • In the recording, one carer tells the young boy "I'm gonna bash you"
  • Greens senator Jordon Steele-John wants aged care royal commission expanded to include abuse of people with disabilities living in group homes

Byron Bay officer could be charged after teen hit multiple times

Warning: this story is about violent abuse by police of an autistic boy.

Tom Livingstone

A police officer who struck a naked autistic teenage boy multiple times on the NSW Far North Coast used excessive force and could potentially be charged with assault, the NSW police watchdog has found.

In a report presented to parliament this morning, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) suggested the officer could be prosecuted over the January 2018 incident and sacked by the police commissioner.

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