News/Announcements

Victoria Launches Australia’s First Autism Campaign

The Andrews Labor Government has established Australia’s first social behaviour change campaign to promote better understanding and inclusion of autistic people.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan today launched the new $2.8 million public education campaign Change Your Reactions with Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie.

Change Your Reactions encourages Victorians to recognise some of the challenges that autistic people face and to understand the impacts of community actions and reactions.

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.

NDIA FoI response: "the NDIS does not fund ABA"

The NDIS responded to A4's FoI request (20/12/2019). The two document can be downloaded from the links below.

A4 had some follow up correspondence with the NDIA about the NDIA's response to A4's email to the Ministers. That correspondence is available at http://a4.org.au/node/1588 and http://a4.org.au/node/1654. The NDIA omits this correspondence from its FoI documents below.

Severity of autism symptoms varies greatly among identical twins

Findings from NIH-funded study could inform treatment strategies.

WHAT:

Identical twins with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often experience large differences in symptom severity even though they share the same DNA, according to an analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings suggest that identifying the causes of this variability may inform the treatment of ASD-related symptoms. The study was conducted by John Constantino, M.D., of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues. Funding was provided by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The study appears in Behavior Genetics.

Response to DSS FoI: the NDIS does not fund ABA

A4 received this response (link to download and accompanying email below) to our DSS FoI request - see http://a4.org.au/node/2155.

Basically, DSS's response below says it has no record of anyone passing A4's letter to the Department (which should mean DSS, the NDIA is "the Agency"), as Assistant Minister Prentice's Office told A4 in an email on 4/12/2017. A Department representative suggested (on the telephone) that A4's letter was sent to the NDIA, not to the Department.

ABC heavily redacted FOI on NDIS waiting times

Dear FOI Team

Thank you for the information that you provided.

I notice that the document you provided does not include:

  1. a record of the ABC's FoI request, and
  2. the list of documents in the response.

As they are not in the disclosure log, please would you also provide these documents?

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.

Push for inquiry via Senate Select Committee on Autism

A motion to form a Select Committee on Autism is expected to pass the Senate later today.

The terms of reference were developed by Centre Alliance Senator, Stirling Griff, in conjunction with members of the Australian Autism Alliance.

The wide-ranging inquiry will look at issues including approaches to diagnosis, the availability and appropriateness of services including in health and mental health, education and employment, the adequacy of the NDIS, and the prevalence of misdiagnosis and any gender bias in assessment and services.

UK: All inpatients with learning disability or autism to be given case reviews

Every inpatient with a learning disability or autism in a mental health hospital will have their case reviewed over the next 12 months.

All 2,250 patients with learning disabilities and autism who are inpatients in a mental health hospital will have their care reviewed over the next 12 months, the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced today.

WA: One-of-a-kind autism service offers new hope to families

Western Australian babies and children with autism and developmental delay will be able to access world-first therapies and interventions backed by the latest research, thanks to a unique clinical service developed by the Telethon Kids Institute.

CliniKids, the first clinic of its kind in Australia and the first stand-alone clinical service to be offered by Telethon Kids, was officially launched today by Federal Health Minister, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP.

Submission/comment to Productivity Commission Mental Health inquiry

Subject: re: Your Mental Health inquiry submission [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2019 09:44:39 +1100 (AEDT)
From: mental.health@pc.gov.au
To: convenor@a4.org.au

Thank you Mr Buckley! We have received your submission.

For any other queries, please email mental.health@pc.gov.au

Below is a record of the information you sent us:

Concluding Observations on Australia and the UN CRPD, Sep-2019

Dear Mr Basharu

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, observes that your Committee published its “Concluding Observations: UN Report on Australia’s Review of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD), 24 September 2019”. A4 greatly appreciates your efforts to hold Australia to its international obligations in relation to people with disabilities.

A4 is puzzled and disappointed that your Concluding Observations make no reference to autistic Australians. Excluding autistic Australians from your observations leaves them feeling that a crucial human rights body fails to recognise their needs and right.

Autism/ASD submissions on planning to NDIS Parliamentary Joint Committee

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is inquiring into the the NDIS's planning process.

A number of autism/ASD-related organisations, including A4, made submissions to the inquiry. The Committee published submissions here. The submissions by autism groups are:

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