Australian police are being trained to improve interactions with people with autism

Amelia Dunn

People with autism say they are often misunderstood by police as being suspicious or rude. One Australian organisation is hoping to change that. Being pulled over for a routine random breath test shouldn’t be a reason for anxiety.

But for Emma Gallagher, who has autism, interactions with police can become difficult, quickly.

“The way police communicate is not exactly developed for people like me,” the 31-year-old researcher from Sydney told SBS News.

Emma recounted the time police asked her if she’d had anything to drink.

From greeter to checkout operator, South Lake teen embracing responsibility of his first job

Ben Smith

CADEN Sharp probably did not expect his first job to go so well, but he has embraced the extra responsibility it has provided him with.

The 19-year-old is loving life after securing a part-time role with Coles in South Lake at the start of this year, following a successful work placement with them.

Mr Sharp lives with autism and secured a work placement with his local supermarket after working with BizLink to find employment options, having not previously held any permanent positions prior to his current role.

NDIS review of ECEI pathway - FoI 19/20-1047

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) sent a Freedom of Information request to the NDIA on 17/2/2020. See below for A4's request.

On the 26/3/2020, the NDIA, despite the original letter from Ms Faulkner informing A4 of the NDIS's "review to consider and identify enhancements to the ECEI tailored pathway", notified A4 "that the relevant area of the NDIA is unsure what specific review is referred to in your request". They say "We understand the difficulty in articulating what specific documents you seek access" (see the email thread below up to 22/5/2020).

Last chance to take part in autism survey

Australians with autism, their families and carers are being urged to have their say about their experiences of living with the condition in a nation-wide survey, due to close on Monday 29 June.

The survey was developed by the Australian Autism Alliance, a network of organisations representing people with autism, in response to information sought by the Federal Government's Select Committee on Autism. 

Spotlight to shine on gender clinics

Children’s hospital gender clinics offering contentious hormone drugs for troubled teenagers who declare themselves “born in the wrong body” face an audit and review of their treatment approach.

The Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council, which brings together the top health officials across the nation and today discusses the gender clinic controversy for the first time, has requested states and territories to carry out the audit and review, and report back by July 17.

'Violence, abuse, neglect': three Melbourne special schools in probe

Adam Carey

Three special schools in Melbourne will be investigated over a series of allegations of “violence, abuse and serious neglect” of students with disabilities over the past 10 years.

Victoria’s Department of Education and Training has launched an investigation into multiple claims of mistreatment of vulnerable children at Marnebek School in Cranbourne East, Jackson School in St Albans and Southern Autistic School in Bentleigh East.

For some Australians with autism, going back to 'normal' life after coronavirus isn’t so welcomed

Sophie Lamberts

Working from home, communicating via a computer, social distancing ... In a world turned upside down by coronavirus, some people on the autism spectrum have prospered, and returning to how things were is now a source of anxiety.

For some adults with autism, it seems strange that the marvels of working from home and social distancing are only being recognised in the wake of a pandemic. 

Autistic-majority IT services company celebrates Autistic Pride Day

Sara Barker

Auticon, a social IT enterprise that employs more than 200 people on the autism spectrum, is today celebrating Autistic Pride Day, highlighting the value and success that its consultants have achieved in the IT field.

Auticon offers services across business analytics, artificial intelligence, software development, cybersecurity, as well as quality assurance and testing. 

Autism review concerns NDIS users

Professor Andrew Whitehouse.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse.

As the National Disability Insurance Agency awaits the findings of research it has commissioned into autism support and treatment, members of the autism community are concerned the report may never be made public. By Rick Morton.

The National Disability Insurance Agency has been working for months on a secret report that will lock in the evidence base for different autism interventions and support packages, but advocates fear it could be used to cut costs if it is not made public.

Training to support people with autism into work

12 June 2020
Minister The Hon. Anne Ruston MP, joint with Senator Hollie Hughes

The Morrison Government is delivering on its election promise to support people with autism into employment.  

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston today announced two new training projects as part of the Government’s suite of disability employment initiatives. 

Doughnut bakery and social enterprise Krofne, Whitmur Advisors and GenU Training have received $200,000 to work together to develop two accredited training courses for the hospitality industry.

Hannah Gadsby on her new show Douglas, autism and life after Nanette

Hannah Gadsby isn't here to teach you about autism, but there are things to learn if you are willing.

"But people don't always want to learn, so screw them," she said this week.

The Australian comedian is back after her barnstorming show Nanette delved into past trauma and rocketed her to international fame.

Her new show, Douglas, is a deliberately lighter touch that draws on her experience living with autism and weaves in anecdotes from her life.

‘It’s been a real rollercoaster’: navigating autism in the Covid-19 chaos


A sense of routine is essential for Morgan Tilly, who has non-verbal autism. So when coronavirus restrictions hit, her family had to create familiarity amid the uncertainty.

Morgan Tilly, 24, loves to swim. She seems to have a physical, sensory need to be in the water.

Test case highlights the need for better school support for children with autism

PIAC has commenced a discrimination test case on behalf of an eight-year old girl who has an autism spectrum disorder, after she was expelled from her primary school in Year 2.

PIAC’s client, Hannah Blundy, says that her daughter, Catherine, was expelled after her school failed to provide a range of supports and adjustments recommended by health professionals in time to keep her educational and social development on track.

Environmental factors unlikely to account for rise in autism prevalence

The relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to autism and traits of the condition have held steady over multiple decades, according to a large twin study 1.

Among tens of thousands of Swedish twins born over the span of 26 years, genetic factors have consistently had a larger impact on the occurrence of autism and autism traits than environmental factors have. The study suggests that genetics account for about 93 percent of the chance that a person has autism, and 61 to 73 percent of the odds she shows autism traits.


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