Show news for a region of your choice (mostly Austraian news).

Health staff in England to be trained on learning disability and autism

By convenor | Thu, 3/11/2022 - 08:41

Steven Morris

Mandatory programme named after Oliver McGowan, whose mother led a campaign after his death in 2016

Mandatory training for health and care staff in England to support people with a learning disability and autistic people has been launched following a grieving mother’s four-year campaign.

Eight new WA schools offering specialist autism support program

By bobb | Fri, 28/10/2022 - 10:40

Bethany Hiatt

Locations have been revealed for eight extra schools set to be added to the list of WA public schools offering a specialist program for children with autism spectrum disorder.

The rollout of the program, which provides intensive support to students who have been diagnosed with autism but do not have an intellectual impairment, will start mid-next year with two schools, Hampton Park Primary and Hampton Senior High School.

It’s time to embrace ‘profound autism’

By bobb | Fri, 28/10/2022 - 10:22

Alison Singer

Earlier this month, I attended the Autism-Europe International Congress in Kraków, Poland, where the theme was “Happy Journey Through Life.” Although this sounds like an admirable goal, I would not choose the word “happy” to describe my daughter Jodie’s life with profound autism, nor would many other families who struggle with the day-to-day challenges of life on the profound end of the autism spectrum, a reality that is largely invisible to mainstream society.

Novel protocol captures autism voices across the spectrum

By bobb | Sat, 22/10/2022 - 06:54

Rebecca Horne

Visual aids and other strategies make it possible to interview young autistic people with intellectual disability or other communication challenges and to draw out valuable responses for research purposes, researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, reported in May. The team piloted their flexible interviewing protocol, called Autism Voices, with 33 participants pulled from the longitudinal Pathways in ASD study.

Government brings forward planned NDIS review, urges bigger focus on disability scheme's benefits

By bobb | Wed, 19/10/2022 - 15:29

Evan Young and Penny Timms

A planned review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being brought forward to this year, with the federal government promising to work alongside people with disability after a significant breakdown of trust in recent years.

Rethinking education: the programs for children too distressed to attend school

By bobb | Wed, 19/10/2022 - 10:51

Sophie Black

For increasing numbers of families, school refusal is a crippling problem. But some programs are offering hope by thinking outside the box

As a year 10 coordinator in 2013, high school teacher Craig Hildebrand-Burke began to clock an increasing number of student absences at his school. As he began to contact families, he soon realised that school refusal was becoming “a major presenting issue” for the year 10 cohort at his co-ed Catholic high school in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

Readers share stories of school refusal in Australia: ‘It scarred us and changed us forever’

By bobb | Sun, 16/10/2022 - 08:34

With education and mental health systems under pressure, families are experiencing distress as a result of children refusing to go to school. Here are some of their stories

Guardian Australia asked readers to share their experiences of school refusal, the commonly used term for children who are so distressed by school that they are unable to attend. Data that differentiates school refusal from other types of absences is hard to obtain, but anecdotally experiences of school refusal are rising.