A heartbroken mother is desperate for answers after her austisic son was allowed to starve to death in hospital.
A mother is calling for an investigation into the failings at a major Queensland hospital after her autistic son died from starvation while under the care of its doctors.
Stewart Kelly, 45, died at Robina Hospital in August last year from starvation and dehydration during a 33-day admission.
Chantel Le Cross remembers the first time they felt heard in an emergency room.
It was only two months ago.
The 33-year-old, who is selective non-verbal autistic, was rushed to hospital in September in intense pain. An endometrial cyst wrapped around one of their fallopian tubes had ruptured.
Because Chantel was screaming in agony, they say workers were able to understand their suffering. But that level of attention isn't typical.
By Ashleigh Keating
Connor Winfield was a gifted student, so no one could understand why he found school so difficult.
- Autism is the fastest growing disability in Australia, having increased by 25 per cent between 2015 and 2019
- Mainstream teachers often lack the training and resources to cater for the needs of neurodiverse students
- Experts and advocates are calling for autism-specific training to be mandatory for teachers
"I would bet that most of my teachers did not understand what autism was," he said.
It took Mariam Mukhtar nearly two years to have her teenage son Raamiz assessed for autism following a paediatric referral, and she fears the delay in getting him support has cost him his high school experience.
“Having support at the right time … that would have been a life-changing experience,” she said.
Ahead of the release of the government’s review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the topic taking centre stage is the diagnosis of autism. Over one third of people accessing the scheme list it as a primary disability.
Chief of Children and Young People with Disability Australia says families are simply seeking help for their children, with the NDIS ‘the only place to turn’
An advocate for people with disabilities has criticised as “unhelpful” and “misleading” reports suggesting families are pursuing autism diagnoses because they see the NDIS as a financial opportunity.
A diagnosis of autism is unlikely to be enough to guarantee future access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme as the government prepares to clarify that individualised packages were designed only for Australians with profound disabilities.
Elena Filipczyk Autistic writer
It took me two years after my formal autism diagnosis to build up the courage to ask my kind, empathetic GP to help me access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). I was mortified, but most of all, I felt like an impostor.
As my GP smiled warmly and took the paperwork off me, she admitted she’d never filled in an NDIS form before. I looked down at my feet and dug my nails into my palms. Was I wasting her time? Was I wasting government money?
Thousands of autistic drivers could find their Australian licences are in legal limbo due to changes quietly made last year to the national standards that govern who is considered fit to drive.
The national 2022 Assessing Fitness to Drive standards are the first to list autism as a condition that "should be assessed individually", which may involve a practical assessment.