Scripts make jab easier for autistic kids

By bobb | Mon, 21/2/2022 - 07:17

Melbourne mum Leah Dean knows better than most that attending a COVID-19 vaccination appointment is anything but simple for children with autism.

Loud noises, crowds and bright lights anywhere, let alone at a busy immunisation hub – coupled with the uncertainty of a brand-new experience – can make her teenaged son very anxious.

But with the help of a set of special step-by-step instructions called a social script, 13-year-old Alexander was recently able to successfully have both his shots.

Families in crisis after NDIS funding cuts to participants with autism and intellectual disabilities

By bobb | Sat, 12/2/2022 - 11:31

When Karen McKenzie received an unexpected letter from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in August, she had to read it three times before it sank in.

Key points:

  • Hundreds of people with autism and intellectual disabilities have lost NDIS funding after the NDIA ruled it wasn't "value for money"
  • Some parents have quit their jobs or sold their homes to become their children's full-time carers
  • The federal government denies it has a "secret plan" to cut funding to people with autism

Her son Jarrod, who has autism and severe intellectual disabilities, needs help to eat, get dressed and use the bathroom, but the NDIS funding that paid for his carers had been cut by more than half.

Disability Sector Statement of Concern On the Religious Discrimination Bill & impacts on people with disability

By convenor | Mon, 7/2/2022 - 07:00

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the harmful impacts the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill will have on Australians with disability.

We all support protection against discrimination on the ground of religion and of religious freedom as essential to any thriving democracy, but this must not be allowed at the expense of the rights and dignity of others.

Sexologist Jodi Rodgers backs Dylan Alcott's call, everyone deserves love

By bobb | Fri, 4/2/2022 - 11:38

Lish Fejer

It's been a week since Dylan Alcott was awarded Australian of the Year, and he was clear in his acceptance speech; people with a disabilities deserve to be included in all facets of life; including being loved.

Jodi Rodgers is a Sexologist Counsellor at Birds and Bees and assists the participants of ABC TV's Love On The Spectrum find love.

She agrees with Dylan, lets stop dismissing the importance of finding love.

Non-verbal autistic people like my son will never write his story. That doesn’t mean no one should

By bobb | Fri, 4/2/2022 - 11:12

Al Campbell

Autism comprises an exponentially wide range of presentations – but the discourse surrounding it doesn’t

A fellow author recently alerted me to their inclusion of an autistic character in their upcoming debut. This very sweet young writer felt the need to be open with me, given I have two sons on the spectrum and that autism is outside their lived experience. This writer also let me know that they would completely understand if, on account of this depiction, I chose not to read their book.

NSW: ‘Unacceptable’ wait to screen children for developmental delays, autism

By bobb | Mon, 31/1/2022 - 10:15

Caitlin Fitzsimmons

The average waiting time for a child neurodevelopmental assessment in the public system has blown out beyond two years at several services across Greater Sydney, while other services have slashed their waiting lists by tightening the eligibility criteria.

The long waiting times mean children miss out on crucial early intervention for developmental delays or neurodivergent conditions such as autism, or that paediatricians “fudge” a diagnosis to get the child the help they need.

Expecting Grace Tame To Smile Is Not Only Sexist, It’s Ableist

By bobb | Mon, 31/1/2022 - 07:14

In late 2019, about a year after I was diagnosed with autism, a media storm descended on then 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, accusing her of not smiling enough during an impassioned speech at the UN climate action summit. She was there, tirelessly campaigning against fossil fuel profiteers who are actively destroying the planet, which, of course, would’ve been a hoot. Most famously, conservative commentator Andrew Bolt labelled her “mentally ill” and “deeply disturbed”.

COVID vaccinations, PCR and rapid tests particularly challenging for autistic children

By bobb | Tue, 18/1/2022 - 18:36

Hannah Neale