News by Region

Minister defends $4.6b NDIS underspend

Rebecca Gredley

Participants in the national disability insurance scheme will keep receiving enough support despite its $4.6 billion underspend, the minister responsible insists.

The Morrison government revealed on Thursday the budget was almost out of deficit, thanks to less money going to the NDIS.

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert has defended the underspend, saying no participant had received less money as a result.

He said 100,000 participants "couldn't be found" or were counted twice, suggesting less money was now needed for the scheme.

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:

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is failing to improve access to education, families say. Why?

Katie Burgess

Less than half of Canberra families say the National Disability Insurance Scheme has improved their child's access to education, as experts say the scheme is not working well with state and territory education departments.

Only 48 per cent of participants aged 6 to 14 in the ACT have seen an improvement in their access to education under the scheme, according to the COAG disability reform council's latest quarterly report.

Autism in relationships: Therapist inundated by number of couples seeking help

Bec Whetham

Relationships can have their challenges, but what if the challenges relate to an inherent part of a person?

A Melbourne therapist said that was the question being raised for many couples where one partner did not know they were autistic.

Melbourne-based autism therapist and special education teacher Jo White has spent the past 20 years working with autistic children, adults and their parents.

Mother's despair after NDIS rejects requests for hoist or lighter wheelchair to help her care for children with disabilities

SHANNON Manning wakes at 3am every day to care for her two children with disabilities.

Prone to regular attacks from her kids’ meltdowns, she has nursed broken bones and bruises in order to provide for the children she loves more than life itself.

Her non-verbal daughter Meadow, 7, suffers from severe autism and epilepsy and is in a wheelchair. Her boy Madden, 6, has Cantu syndrome.

As the sole carer she is lucky if she sleeps for four hours a night; her only assistance the presence of a carer for six hours each weekday.

'The phrase that pays': Schools push parents of ADHD children to switch diagnosis

Caitlin Fitzsimmons

One in five parents of children with ADHD have been urged by their school to seek a different diagnosis as a means to gain funding for teacher's aides and other support for their child at school.

Teachers are pushing families of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to try to obtain a diagnosis with better support in the school system – mainly autism, but also oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) or extreme anxiety. The national survey of 1184 parents of children with ADHD found 21 per cent had experienced pressure for "escalated diagnosis".

Is it autism? The line is getting increasingly blurry

Around the world, the number of people diagnosed with autism is rising. In the United States, the prevalence of the disorder has grown from 0.05% in 1966 to more than 2% today. In Quebec, the reported prevalence is close to 2% and according to a paper issued by the province's public health department, the prevalence in Montérégie has increased by 24% annually since 2000.

NDIS frustration for mum who asks Minister to attend meeting after [autistic] child denied wheelchair

A woman who says she has been denied a new wheelchair for her severely disabled daughter has invited her local MP — who is also the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme — to sit in on a meeting about the girl's needs.

Gold Coast resident Shannon Manning said seven-year-old Meadow had severe autism and required a wheelchair to go out in public, but had been knocked back because she was "not disabled enough".

More Victorian students diagnosed with severe behaviour disorders

Ashley Argoon

Victorian school kids are being diagnosed with severe behaviour disorders at rocketing rates as a principal claims children have to reach “crisis level” before they get support.

The number of children funded for severe behaviour — disruptive and sometimes violent conduct — is escalating, with almost double the cases to four years ago.

Andrew Bolt's mocking of Greta Thunberg leaves autism advocates 'disgusted'

Australian News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt labels 16-year-old environmental activist ‘strange’ and ‘disturbed’

News Corp’s Andrew Bolt showed “absolute ignorance” when he mocked the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in a column for the Herald Sun, an autism awareness advocate says.

The high-profile columnist for Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers and Sky News commentator attacked the 16-year-old campaigner as “deeply disturbed”, “freakishly influential” and “strange” in the piece published on Wednesday.

Autism rate increase despite NDIS rules

sign: national disability insurance agency

Angus Livingston

The number of people who need autism support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme is still rising despite rules being tightened to exclude more applicants.

New data shows autism rates of people accepted into the NDIS are increasing, even though the rate of people with autism rendered ineligible for the scheme has jumped significantly.

The NDIS cracked down on autism diagnoses in early 2018 and data released on Tuesday shows growth in access to the scheme trended down after a high point in June last year.

IT giant giving people with autism employment hope

There's a push in many Australian workplaces towards cultural diversity and gender diversity, but what about neurodiversity? A third of people on the autism spectrum are unemployed - more than six times the average. Now one of the biggest names in technology believes people with autism are an untapped resource of brains that think differently.

Transcript


LAURA TINGLE, PRESENTER: There's a push in many Australian workplaces towards cultural diversity and gender diversity but what about neuro diversity?

One in three people on the autism spectrum are unemployed - more than six times the average.

The Neurodiversity Movement Should Acknowledge Autism as a Medical Disability

Yuval Levental

Autism doesn’t have to define a person’s identity

The autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen published an article, “The Concept of Neurodiversity Is Dividing the Autism Community,” where he defends the neurodiversity perspective. There are several specific arguments in his article, but overall, he views autism as a biological difference, not a disability.

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