Coalition has made a mess of NDIS, says Judy Fischer

Submitted by bobb on Thu, 2/9/2021 - 10:26

The widow of former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer has accused the Coalition of mismanaging the National Disability ­Insurance Scheme, which she says is shrouded in secrecy and too ­important to fail.

Judy Brewer, a high-profile disability sector advocate whose son Harrison has autism, said she was angry the ­government appeared to be blaming people with disabilities for cost blowouts when it was likely the $24bn scheme’s financial assumptions were wrong.

Coalition government’s ongoing war on autistic Australians

Submitted by convenor on Tue, 31/8/2021 - 12:53

Dear Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds,

Subject: Government’s ongoing war on autistic Australian

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) deplores media reports (see Annex below) saying that “The Minister responsible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme has blamed an uptick of Australia’s aged, autistic and obese people for the ‘unsustainable’ rising costs of the service”. Your government’s war on autism is unacceptable. We complained about it before and were ignored

Aged autistic people are one of the smallest subgroups in the NDIS: there were just 125 of them in June 2021, just 0.8% of 14K+ NDIS participants in that age group. While their funding level is higher than average for the NDIS, we doubt the numbers in this very small group will increase significantly for some time. We have not found NDIA reporting on obesity; we doubt the NDIS even has reliable data on obesity of NDIS participants. 

New national hotline to help Australians living with autism

Submitted by bobb on Wed, 9/6/2021 - 15:24

Emily Cosenza

Australians with autism will have access to online, digital and phone-based support services that can offer specific advice through a new national hotline.

The federal government will announce the $8.4 million funding boost to the program, called Autism Connect, on Tuesday.

Following its success, it will now become a national service that will be run by peak autism body, Amaze.

Those needing information, advice or referrals will be able to call the hotline for free.

Mental Health Issues Affect 3 In 4 Kids With Autism

Submitted by bobb on Tue, 9/2/2021 - 15:01

Shaun Heasley

The vast majority of children with autism have at least one mental health condition too, new research suggests.

Almost 78% of kids on the spectrum are diagnosed with some type of mental health condition and almost half have two or more. Even among preschool-age children with autism, 44.8% have such conditions.

By contrast, just 14.1% of young people without autism have mental health conditions.

Autism advocate withdraws from NDIS contacted assessment pilot

Submitted by convenor on Wed, 6/1/2021 - 14:15

Comments on twitter indicate that an NDIS "independent assessment", part of its pilot, did not go well.

This is hardly surprising. The NDIA's CEO sent a letter to all NDIS participants claiming "The [NDIA's assessment] tools have been ... used all over the world for many years". There is no such tool for assessing the capability, and more importantly the support needs, of autistic people. There most certainly is no assessment tool for ASD that has been used, and shown to be accurate, "all over the world for many years".